United Church of God

Spiritual Maturity: Are You Like a Butterfly?

You are here

Spiritual Maturity

Are You Like a Butterfly?

Login or Create an Account

With a UCG.org account you will be able to save items to read and study later!

Sign In | Sign Up


Have you ever been to a butterfly conservatory? If you have, you may have even had the butterflies land on you. It is an experience that thrills young and old alike.

One species that I learned to identify when I was a teenager is the monarch butterfly. I even raised some from caterpillars until they underwent metamorphosis and emerged as butterflies.

They are amazing creatures. By studying the monarch butterfly you can learn a lesson that can be applied to your spiritual life to help you reach spiritual maturity.

The lesson you learn is that eating the proper food gives you protection.

The monarch caterpillar eats only the milkweed plant, which provides it with lasting protection. An alkaloid compound in the milkweed makes the butterfly noxious to birds that try to eat it. Any bird that tries to eat this butterfly becomes sick and learns to stay away from the monarch.

As a caterpillar, it is a voracious eater—eagerly devouring the milkweed. At first it can eat only the most tender part of the plant. Then as it grows it is able to digest the whole plant.

Just as God gave the monarch butterfly special food for its protection, God also provides spiritual food that serves to protect you from spiritual harm. By obeying God’s laws and observing His Sabbaths and Holy Days, you are given spiritual protection that has lasting value. By studying the Bible, rightly dividing and digesting the Word of Truth, you receive spiritual nourishment that will last for all eternity.

Like the monarch butterfly, which at first can eat only the most tender part of the milkweed plant, you start out drinking the milk of God’s Word. Then as you mature you are able to digest the meat.

When you digest the Word of God and have it securely written in your heart, our spiritual enemy, that roaring lion Satan the devil, gets a bad taste in his mouth and flees. To him, God’s Word and way of life is noxious. He can’t stand to be around those who are protected by studying and living by God’s Word.

However, you can fall into a trap when you don’t study all of God’s Word. Just as some varieties of milkweed do not contain the proper amount of the alkaloid substance that protects the monarch, you can be left vulnerable when you limit yourself to studying only a part of God’s Word.

The Church of God is built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Jesus Christ being the chief cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20). You can’t pick one particular section of Scripture to dwell on to the exclusion of other parts of the Bible.

All Scripture is given for reproof, correction and for doctrine (2 Timothy 3-16)—you can’t pick and choose. If you do not study all of God’s Word, you will not be fully protected. You must put on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:10- 13).

By studying the monarch butterfly, we can learn that eating the food that God has provided for us gives us the spiritual protection we need. You must not neglect any part of God’s Word if you are to grow to perfection and be accepted into the Kingdom of God.