Are You Drinking Milk?

Lately, I've been considering those verses that talk about spiritual maturity in terms of physical growth. You know the ones I'm talking about? In 1 Corinthians 3, we read about those who are infants in Christ, when Paul laments, "I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready."

Hebrews 5 serves as a warning to those who have stagnated in their spiritual walk, "
though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child." It goes on to say, "solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil."

So there is a clear distinction, then, between the babe in Christ and the matured Christian, that pivots on what they are taking in. What is milk for an infant? Simple food, that by someone else's effort is put into a container that can make it easily consumable for the baby. And isn't that the kind of spiritual "food" most Christians are consuming? A Sunday sermon, already chewed up and presented in a nice, neat package so that they can easily consume it.

Do you see these words in the Hebrews passage: "
unskilled" (referring to spiritual babies), and "trained themselves" (referring to spiritually mature)? These words refer to the way we handle the Word of God. We need to be skilled, mature, one who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth (2 Tim. 2:15). It requires effort and diligence on our part. It requires that we train ourselves to do more than sit back and drink milk.

1 Peter 2 tells us that, "
Like newborn babies," a new Christian should "crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation." A newborn baby will not automatically grow on its own. It must take in milk fed to it from another source. We, too, when we are baby Christians, need the help of others. But as we grow in our walk with Christ, we ought to be more capable of dealing with the Bible, and growing from what we ourselves are taking in. We ought to be better students, and thus better teachers. It should not be the case that we "drink a little milk" (i.e., Sunday sermons) once a week.

We know instinctively that we will not grow if we only eat once a week. But we do this in our spiritual lives, and we seal our fate. Just as physical growth and maturation is dependent upon our physical food, our spiritual growth and maturity is dependent upon our what we take in from God. There is no way for us to grow if we are not willing to start moving beyond milk, and chewing up the meaty words of God for ourselves.

Let me challenge you, if you are not in the word of God regularly, taking in your own spiritual food: let's move beyond milk. Focus in on one small book or passage and begin to chew on it. Meditate on it. Type it up and print it out and tape it on the wall near where you do dishes. Leave the Bible opened up to that passage. Get online and read it in multiple versions, so you can begin to see it from different angles. Begin chewing up the word of God for yourself, and let's shoot for maturity together.


Nadine said...

Hi, found you on the party circuit. Wanted to say that you have a lovely blog. You write beautifully. I can feel your heart in your posts.

Jennelle said...

Great post, Jess!

I come here via the blog "party" as well.

Have a wonderful day!



Monkey Giggles said...

Swinging in for the party. Nice to meet ya. I love your pictures.

I am having my 4th party favor give away. Come on over when ya get a chance


Heather said...

Hi! Stopped by from the blog party! Nice to meet you!

Anonymous said...

I found your blog via the Ultimate Blog Party and wanted to say "Hi!". You have a beautiful blog and I love the images you have used. Very beautiful. I hope you enjoy the party as much as I have. :-)

I find the reason I stagnate in milk and avoid Scripture reading is that my sinful heart loves and clings to unrighteousness (sin). It does not often have the desire or hunger for the Word of God because the Word of God speaks His very Words, His very words of what righteousness is and is not, what sin is and is not. I find my heart more often than not, likes to be as the Pharisee standing alone, does not like to admit to sin and unrighteousness, and loves the material world more than Christ and righteousness. Only as I confess my sin and cling to Christ, my desire and hunger for righteousness grows, my hunger grows for His food for me. Yes, just as I must eat physically to live, grow mature, I must eat spiritually and feed on His Word. Just as I must avoid junk food and exercise for physical health, which increase the hunger for healthy, nutritious food, I must avoid staying only on milk and exercise spiritually to read, study, thinking on the Word and bring my heart and actions in line with it.

My love, desire, hunger has been imperfect because of my sinful heart but thanks be to God who has never let me go and who will continually increases the desire and hunger for His righteousness and His Word, helps me to hate sin more and more, little by little, day by day

Anonymous said...

Hi again, I just returned to see if any one else had joined the conversation. You have a great post, great thoughts. :-)