I’ve noticed a pattern, in my several decades of church attendance. Some of my fellow believers seem to experience spiritual growth on a “fast track.” Others seem to stay virtually the same, no matter how many years go by.
What is the difference?
I believe it boils down to how hungry for Jesus we are. If we yearn for Him with all that we are, we will learn to feed on Him, and we will grow. If we are less than wholehearted, we will most likely stay in what the Bible bluntly calls the “baby” stage.
In the early months of life, a baby lives exclusively off of milk. If the little one is going to progress past this preliminary nutritional phase, she or he must acquire new skills. Said new skill acquirement has been the inspiration of many a hilarious Facebook worthy picture! Much more baby food ends up all over the child’s face, body, high chair, and everywhere around it, than in his/her belly.
Such it is when we are learning to eat solid food, spiritually. It’s a mess. At the beginning, the amount of substance we actually take in, is limited. Experiencing so many new tastes and textures in the Word is exciting. However, we have a long road ahead of us. Much exertion and determination will be required of us.
Are we willing? Do we really want to get past the point of depending soly on our pastors and leaders to spoon feed us God’s truth? Do we want to pay the price? If we earnestly desire to get to the level of maturity where we can feast daily on the meat of the Word, we are going to need to work hard to acquire some vital self-feeding skills.
As we apply ourselves in daily quiet time with God, it’s like picking up those practice utensils again, and again, and again. Week by week, month by month, we are slowly but surely learning to eat. We are learning to take in the sustenance our spirit so desperately needs for long-term growth.
Truth be told, children need years to acquire a full skill set for self-feeding. My five-year-old still leans heavily on my help when it comes to cutting up her meat. I will continue to encourage her to practice, and practice, and practice. (That’s her practicing, just last night, in the photo 😊.) Thankfully, her hunger is a wonderful motivational force to boost continual skill development in this area.
The parallel continues. If we are voraciously hungry for the deep things of the Spirit, we need to keep working on our eating skills. It’s going to take time, patience, and persistence. Solid food is for the mature, for those eager to partake of so much more than just milk. It’s for those who refuse to give up on the process, no matter how many times the food falls off the fork on the way to their mouth.
Dear one, for those of us willing to practice, and practice, and practice… the rewards are honestly going to be mind-boggling. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be completely satisfied” (Matt. 5:6, Weymouth).
How hungry are you?
Junk food can spoil a child’s appetite for real nutrition. Is this true spiritually as well?
Special plug: Biblegateway.com is a fantastic place to go to hone your spiritual self-feeding skills!