1 Corinthians 3:1-3
3 Dear brothers and sisters,[a] when I was with you I couldn’t talk to you as I would to spiritual people.[b] I had to talk as though you belonged to this world or as though you were infants in the Christian life.[c] 2 I had to feed you with milk, not with solid food, because you weren’t ready for anything stronger. And you still aren’t ready, 3 for you are still controlled by your sinful nature. You are jealous of one another and quarrel with each other. Doesn’t that prove you are controlled by your sinful nature? Aren’t you living like people of the world?
During Sunday’s sermon, our pastor made a statement that struck me. Although I’ve heard the concept taught several times before, it never resonated in my soul like it did yesterday. I cannot quote him exactly, but the gist of what he was communicating is this: preachers & teachers were never designed to feed meat to the people…what is delivered is regurgitated milk.
It reminded me of myself years ago when I was a nursing mom. I’d eat a meal, my body would digest the nutrients I needed to survive and then it would produce enough milk to sustain our babies. Now imagine if I was STILL breast-feeding our 14, 12, 10 and 7 year old. Good grief! Practically, they could survive on their mother’s milk, but they would never grow to be strong, much less able to feed themselves- or others.
Unfortunately, the church of America is doing a poor job of weaning the infants among us. Instead of making disciples, preachers and teachers continue breastfeeding their young through the power of the internet, cable tv, books, podcasts, blogs… we even fill arenas and nurse 1,000’s of babies at a time. Sadly, a lot of those infants that consume milk from multiple breasts never learn to eat solid food on their own.
The short answer is, they just don’t feel like it. They know that chewing on the meat of God’s Word requires time, attention, surrender and a whole lot of effort.
Our son recently announced that he hates steak. He says it’s too hard to chew. Even though he loves the flavor and it fills his growing body, he refuses to eat it anymore. Instead, he just eats salad and a baked potato (because, in this household, you eat what is served, or you don’t eat!).
All of us, in one way or another refuse to eat steak in certain areas of our lives. Today I didn’t particularly want to chew on the verses that pertain to coveting my “neighbor’s” stuff. It would have been much easier for me to listen to someone else regurgitate how they conquered the sin of envy than to open the Word and allow the Holy Spirit to correct me.
2 Timothy 3:16
16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.
If you’ve been living on milk for a while I want to encourage you, my friend, to pick up your Bible and chew on some steak. When you do, your body, soul & spirit will be nourished and strengthened -and you will be able to run the race that God has set before you (because you can’t do it on salad and baked potato alone!)
12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.