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It was 4th grade but I remember it like yesterday, “If you don’t give me your brownie I won’t be your friend.”Those were the words out of my best friend’s mouth.
I loved the school brownies.  I loved brownies.  I still love brownies! It felt like a war inside, as I genuinely loved this girl as well.
I gave her my brownie.

I came across a verse a few years ago that instantly made me think of that childhood incident. .

“In that day their burden will be lifted from your shoulders, their yoke from your neck; the yoke will be broken because you have grown so fat.” Isaiah 10:27

As I snooped around, I found that word “fat”, in that context, has the sense of being spiritually mature.  The oppressors yoke doesn’t fit anymore because the Israelites had grown so spiritually fat or mature.  At the time I discovered this verse, I was being spiritually stretched to be brave.  Reading that verse caused me to cry out, “Lord, make me fat!  Make me so spiritually mature that the enemy’s yoke of insecurities and fear will break like toothpicks because it doesn’t fit!  Help me walk in obedience to you.”

As a young child, I gave my brownie to my friend.  But today, trust me there would be no war.  I would have no problem keeping my brownie and enjoying it—with my friend sitting next to me.  I have learned to love and receive love in a healthier manner. That manipulative yoke doesn’t fit anymore.

Fifty years later I have different kinds of wars.  I can be at war with fear of the future for my children or grandchildren.  I war with unanswered prayer and God’s timing versus my timing.  I war with limitations and disappointments.  I war against expectations of my own and others.

So how do I grow to be spiritually mature in the midst of my wars today?  I eat food that will make me fat and pump up my spiritual muscles.  In other words, I read the Bible and I do life with the motivation to bring joy to my heavenly Father.

You can’t hurry maturity.  It takes time, input, discipline, and trying.  There is a difference between wanting and trying.   For example, ‘I want to play the guitar’ is very different than ‘I am trying to play the guitar.’  So it goes with spiritual maturity, ‘I want to be mature’ verses ‘I am trying to be mature.’

I think we all know that spiritual maturity doesn’t come by just reading the Bible.  There is a statement I love to quote, “It’s dangerous to learn more truth than we can live.” We have to act on what we learn is true.  When we try to walk in obedience, spiritual muscles are formed and we get fat.  It doesn’t mean we do it all perfectly all the time.  But we don’t stop trying.  That is when we grow. And that is when the enemy’s yoke doesn’t fit anymore.

My prayer is that I will not give up trying to be spiritually mature.  And that my inner wars will become as nonthreatening as my brownie wars.

“Make me fat, Lord!  Make me fat!”

Lynn Jackson
Thrive Leadership Foundation