Growing Up Spirtually, The Beginning

What comes after being Born Again?

by Lura Langenback

© 3/06/01

The attitude in the body of Christ today is that we are to get people saved as fast as possible becuase of the times and seasons. While this is a great thing, what do we do next? Often, after the initial altar call, the person is left to his or her own devices because no one bothers to follow up. The church has the idea that all we need to do is get the person to approach the altar, say a prayer, give them a hug, send them on their way and all is well. What is that brand new believer supposed to do now? Is there something else?

Before anyone gets their feathers in an uproar, when we pray for Jesus to come into our hearts we are truly saved. But many of those who do come to the altar are not being taught that you have to do anything more. When a baby is born he is totally helpless. His parents feed him, bathe him, clothe him doing all that is necessary to keep him comfortable and alive. As he grows they teach him to talk, hold things, walk. Mom or Dad will show him those things that he needs to get along in the world before he starts school. During the school years, quite often the teachers take over the primary instruction in things that will assist him as an adult. The parents do not stop teaching, however, if they are concerned about his welfare. And he grows up.

Ah, you know all this. What happens when a brand new creation in Christ comes forward to tell the world he is born again? Usually, folks tell him how wonderful and pat him on the back and send him on his way. After that you are on your own, Jack! This should not be so. They should be told that they need to study to show themselves approved unto God, a workman that needeth not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.(II Tim. 2:15) We should tell him that he needs to be strong in the Lord and the power of His might.(Eph. 6:10) They need to find out that God's armor can be applied. (Eph. 6:10-18) Someone should mention that there are going to be hard times ahead for him, that someday soon he is going to face persecution like no one has ever seen before. There ought to be someone telling him that unless he is prepared for this that he may end up a casualty of the spiritual warfare being waged right now.

But we don't do that, do we. The reason is simple. The people in the body of Christ, in many places, do not know these things themselves because they did not believe that they had to do anything beyond walking forward to pray a prayer. Most do not believe that they have to participate in any call on their lives by the Lord. 'What call?' they ask. Many do not believe that the Bible is true, that there may be mistakes or inconsistencies. They do not take the time to study and read. Often, they do not find anyone to help them grow in the Lord. If that recently born baby had decided to stop learning and just sit, the parents would have been incredibly worried and take him to the doctor to see what was wrong. Yet the babies in Christ, those who have been around for a while, are choosing not to grow. They are stagnant and want to stay that way. The question is WHY? It is normal to grow up but they make no effort or do not know they need to grow.

Hebrews 5:12-14, "For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil."

Why don't we want to be 'of full age'and grow up in the Lord? For some the answer is simple. Couch potatoes. Lazy and want to stay that way. They do not pick up their Bible for weeks or months at a time. They have no time to pray. Others think they are growing but the fruit of the spirit does not show in their lives. Pew sitters. Do gooders. People who are willing to send someone else to the missions field but not get out of theirComfort Zone long enough to do any good themselves. Sideliners. We are told specifically that we are to 'go into all the world and preach the gospel' yet we have the excuse that 'this is the job of a preacher or pastor, not for ME. I have no time to do all those things. Let the professionals do that!' We are ALL called to witness. Know why? Because the Gospel of Jesus Christ is not a secret to be saved from others. It is to be shouted from the rooftops and if you are grateful and love the Lord, this will be something you will want to do.

The Lord recently showed me a football game. Notice the players? Look at the fans in the stands. He told me plainly that the players get paid large sums of money to play this game. The fans pay to enter the gates to watch. He then asked me, 'which do you want to be? A player who gets paid or a fan who pays and sits on the sidelines observing?' Suddenly, I saw what He meant. We are called according to His purpose.(Romans 8:28) All of us. But many do not answer that call of God and do what they think is right in their own sight. They end up being fans, ultimately paying the price. The players are rewarded. I want to be a player not an observer.

What do we do next? We GROW UP, Church. These times are perilous and unless we find out what God wants us to do and where He wants us to be, we are going to be in danger of not only sliding off the path, but also becoming a statistic in the war. This is especially true of someone who has not been taught anything beyond that first wonderful prayer. The next question is this. Are you willing to be a servant of God or just be saved? It is critical to make that decision. You say, 'But I made that decision when I prayed to be saved.' No, I am talking about what happens afterwards. Are you willing to allow God to lead you with the plan He has for you or are you going to go your own way? Have you ever tried that? Every time I do that, I fail. Why? Because God steps back and lets me do 'my own thing.' When I do fail, He asks me if I have had enough and am I willing to do it His way. YES LORD! I'm tired of failing, of not having victory in my life. It is at that point that we make the decision to say 'God, I just want to do what you want me to do. Then I will have victory in my life.'

Thus begins a series on how to grow up spiritually now while we still have time. We will be looking at scriptures in depth on how to grow in the Lord. Come and join us.

If you have not yet asked Jesus into your heart, please consider doing that now. He is waiting for you because He died especially for YOU! Are you aware that if you were the only person who accepted Him, He would have gone to the cross just for you alone? Hard to believe? Sure, but it is true, nevertheless. Please ask Jesus into your heart right now. It will change your life!

Please go to the next article in this series. Just click on There Is A New Creature In Town.

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You may notice that I do not pull my punches. These days are dangerous, Church, and we must not only take notice and do something about it, but we must begin to grow up: