Our Food Supply – Part 1
“… You need milk, not solid food!” (Hebrews 5:12 NIV)
Have you ever wondered why some believers live in a state of perpetual spiritual infancy and never grow up? What they take in spiritually is at the heart of the problem. First Peter 2:2 gives us God’s nutritional guidelines for spiritual growth: “Like newborn babes, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation.”
Many pastors know the frustration of trying to help people who claim to have been Christians for years yet have all the maturity of a bunch of toddlers who get upset when someone takes away their crayons. Believers who don’t continually drink the pure milk of the Word of God remain babyish and unstable because they are neglecting the spiritual food that will help them grow. How cruel it would be to deprive a newborn baby of milk and cause him or her to suffer horribly as a result. But think of all of God’s “newborn babies” who are stunted in their spiritual growth because they deprive themselves of the pure milk their spirit craves.
This principle goes deeper still when we contemplate the multitudes who drink “spiritual milk” but never get off the bottle. How ludicrous it would be to see a thirty-five-year-old person sucking on a bottle and eating a jar of baby food. But that’s exactly what can happen spiritually if we don’t maintain a balanced spiritual diet. The apostle Paul warned the Corinthian church of this danger: “I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready” (1 Corinthians 3:2). There was more for the Corinthians to learn than just the first principles of Christianity, but the believers there were too immature and worldly to digest “solid food” from God’s Word.
To grow into spiritual maturity, we need to be conscious every day of the needs of our inner man and the scriptural reminder that “it is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace” (Hebrews 13:9). God’s grace comes in different forms and through various channels, but the truth remains the same. When we neglect such things as Bible reading, prayer, worship, and fellowship with other believers, problems of one kind or another will ensue as surely as night follows day. How can we ever be other than what we take in?
To be continued...
-Pastor Cymbala (excerpted from The Church God Blesses)
Read Hebrews 5:11-14.