My post S+T+IC=K Teaching and Facilitation Model | Outdoor Ministry Curriculum, explores how Jesus made his teaching stick and have tranformational impact. Here is a reflection from Kelvin Haidle, a student in the Outdoor Leadership Concentration at Denver Seminary,...read more
PURE SPIRITUAL MILK CONTAINS LIFE-CHANGING POWER
BE SATISFIED BY PURE SPIRITUAL MILK
When a baby drinks it’s milk, it’s demeanor changes from anxious, angry, upset, and hungry to almost immediately pleased and satisfied. The peace that comes from a baby drinking its milk is such a contrast to the agitated demeanor they had when they were hungry. The same is true when we get nourished by the pure spiritual milk of the Bible.
Peter uses this analogy to describe the value in being nourished by God‘s word. Reading God‘s word, no matter how anxious or confused we might be, brings peace and satisfaction if we have an open heart to God’s voice. It is really a miracle how powerful the Word of God is. I have read many holy books from other religions. They may have human wisdom, or good ideas for coping with life, but they do not nourish the soul like the Bible. Truly the Bible is like pure milk that has power to satisfy anyone who drinks from it as their primary source of life.
THIRSTY BUT NOT DRINKING PURE MILK?
This begs the question, why, if the Bible is so nourishing and can transform my mind and my soul within moments of turning a page, do I resist or avoid reading it regularly? Why am I not craving it as I should? Why do I turn to everything else first… an apple, another book, the weather Channel, Instagram, etc.? It seems to be a human tendency to turn to other things first and then come to the Bible last. Why is this?
I asked a group of young people this question, and the consensus included two reasons. First, we don’t drink from the Bible because of our own sin. Secondly, we have an enemy, Satan, who hates seeing a broken, needy person, be nourished by the word. We miss out on God’s nourishing milk because of our sin and because of Satan, our foe.
SIN REMOVES THE CRAVING FOR PURE SPIRITUAL MILK
How does our sin keep us from drinking pure milk? I think it something like this. When I give into temptation, I walk outside of God‘s covering and step into sin. Then, I feel ashamed and alone. My understanding of God‘s character becomes clouded. I see him as a judge or an angry father rather than a gracious father who wants to restore me. So, like a puppy who has stepped on a thorn, instead of going to my master and giving him my paw to remove the thorn, I limp around on my own whimpering and afraid to go to my master.
Why is this? Jesus is full of grace. He is loving. He has already paid the price for my sin. I don’t need to be fearful of turning back in repentance and going directly to Him. Often times, I think that I avoid going straight to God‘s word because I’m afraid of what I might hear. It might convict me or make me feel condemned by my sin. But if I really know Jesus and His character, then I should not be afraid to go directly to the word to deal with my sinful rebellion. His grace is right there. He’s ready to forget. He is capable and ready to pull the thorn out of my heart and bring healing. That is a more accurate picture. If I can see Jesus that way, then I am more likely to go to His word regularly to drink His pure spiritual milk.
SATAN OFFERS PACIFIERS
The second reason that I avoid the word of God, is because I have an enemy, Satan, who uses all sorts of tactics to distract me and keep me from seeing the Bible as the treasure that it really is. Like a baby who has a pacifier, I look for other things to satisfy me…but they have no milk. It doesn’t take very long for me to realize how unsatisfying the pacifiers of life really are. If the Bible truly is the pure spiritual milk that satisfies us like a baby with its mother, why would we try everything else first before we drink from it?
We need to recognize that we have an enemy. This is when discipline comes in. I believe the way out of the trap of these two historic distractions of humanity, is to simply be disciplined in feeding upon God‘s word. Once we develop a habit of drinking from it, then it’s more natural for us to drink more. If you’re out of practice or wandering around on thorny hillsides, God‘s word is beckoning you to come back.
THE WORD OF GOD IS SPIRITUAL MILK
I can’t think of anything that I would rather see people grasp more than that the word of God is the supreme treasure that we all aspire for, and it is the spiritual milk that our souls nurse by. I want people around me to truly love the word of God and to enjoy it daily. The Bible is not just text on the page. When we read it, we have access to the heavenly Father. God’s word opens up your heart and your mind to a relationship with Jesus through the Holy Spirit. The Bible is a relationship. The word of God is living and active and sharper than a double edge sword. The Bible is the doorway to the only relationship that will fully satisfy us.
GETTING THE CRAVING
I believe that the real secret to developing this ongoing, lifelong, craving of the word of God, is to understand that it is a relationship with Jesus Christ that will open up the word of God to us. When I believe in Jesus Christ, then I can understand the word of God. He is the Way, the Truth, the Life. Faith in Jesus uncovers the treasure of the word of God, bringing me milk to drink. Without faith in Jesus, the Bible may not make sense to me, because I’m still an enemy of God. When we put our faith in Jesus, he forgives our sins, adopt us a sons, and we are no longer estranged from the Heavenly Father. Fellowship with the Father is no longer broken. Jesus has mended it and the milk is now available for us to drink.
I pray, that you get carve out some margin in your life and are restored by drinking pure spiritual milk. The Bible is the greatest treasure that you possess. As you respond to Jesus daily and walk with him closely, allow the word of God, to be your guide.
- What things in life are making you thirsty? What are you drinking to try and satisfy your thirst?
- Do a self check. Are there sins that are keeping you from turning to the Word of God?
- What are ways Satan distracts you from being in the word of God and drinking from it throughout your day? In the Name of Jesus, claim freedom from his hold.
- How has pure spiritual milk satisfied you in the past?
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