I’ve been posting from Paul’s first letter to the Corinthian church. Specifically, we’ve been looking at the spiritual gifts of prophecy and tongues. The Corinthians were misusing these gifts and Paul was bringing correction.
Brothers, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults.
1 Corinthians 14:20
Paul is giving them some much-needed encouragement to grow up. The word for thinking is referring to the thought processes that control our actions.
Children are, by nature, very selfish. They don’t do things to be evil, but they are simply not thinking about the people around them. They know what they want and that’s all that they see.
As we mature, we learn to take other people’s needs into account. Paul wants us to see that our thinking should bring our actions in line with the love of Christ. When we desire to bless others, we’re becoming more mature.
Maturity comes as we rest in Christ and learn from Him.
In the Law it is written: “Through men of strange tongues and through the lips of foreigners I will speak to this people, but even then they will not listen to me,” says the Lord.
1 Corinthians 14:21
In telling the church that they need to grow up, Paul refers to an Old Testament Scripture. It talks about people speaking in a foreign language, yet Israel not listening. I believe this is something that Paul preached to them while he was at their church, and now he’s reminding them.
What’s this all about? To understand it, we need to see the whole verse from the book of Isaiah the prophet.
Very well then, with foreign lips and strange tongues God will speak to this people, to whom he said, “This is the resting place, let the weary rest”; and, “This is the place of repose” — but they would not listen.
Within this verse are three words that speak to us about the place of resting in God. The first means a quiet resting place away from any troubling distractions. The next means a place where you can settle down and abide in safety. The third means to rest and be refreshed.
These are the things that Paul was reminding the church through referencing this passage. They need to grow up in their thinking. They should be seeking the welfare of others in the gathering of the saints.
But how is it that you grow up in your thinking? It only comes as you spend quality time resting in Christ. Jesus told us that we need to abide in Him if we want to live that abundant life.
In previous posts, we saw that prayer in the spirit (tongues) builds us up, personally. That’s the place of rest and growth. As I regularly pray in the spirit in my private time, I experience the growth that I need to be a blessing in public.
When I pray in the spirit, I’m resting, abiding, in Christ. That’s the most powerful tool of self-edification that I could ever access. God has freely given this to all of His children. Unfortunately, as the Scripture says, many refuse to hear this Word.
Allow the Holy Spirit to build you up and bring maturity in a powerful way. Spend time praying in the spirit.
Question: How have you experienced growth and maturity by the power of the Holy Spirit?
© 2019 Nick Zaccardi