Entering God’s Rest(oration): EXPECTATION

Turning 13 for a Hebrew boy was a big deal – it was the official recognition that the boy was now a man – they even had a special ceremony to commemorate it: the Bar-Mitzvah, which means, “the son of the commandments”. (Girls had a similar ceremony at age 12 - the Bat-Mitzvah, which means, "the daughter of the commandments.") This reminds me of passage in Ephesians 4 where Paul shares the expectation that every Christ-follower is to GROW from spiritual infancy (beginning our relationship with God) to full spiritual maturity using the life of Jesus Christ as our example & our aim for our own lives. (See Ephesians 4:11-16)

Jesus came in the flesh & grew from a baby to maturity, both physical & spiritual. He did this not by playing the proverbial “God Card,” but in the same way we are challenged to do it:  through meditating on & obeying God’s Word; through putting it into practice; & through developing endurance as a result of it.  (NOTE: the Greek word used for maturity is usually translated “perfect” or “perfection” in English;  using the Biblical context as our source, it would be better understood to say “to come to full maturity/completion”).
 
The expectation is that each Christ-follower will do the same – come to know Christ as Savior & Lord, grow in wisdom, understanding, & Christ-likeness, & develop to full-maturity. Like Christ.
 
In Hebrews 5, the writers correct their readers – confronting them, in love, because, though they should be growing toward maturity in Christ, instead they were still living as babies, surviving on milk alone, not solid food, frozen in an unchanging state of development. The writers encourage, challenge, & communicate their expectation that they will GROW – starting with the basics, & then moving toward adding to their application of God’s Word & their depth of relationship with Him.
 
I feel challenged by this – to ask the Holy Spirit to point out where I’ve gotten stuck in my development, where I’m functioning in veritable spiritual infancy - & to lead me towards the goal: being like Christ in every way.

NOTE: Lisa Rivera tells her story at approx. Minute 32:45 of this podcast.



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