I used to look forward to my birthdays when I was a child, as all little kids do. But today’s post isn’t about my birthday. At least not one in the natural. Have you ever heard of having a spiritual birthday?
My five-year-old height couldn’t see the stage when the congregation was standing to worship God during church that day. I wanted to join in the singing. Without moving my head I looked up toward those standing beside me.
No one can really hear me, right?
The warm, inviting feeling in the room was so tangible, my eager heart couldn’t help but respond. I started singing along quietly, keeping more of a focus on whether or not someone was watching me than anything else. I didn’t want them to notice.
Suddenly, my parents saw my shy participation, and nodded their happy approval. Although they encouraged me to continue, I stopped in embarrassment. After they looked away, I ventured to be involved in the singing once more. A moment later, singing bolder. I didn’t realize what was happening, but I felt…something. I knew it was God, though.
I squirmed through the preaching, more from trying to dodge the conviction I was experiencing than from boredom. It didn’t come from the words of the preacher. It was just there, knocking on the door of my young soul.
Near the end of the service, people were responding to the altar call. I tugged on my mom’s sleeve, and let her know that I thought I should go up there. I remember her trying to explain that the altar call didn’t apply to me. Maybe it was for healing, or for finances. I don’t know.
Whatever it was for, it didn’t matter. God was tenderly calling me to Himself.
I tugged with more force, “I think I need to go up there!”
She took me up to the front and we knelt down while she talked to me. That day she led me to the Lord. After we prayed my conscience felt clear again. At the end, she asked me if I understood what had just happened. I said no, and ran off to play. I couldn’t explain what had just happened because I didn’t know all the big words. What I could grasp as head knowledge that day was less important than my heart’s answer.
How could a five year old become a Christian? It’s debatable, sure, but I had discovered that He was real, and I knew that I said yes to God.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV
I count that day as my spiritual birthday. And I think God looks on that day with a smile.
Maturing in Christ
I don’t consider a spiritual birthday as a religious “thing” to keep, but as a marker. Not everyone will connect the many years of being a Christian and spiritual growth in the same way maturing happens in the natural.
But I think we need to.
You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food.
For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right.
Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong. Hebrews 5:12-14 NLT
A 40 year old isn’t going to be drinking milk from a bottle. Similarly, a person that has been a follower of Jesus for 15 years is supposed to look different from a Christian of 30 years.
I desire to grow spiritually the longer I belong to Jesus.
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Do you celebrate a “spiritual birthday”? How many years have you been a follower of Jesus?
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