November 21, 2019
I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. – 1 Corinthians 3:2
Watching a mother with her newborn baby is one of life’s pleasures. I have three children myself, and they are now teenagers. They love to pull out their baby books to see how old they were when they did certain things. One time, one of my daughters read her baby book and then came over to me and gave me a big hug. It took me by surprise, but she must have read something in it that made her feel special.
Spiritual infants are special too. People can be in their middle-age or senior years when they have a born-again experience, but they will need time to mature as Christians, just as newborns need time to grow.
Paul confessed that he fed new converts with milk. In other words, he shared the Gospel with them in a way that they could easily understand, just as a mother feeds her baby special food that is easy to digest. A mother would never offer her newborn steak and potatoes; she gives him milk. Later, as the child develops, solid foods are slowly introduced to the child’s diet. Spiritually speaking, God feeds us the milk of the Word until we have matured and can “digest” the meat that He offers. The Gospel has great substance to it, but we must be able to understand it before the Lord will introduce us to it, and that happens as we mature.
Comparing the process of maturing physically to maturing spiritually can teach us much about what God expects from us. For example, while we all enjoy watching our children as infants, we would be deeply concerned if they remained at that stage. We would also be alarmed if they turned into adults overnight! The same is true with our spiritual lives—we need not try to rush our growth. If we are faithful to feed on the milk, there will come a time when we will desire stronger foods, and will be able to receive and benefit by them.
As a parent, I enjoyed each stage of my children’s lives, but was always happy to see them progress at a proper rate. God wants the same for us. His milk is rich enough to sustain us as infants, but stronger foods await us. How is your spiritual growth?