How Much of Jesus Do We Want?
This past Sunday I got to share the Lord’s Supper with my church family. I always enjoy this time, but there was something different about this one. Instead of quiet contemplation and examination, I was more distracted by my oldest daughter’s presence. I was keenly aware of her movements and especially her questions.
I decided to use this time as a teaching moment. Instead, God used her to teach me.
As the deacon passed the bread and cup, her questions were unending. “Mommy, can I have some?” “Mommy, when are you going to eat or drink that?” “Mommy, what are you doing?” I tried answering each question as discreetly as possible. However, her final question had more spiritual depth than she realized. After drinking the grape juice, which symbolized Jesus’ blood that had been shed for my sin, she asked if she could drink what was left of it.
I conceded, and immediately God brought these words to mind: Brothers, I was not able to speak to you as spiritual people but as people of the flesh, as babies in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food, because you were not yet ready for it. In fact, you are still not ready, because you are still fleshly (1 Cor. 3:1-3). The writer of Hebrews says it a little differently: Although by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the basic principles of God’s revelation again. You need milk, not solid food. Now everyone who lives on milk is inexperienced with the message about righteousness, because he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature—for those whose senses have been trained to distinguish between good and evil (Heb. 5:12-14).
Ladies, I fear these verses describe many of us who are followers of Christ. Some of us have been Christians for decades, yet we still ask to drink the leftovers from others we deem “more spiritual.” It’s easier to have others teach us deep spiritual truths instead of seeking them out ourselves. It’s easier to have others tell us what God wants us to do instead of going to Him and asking. And, it’s easier to live off milk instead of going on to enjoy the solid food offered in Christ.
As I watched my daughter process what she was experiencing, my heart began to yearn for more of Jesus. Jesus didn’t die on a cruel Roman cross just so I can live a half-hearted life. He died so we could actually know Him and live in the freedom of knowing Him. His death tore the curtain that separated us from God, and we now have the privilege of coming straight into the throne room of heaven (Matt. 27:51). Because of Jesus’ blood, we can petition a holy God, and actually be in relationship with Him. I have sat under some amazing Bible teachers (including seminary professors), but no one is good enough to replace what Jesus, Himself, can teach me. He desires to teach us, and He desires for us to learn from Him. Jesus doesn’t want us to settle for part of Him; He wants us to have all of Him. But, we will never grow deeper and stronger in our faith if we are content to just rely on others for our spiritual food. Ladies, it is time for some of us to grow up.
I realize that some of you are new believers, and you need mature women to come alongside you and show you how to study God’s Word. You really are a “babe in Christ,” and you need people to model for you the life of Jesus. However, many of you are seasoned in your faith. You’ve been a Christian for years, but you still haven’t moved past the spiritual milk phase of your faith.
Please don’t be content to take the leftovers of others relationship with Jesus instead of knowing the fullness of Christ Himself. Stop relying on others to spoon feed you the word of God instead of coming to Jesus and allowing Him, through the Holy Spirit, to teach you. And, cease from boasting in your mentors, parents, Bible study teachers, or a particular church instead of boasting in Christ. Ladies, God has so much for us in this life. Will we, by faith, reach out and take it? He is offering us a piece of steak, so let’s not settle for a glass of milk.