Barriers to spiritual growth

Babies long for milk. No one taught babies that they need nourishment. Babies just know. If you took care of babies, you know that babies will cry incessantly when they are hungry. No matter how sleepy you are, you get up feed the baby with milk and hope that the baby will be satisfied. What kind of milk? It is common knowledge that  the mother’s milk is best. Whether a baby should have mother’s milk only or not is not the point of this introduction. The point of this introduction is that babies need milk, they long for it. The milk gives them nourishment and growth. Believers should be like new born babies when it comes to the spiritual milk, which is the word of God. Spiritual milk is necessary for spiritual growth.

Scripture says in first Peter that like new born babes, we should long for the pure milk of the word, “…so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation…” We must emulate the baby. Like new born babies, we ought to long for the pure milk of the word. Spiritual growth is dependent on the nourishment that comes from God’s word. Without God’s word, there is spiritual malnutrition. There are several ways to drink from the pure milk of the word. We may read it, memorize it, meditate on it, study it, and discuss it.

One major barrier to spiritual growth is the lack of the word of God. When we do not long for it as a baby would cry out for milk, we will be very slow in our spiritual growth. A baby cries aloud because it is desperate for milk. Parents respond urgently because somehow, parents understand the desperation.

I have another theory though, if one never hungered or thirsted for the milk of the word ever since he claimed to be a Christian, it is probable that he never came to life, he was never a Christian. He has been a false believer ever since. Only dead babies never cry out for milk. 

Another major barrier to spiritual growth is wickedness. Going back to first Peter, “Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander…” All these must be put aside. If not, they will prevent spiritual growth. Malice, wickedness, deceit, and hypocrisy will kill the longing for the pure milk of the word. Wickedness must be dealt with intensely through repentance and intense prayer.

“Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, like new born babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted of the kindness of the Lord” (1 Peter 2:1-3, NASB).

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