I enjoy watching animal rescue programmes on TV, especially when the end result is a happy, healthy creature after weeks or months of abandonment or neglect.

When one has a pet, there is one thing one must never forget.

From the moment I got Molly, I became aware that it was not just myself that I had to take care of but a tiny puppy that was utterly dependent on me. I had to feed her regularly with the appropriate food, bath her, protect her and keep her environment safe, give her exercise and play with her, keep her warm at night and make sure that her toys were safe for a small puppy to chew.

I discovered that a puppy understands very little and knows nothing! I had to teach her and train her to be a dog – when and where to go to the bathroom, what was good and what was not good to chew, not to scratch or bite me in play, where to find her food and water, and so much more.

Now that she is a “teenager”, she had learnt many lessons well but, although she thinks she is independent now, she still needs me to be her “mother” because there are many things she cannot do. For instance, she can’t open the fridge and find her cooked chicken or mince for supper or her kibble in the cupboard; she knows where her treats are but she can’t get to them; she can’t open the back door to go outside to play or to use the bathroom; she can’t get in or out of the car; she can’t bath herself or clean her ears. She would not stay alive long if I did not care for her.

I have also discovered that God wants us to depend on Him for every need we have. We spend up to eighteen years training our children for responsible independence in the big world out there. It takes a lifetime and more for God to teach us that we are nothing and lost without Him. Isn’t that why Jesus told His disciples that, unless they became as little children, they would never experience God’s rule in their lives?

True spiritual maturity is not about how well we know the Bible, how often we go to church or participate in the life of the body of Christ, how good we are at practising our spiritual gifts or even how many people we have led to faith in Jesus.

The writer to the Hebrews stated simply:

Without faith it is impossible to please God… (Heb. 11:6a)

Jesus said:

Apart from me, you can do nothing… (John 15:5c) 

Like an unborn baby that gets everything it needs from its mother through the umbilical cord, we need to be attached to God through the “umbilical cord” of the Holy Spirit.

Spiritual maturity is absolute dependence on God for every detail of our lives. That’s the faith that pleases God!

Luella Campbell

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