Read: Hebrews 5:12-14 |
Newborns possess an inborn desire for the sweet taste of mother’s milk. KidsHealth.com notes that newborns should be feed eight to twelve times per day for the first month. Overtime, as a baby grows its diet changes to include solid foods.
Borrowing this analogy, the writer of Hebrews chastised the early Believers for not growing as well: “12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.” (Hebrews 5:12-14).
Paul saw the same problem with the Corinthian believers; they had not grown in their faith, and he could only give them “milk” because they were not ready for solid food (1 Corinthians 3:1-3).
Growth starts with Spiritual Milk
In I Peter 2:2-3, Peter emphasizes that we should crave pure spiritual milk – God’s Word – just like a newborn craves for milk. Like a mother’s milk, God’s Word has the essential nutrients that lead to growth. Spiritually, the consistent “craving” and “taste” for spiritual milk should never end. A healthy believer should always stay thirsty! As the believer matures, they will experience Psalm 34:8a. They will taste and see that the Lord is good!
Paul in I Corinthians 3:2 and later in Hebrews 5:12-13 uses a different metaphor for “milk” than Peter. While Peter symbolized milk as craving for God’s Word, Paul used it as a metaphor for growing up from the elementary teaching of Scripture. [Clarke, Adam, “Clark’s Commentary on the Bible”] Paul notes in both instances that we should grow from milk to meat (solid food).
We are commanded in Scripture to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). If we do not put forth the effort and exhibit the desire to grow, we are not making every effort to add to our faith. Spiritual growth is expected and intentional!
Growth continues when we desire Spiritual Meat
Growth for a baby Christian only occurs when they purposefully read, obey and apply the Word. Growth only happens when they submit their will to God’s Will.
The Gospel writers saw it then and we see it now, Christians who have been saved but are satisfied with salvation yet turned off by sacrifice. Essentially, they are electing to stay spiritual babes in Christ. Without yielding their will and deciding to grow, they cannot understand the deeper truths of the Word of God.
We have to cultivate our will power for spiritual growth by ensuring our daily habits incorporate the spiritual change agents for prayer, study, fellowship and quiet time. As Paul notes in Hebrews 5:14, “But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.” A holy “practice” of our faith leads to growth.
To grow from milk to meat requires starting where we are spiritually and increasing our will power. If we are on “milk” apply the spiritual change agents to our lives, which can take us to the next level. If we are already on “solid food”, keep reading as well to “sharpen the saw” as Stephen Covey would say – learn, and develop new skills to grow our faith. If we stay on “milk”, growth is stagnated and we will stay spiritual toddlers.
The key is to stay spiritually thirsty and hungry for Christ’s sake.
A. If you have never accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior, why not now take the first baby step and accept Him in your life. Inbox me and we can chat and pray!
B. When you first accepted Christ, did you also seek to grow in Christ.
A. Spiritual Change Agents are Prayer, Quiet Time, Bible Study and Fellowship. What parts have these played in your spiritual growth?
B. How do you know when you have grown enough as a Christian? Alternatively, can we ever grow enough?
A. Are there areas in your life where you are still on spiritual milk because you have not given up your ways and your will?
B. What does it take to convince you to do God’s will versus your will? How clear does God have to be before you are willing to listen and follow what He says?