“For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.” – Hebrews 5:13-14
It is easy to think of mountaintop experiences as the height of spiritual maturity because of how it feels. But feelings don’t determine maturity. A child getting a piece of candy is happy for the moment, but that doesn’t make them mature. Feeling mature doesn’t make us mature.
True spiritual maturity is the ability to discern good and evil. To choose between the flesh and the spirit. True spiritual maturity stems from the capacity to choose a perspective that is true.
Maturity takes practice. Learning to choose a true perspective doesn’t happen overnight. Like a high performance athlete training their sport, studying the word of God and learning to apply it takes time and effort. Spiritual maturity is a product of the hard work of daily choices made to pursue what is true.
Mountaintop spiritual experiences, in all their splendor, are more likely to be encouragement than equipping. The can be more like milk than meat. We can tell from the Apostle Peter’s writings that he never forgot what he saw and learned on the mountain. But it was the application of that knowledge on the plains and valleys that cemented his legacy as a great man of faith.
The mountaintops can be so encouraging that it can be difficult to come down. But no matter what terrain of life we find ourselves in, God wants us to grow and mature. And we do that by learning to apply His Word to train our perspective to see what is true and make choices out of faithful obedience.