The Child continued to grow and become strong, increasing in wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.
Luke 2:40 (NAS)
This growing Child is none other than Jesus, who did not begin His adult ministry until the age of 30. If Christ Himself had much to learn, how much more do we?
God uses the natural world to teach us laws of the spiritual world. Among animals, predators attack vulnerable members of a weaker species first; the weak and young are easier victims. In the spiritual kingdom, Satan also attacks the weak and young. Attacking babies is not fair or right, but is evil ever fair or right?
Satan makes quick work of people without any knowledge of God. Most are conquered by temptations, fears, and social conformity. Next on his list of prey are people like I was: those young in faith. We believe in God, but we don't know Him well. We are spiritual infants and adolescents.
Left spiritually under-developed, believers live in a perpetual 'teenage angst'--tormented by school bullies, self-doubt, and peer pressure. We fear not pleasing others, not making the team, or not going to the prom--even if we are 55 instead of 15. Peer pressure flexes big muscles in all ages and all cultures.
Or maybe we act the part of the bully. It's the same angst, just a different reaction. Nonetheless, torment continues if and until we finally grow up in God's strength, wisdom, and faith.
By following Christ, we are ultimately protected and lifted into Heaven. However, God allows us the freedom to make mistakes. Growing up in Him is a choice. The longer we procrastinate, the longer we live our lives on this earth as troubled teens.
We grow up by listening to our Father, by copying Him, and by fellowship with grown-up Christians. But He will not give us His keys to the kingdom of God on this earth until we learn to drive like adults.