Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai
Last week we looked at an interesting and revealing topic titled “Exercising Authority Over Others”. It centred on the fact that there were certain limitations surrounding the exercising of our authority as believers. We learnt that the authority we have over the devil and his agents is in relation to us and those we have a legitimate connection with and that we can only exercise authority in areas within our jurisdiction.
Today we will be considering a topic that looks at where you can step out of the limitations and stand for others. Standing for Baby Christians
"I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one.” Ezekiel 22:30
“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”” Isaiah 6:8
THE BABY CHRISTIAN STAGE
A “Baby Christian” is the first stage a believer steps into after they are first saved. At this point, God permits others to pray for them and carry them on their faith. So as it is with a natural baby, we help because the baby cannot do things for itself. If the baby was hungry, the baby had no means of feeding itself so it cried. You understanding the needs of the baby came forth and fed the baby. Your feeding of the baby was you standing in and filling the gap between the baby’s hunger and the food.
But after a while, God expects the baby to grow, walk, and start doing things for itself because He doesn’t expect us to remain this way; so God puts the baby down and tells him to walk, but many won't. Too many people still want to be babies and have someone else pray for them all the time.
Another characteristic of a Baby Christian is a lacking in knowledge and understanding and so because they do not know any better, God permits others to pray for them and carry them on their faith. We want to help those who can't help themselves, but we need to teach people so they can grow and use their own authority, because the time will come when they will have to use their own authority if they want their prayers answered.
MOVING AWAY FROM THIS STAGE
We ought to grow stronger in faith the older we get, but too often many don't. In many instances as we see today, because of a lack of right teaching, many have remained in that babyhood stage of Christian development. That is why you sometimes hear:
"We used to get healed when we were first Christians, but now we don't."
Or when they don’t get healed they think there is something wrong with the preacher who prayed for them! Paul writing to the Hebrew Christians expressed his “disgust”. He said in Hebrews 5:12-14 (MSG):
“By this time you ought to be teachers yourselves, yet here I find you need someone to sit down with you and go over the basics on God again, starting from square one—baby’s milk, when you should have been on solid food long ago! Milk is for beginners, inexperienced in God’s ways; solid food is for the mature, who have some practice in telling right from wrong.” Emphasis mine
The expectation is that when the time comes, we should move away from childish things. 1Cor.13:11 (KJV)
“When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”
DISADVANTAGES OF REMAINING AT THIS STAGE
People who fail to or never attempt to exercise any faith of their own, but always rely on other people's faith
1. End up being cheap prey to the devil. 1Peter 5:8 says “. . . your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour..." but the believer who has grown from being a baby Christian can do something about him.
That’s why Paul says in Ephesians 4:27, "Neither give place to the devil."
This means you are not to give the devil any place in you. He cannot take any place unless you give him permission to do so. And you would have to have authority over him or this wouldn't be true."
2. They also end up being victims of false prophets as we see in 2 Peter 2:1-3 (LB):
“But there were false prophets, too, in those days, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will cleverly tell their lies about God, turning against even their Master who bought them; but theirs will be a swift and terrible end. Many will follow their evil teaching that there is nothing wrong with sexual sin. And because of them Christ and his way will be scoffed at. These teachers in their greed will tell you anything to get hold of your money. But God condemned them long ago and their destruction is on the way.” Emphasis mine
God wants us to stand for those who are weak (Rom 14:1, 15:1, 1 Thess. 5:14); but His ultimate is that we don’t remain babies forever but that we grow from being weak to becoming strong! That is why He gave gifts in the Body of Christ so that we can grow up into maturity.
“. . . That we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ. Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth.” Ephesians 4: 13b – 14 (NLT) Emphasis mine
Parts of this study was culled from The Believers’ Authority by Kenneth E. Hagin