Did you make any New Year’s Resolutions? Resolutions are a matter of temperance or discipline. It requires an honest assessment of where you are now and where you want to be. It is difficult to figure out how to achieve your goal but the most challenging part is putting it into action. You have to say no to things you might want now to have better things you want later. Often, it’s just the practice of exercising discipline that makes the difference. Too many people, especially young men, are just floating through life with no plan or discipline.
Don’t neglect your spiritual life when taking stock of where you are and where you want to be. The author of Hebrews wrote to believers who should have been farther along in their Christian walk (Hebrews 5:11-6:3). He had many hard truths to get into, but it was a mighty task for the preacher because of their spiritual dullness. The people not only should have known what he was explaining, but they should have been teaching it themselves. Spiritually, they were still sitting in the high chair eating baby food, which is fine if you are a baby, but not when you are a full-grown man. They were unskillful in the Word of God. They hadn’t progressed in knowledge, wisdom, discernment, or understanding of God’s truth because they hadn’t dedicated themselves to study, nor had they meditated on God’s truth and applied these truths to their life. If you are not constantly in the Word, you will not grow spiritually. He urged his readers to graduate from kindergarten and the ABCs of the faith and build upon that foundation. Then he says, “And this will we do if God permit.”
That’s an excellent resolution and the right way to go about it. The preacher laid the challenge for spiritual growth of these stunted believers. He’s going to expound his theme, and if God permits, they will grow from the Word preached. It’s a worthy goal for us all. Read, study, and meditate on the Scriptures. Exercise your powers of discernment by comparing what you see and hear to the Word of God. Don’t go to the Scripture to justify what you want to do, but go to the Scripture to see what God has to say. Do you know the “principles of the doctrine of Christ” in Hebrews 6:1-2? Determine, not only know them but build upon them. The preacher said he would do it if God permitted. He thought about what was lacking, and he made a plan to correct course, determined to set things right and not be deterred, trusting in God and acknowledging if we do anything in this life, it’s because of God’s grace. Temperance is a fruit of the Spirit. In spiritual disciplines, you must rely on God’s power to move forward. Do you want to grow Spiritually? The first thing to do is go to the Lord in prayer and make your desires known to Him.