San Diego used to have a Recruit Training Center and Naval Training Center. It’s where I went to boot camp. It’s no longer in existence today but I ran a lot there, marched a lot there and did a lot of pushups there too. We also did a lot of waiting. But one of the phrases that was embedded in my head was “Move it out!”. The waiting was over, it was time to get going.
In the first 5 verses of Deuteronomy 1, Moses reminds everyone that God had said, they had spent enough time hanging around Mt. Sinai, and it was time to move it out, get going. It could have taken them as little as 11 days to get where He promised them. They couldn’t have taken the coastal route because He knew they weren’t ready, as a result, instead of an 11 day journey, it took 40 years. There’s a big difference between 11 days, and 40 years! The reason it ended up taking that long was because of their unbelief, disobedience and out right rebellion.
It’s the same for us. Years of being a Christian doesn’t necessarily equate to Christian maturity. If someone says “Well, I’ve been a Christian for 40 years”, I might respond with, “Well, that number rings a bell.” It’s possible for a person to be a believer for that long and still an infant and immature spiritually. Yet, it’s also possible for a person to have know the Lord for a much shorter period of time, say 10 years and that person be more spiritually mature than the other!
The point is, it’s the goal of Jesus and the Holy Spirit to have us be maturing spiritually. To be conformed to the image of Christ as Paul wrote in Romans 8. Is that your goal? Do you want to and are you? Or are you spinning around, wandering aimless in the wilderness?
Just like my Drill Instructor in boot camp, God told Moses to tell the people, you’ve stayed here long enough, it’s time to get going, move it out. In Hebrews 5.12-14, the writer tells those believers, some of them should be teaching the Bible by now. It’s time they should have moved beyond the basics of the faith. The basics are like giving milk to a baby, but imagine if that baby had grown and to the age of 22 and is still drinking milk out of a bottle? It’s a funny picture, but it would be horrifying to any parent because it means there something seriously wrong in the development of their child. By now, they should have been eating solid foods or “meat” as the writer of Hebrews puts it.
Every Christian should be aiming at something, and that something is maturing in the knowledge of the scripture, doctrines. Of sin, salvation, repentance, the person of Jesus Christ, the gospel. Yes it takes some effort, but growing up assumes more responsibility, and it equates to a healthy individual.
So if you’ve been hanging around the same place spiritually for quite a long time, don’t you think it’s time to move it out?