Learning To Walk Before We Can Run

Have you ever watched a baby who is just learning to walk? It's quite a stressful time in the tot's life. Learning to walk takes a great deal of determination, practice and physical and mental exertion. Is that not how it is for each one of us who begins to learn to walk with God?

As a young Christians, we first start out with baby steps. We learn to read the Bible a little at a time and we learn to pray more and more each day. Peter does a great job at explaining this in Hebrews 5:11-14 (NIV) ” We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn.In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God's word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness.But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.”

There is a passage in a Beth Moore book that I just love. In Beth Moore's book, Breaking Free:Discovering The Victory Of Total Surrender, she says, ” Without a doubt, the more you know God, the more you want to know God. The more time you spend with Him, the more you will yearn for Him.”

That is so true! King David says it best in Psalm 63:1-8 (NIV)

1 O God, you are my God, 
       earnestly I seek you; 
       my soul thirsts for you, 
       my body longs for you, 
       in a dry and weary land 
       where there is no water.

 2 I have seen you in the sanctuary 
       and beheld your power and your glory.

 3 Because your love is better than life, 
       my lips will glorify you.

 4 I will praise you as long as I live, 
       and in your name I will lift up my hands.

 5 My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; 
       with singing lips my mouth will praise you.

 6 On my bed I remember you; 
       I think of you through the watches of the night.

 7 Because you are my help, 
       I sing in the shadow of your wings.

 8 My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me. 

The more we get to know God, the more we want to know. It becomes a hunger and a thirst and it is life changing.  There are several passages in the New Testament that talks about a Christian's maturity as they grow in wisdom in the Lord, as they begin to walk, gain strength and run. Here are just a few.

“Until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” (NIV) Ephesians 4:13

“But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.” (NIV) Hebrews 5:14

Growing in maturity in the Lord is a lot like learning to walk as a toddler. At first, there is so much we don't understand. We try very hard and many times fail over and over again in the beginning. As time passes and the daily task becomes part of our routine and habit, walking soon becomes, to some extent, an unconscious effort. It becomes very easy. We build up strength and begin walking more and more and faster and faster until we can run whenever we want.

A new Christian might start out the same way. Someone more mature comes along beside them and, at first, guides and mentors a new Christian in the core beliefs of Christianity.The new Christian attends church, spends time reading the Word and learns how to pray and rely on God more and more. As days turn into weeks and months and years, with constant discipline and attention to one's daily walk with the Lord, strength and maturity is built. Over time, the more we read, the more we understand. The same thing happens in our prayer life. The more we pray, the more we come to rely on God, the stronger the relationship grows.

Many of us face struggles in our lives. Nobody ever said that being a Christian would guaranty an easy life . We will all face trials and tribulations in this world. However, when we learn to take everything one step at a time, knowing God is always with us guiding us step by step, we can endure anything that comes our way. We will grow in strength. We might begin our  Christian walk unsteadily, half expecting defeat. Yet as we grow and mature in the ways of the Lord, it will become easier to run. Learn to walk first and when you are ready, God will let you run.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Hebrews 12:1 (NIV)

“but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31 (NIV)

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