Jesus asked this question, “How long shall I put up with you” (Matthew 17:17)? It was in connection with their lack of faith to carry on His mission without Him. After three years of being with Jesus, they were not prepared to graduate. Years later, the Hebrew Christians were still feeding on milk and not on solid food. They were still struggling with repentance and faith in God. And they were unable to discern between good and evil in their world. Some even gave up on being Christians (Hebrews 5:12- 6:6).
Paul had more than a mouthful to say about graduating in Christian living. The Corinthian Christians were babies in their faith. They behaved like people that had no faith in Christ. They were not governed by the mind or the spirit, but by the flesh. They were worldly Christians feeding on milk and not on meat (I Corinthians 3:1-3). The Apostle argued that the time had come for them to stop being children and start behaving as gown ups (I Corinthians 13:11). He had grown weary of spoon-feeding them. They were not ready or willing to venture out alone.
Joshua appealed to his people, “How long are you going to linger before you go and posses the land the Lord has promised to your fathers”(Josuah 18:3)? They had spent a lifetime in the wilderness being babies and not as grown adults. Could it be that we Christians in the twenty first century find ourselves stranded in a make believe desert, afraid to leave our childlike faith and face an intolerable world? No doubt, being a child of God in a secure environment is all that any Christian can hope for. But is it what the Lord wants of us to be – children rather than mature believers?
The secular and humanistic culture is engulfing Christianity at a rapid pace. We have arrived at a time when we have to choose between the gods of this age and the God of Jesus Christ (I Kings 18:21). For Christians, Jesus the Christ has nothing in common with Belial, the chief of the gods of this world (II Corinthians 6:15).