I encourage you to listen to the above podcast of a great message from our pastor, Mike, a few weeks ago on 1 Peter 2 in it’s entirety. However, if you are short on time, for the purposes of this particular blog, at the very least skip to about 31:45.
At about 34:20, if you listen closely, you might be able to hear me giggle and clap. Convicted. Because this image came into my mind.
I’m convinced that our beloved pastor has, on occasion, looked into our congregation and seen this. If you look closely, that is me, the one on the right screaming, “feed me!”. I spent years (I know, right?) walking into that worship center waiting and begging to be “fed”. I longed for pure spiritual milk. I was dependent on someone to take a chunk of the meat of the Bible, dig into it, digest it for me, and feed it to me on a weekly basis.
This, in itself, I don’t think is a bad thing. We have all been places where, consumed with trial or suffering, we require a helping hand to “feed” us. And there are people perfectly gifted to nurture us in this way. But what happens when this is our only source of nourishment? We will have a “failure to thrive”. If you’re a parent, you know those are some of the worst feared words of a parent. There comes a time when milk is no longer sufficient to sustain your child’s growth. And, there comes a time in your walk of faith that it’s not sufficient to sustain your spiritual growth either.
So, what had stunted my own spiritual growth? Me. I had some ill conceived notions that my only source of nourishment was supposed to be corporate worship. That instruction manual was huge, and was surely meant for people gifted to read it, interpret it, and translate it into layman’s terms for “the rest” of us. Thankfully, I was pressed to take a Bible 101 class and with my first true step of obedience, I signed up. I learned some incredible things. First, I can read it. Second, He intended me to read it. And third, the more I read it, the clearer it becomes!
Another blessing in that step of obedience was the encouragement from those that were gifted to teach it and obedient in using that gift for His glory. They provided me with resources to give me the confidence to dig in on my own. Our pastor, Dave, shared a “light bulb” moment on a verse he had read just that morning for probably the hundredth time. They, too, looked up answers to questions they didn’t know. If these people still learned something new after years of study, if they still had to look up answers to questions, and still used tools to find them and consulted other Believers, then maybe I could too! Suddenly, this very large book of instructions seemed manageable and not so intimidating.
I like to think that I may have now progressed to toddlerhood. I still require supervision. I am still learning the rules and gaining the self control to follow them. I have a lot to learn, but I do know where to look for help when I need it. Some of my steps are clumsy but there is so much joy in the successful completion. I have days, okay sometimes weeks, where because of circumstances I still require a good deal of hand feeding. But now there are also days that I rejoice in some newfound taste and texture that He has revealed to me and the discovery only whets my appetite for more! Those days, I am praying hard for the next “growth spurt”!
Have you ever experienced a “plateau” of your faith? If so, what helped you move past it? What was holding you back? If you are currently, I challenge you to step out, however wobbly, in obedience. If you are actively seeking Him and His truth, He will meet you where you are, with the nourishment you need!
1 Peter 2
2 Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3 now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.
12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.