I visited my cousins for the first time in Abuja, many miles away from my house. I was naïve a visitor at first – they got everything I needed for me but after staying for few days, I became an expert in finding my way around the house. And it was natural – I was expected to have gleaned few things. After the first night, I learnt where the toothpaste was kept and where the waste bin was, also to know drinking water apart from water for domestic chores. Things like that.
When you go to a place for the first time, you are necessarily naïve and are treated as such – you are served food, shown the way to the toilet… But no one wants to remain naïve, no one likes to. Even if I wanted to, no one would give me the indulgence. I would be reminded: ‘you should have known your way around’ or someone will quip ‘don’t you know?’
Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; – Eph 2:19
Yes, don’t you know? or do you want to be permanently naïve?
Coming into the kingdom of God is pretty much like that. You were once rightfully naïve to God’s ways and systems, even if you were born in Church. No one expects you to know much anyway.
But they also do not expect you to remain that way. You need to know your way around, to explore and to pick up things yourself. You were at first a stranger, outside the kingdom, then you were welcomed by God. Now you are not expected to remain naïve – you are expected to act like a true citizen who will explore the riches of the kingdom. One who will live by the principles of the kingdom and not pass by nonchalantly what makes the kingdom stand – righteousness. One who will learn to live by faith.
As you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so continue to live in him. Keep your roots deep in him and have your lives built on him. Be strong in the faith, just as you were taught, and always be thankful. Be sure that no one leads you away with false and empty teaching that is only human, which comes from the ruling spirits of this world, and not from Christ. – Col 2:6-8 [NCV]
That is what it means to GROW. You only are handed serious matters of the kingdom of God when you cease to be naïve. Get serious. Get determined. Some of us like to be permanently naïve about the kingdom of God. No one’s going to pamper you.
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I stopped those childish ways. – 1Co 13:11
True citizens learn how to get things done by studying the package of God, which is like a concealed parcel. He expects you to stop being naïve and start unwrapping the package by growing in knowledge.
Learn. Explore. Grow. Jesus died for this!
This week, in what ways could you improve on your knowledge of God?