When you apply for a job at the police department, they want to know a few things. Are you educated in the field? Do you have any experience? If yes, and you pass all their rigorous tests, then, and only then will you be hired. After being hired you make it to “Rookie” status. The length of time you stay a rookie depends on your choices, your rate of learning and so forth. Most rookies are at rookie status for the first year, some even longer.
In the first post I did on this subject called, Becoming the Master’s Rookie, we talked about sin and how it’s the oldest problem in the world, but not the biggest. I’ve had some argument about that, but I must insist that sin is merely a symptom of pride, the world’s biggest problem. Why is that a big deal when it comes to being a rookie? Rookies are sometimes cocky, arrogant and sure of themselves when they have nothing to be sure of. They act like their previous training taught them everything they need to know about their new career, and they want to teach the older officers a thing or two. Their pride gets them into trouble long before they know what’s coming. Years of experience will teach them to stop and look at each problem closer before jumping in. There is also an innocence about a rookie and a zeal that’s been known to tick off the older groups. They jump in with everything they have.
Let’s look at the Word of God.
“As newborn babes, desire (Grk. epipotheō = to earnestly desire) the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:” 1 Peter 2:2
God compares a rookie to a baby, who only drinks the milk of the Word. Human babies start eating solids by about five months, but prior to that, need the nourishment of mother’s milk. Children need this for the first year of their life. This milk is intensely rich in nutrients condensed and concentrated down so they can digest it properly. Why? Digestion is the process of nutrients from food metabolizing into energy. In the spiritual kingdom, the milk of the Word of God is the Word of God explained and taught until the fear disappears. Then the babe or rookie can believe God and stand for herself/himself. What happens the first year of a baby’s life? They double, or triple in size. They learn to crawl, walk, start to talk, learn human behaviors. There is a lot going on that first year. I like the term “Rookie” because it implies an older learner. Someone with life experience but no spiritual understanding. When it comes to being God’s Rookie, you can’t afford to miss one session of that sincere milk of the Word. Why? Well what happens to a baby who misses a feeding?
Let’s go back for a second. Here’s why pride is the world’s biggest problem. Rookies tend to wear their hearts on their sleeves as well. When they ask their elders for that sincere milk of the Word, the elder, wanting to put the rookie in his place, then doesn’t walk in love towards him/her. Because of his own pride, he hurts the rookie’s feelings. The rookie wrongly assumes the elder is like all the other elders and decides to go back to his life before the change. Now, his pride is also in play and his temper.
Pride gets us into trouble, our tempers keep us there.
“Rebuke not an elder, but intreat [him] as a father; [and] the younger men as brethren; The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity.” 1 Timothy 5:1-2
God ideally set it up so that the elders take care of the younger believers. (Not real age, spiritual maturity) They feed them, protect them, teach them and counsel them. Being a rookie is the best and worst part of the growth in any profession. You make costly blunders and play the fool more than once. But if you were a police officer, I hope someone would tell you how vital you are and that no matter what, stay the course. The city, town and country you live in, needs you. They need you serving the greater good. They need you learning how to protect innocent lives.
When it comes to spiritual maturity, are any of us as mature as Jesus Christ was? I’m guessing, no. We are all at a different stage in our Rookie Course, but I’d like to urge you, stay put! Be willing to be the rookie. Be willing to make mistakes. Sin is the oldest problem because people don’t know how to bounce back from it. There is a process as simple as turning on a water faucet.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
Just admit it to God, apologize and get on with your Rookie Course. It’s that simple. You can’t afford to miss that next gem of wisdom God has planned, and this is a journey full of them. We don’t get born-again one day, and have all spiritual knowledge the next. It’s a process. Don’t beat yourself up. God isn’t. If the maker of the universe isn’t condemning you why should you? We are all rookies in something with God until the day of Jesus Christ’s return.
“But when that which is perfect (maturity is fully come, our bodies are changed and we join Jesus Christ in the clouds) is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. 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. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity (love), these three; but the greatest of these [is] charity (love).” 1 Corinthians 13:10-13
Wow! What a triumphant verse! It all comes down to love. We walk in love, we speak the truth in love, we hold on to God’s love. Why? Because it sees through the times when we, the rookies, mess up. I’m proud to be the Master’s Rookie how about you?
God Bless You today!