Last month we discussed the importance of new believer's receiving the "milk" of the Word by hearing and acting on the Word that is delivered to them through the five fold ministry set in the Church by Jesus Christ. According to Peter, the whole purpose is "growth" for the believer;
1 Pet 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
In the natural realm, we desire for our babies to grow up and be weaned from "milk" in order that they may eat and digest food for themselves. Our heavenly Father also desires that His children grow up and learn to eat and digest the "meat" of the Word for themselves.
Heb 5:12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
After all, we would think it very strange for a thirty year old man to still be receiving his nourishment by drawing milk from his mother's breast. What was natural, normal and acceptable when he was a baby is no longer natural, normal nor acceptable when he is full grown.
We should think it just as strange for a person who has been a believer for thirty years to still be unable to "eat and digest" the Word of God for themselves. Yet, in the United States, the vast majority of Christians rely almost totally for their nourishment on the "milk" they receive from the five fold ministries as they sit in Church services two or three times a week. It is a small percentage of believers who actually open their bibles daily, in the privacy of their own homes, to "eat and digest" the "meat" of the Word themselves.
We will always have need of the five fold ministries. I am a man of fifty two years of age and I still enjoy a glass of milk occasionally with my meals. However, I would hate to go back to the level of an infant and rely completely on "milk" for my nourishment. I love and appreciate my Pastor, and all whom the Lord has chosen and appointed to "feed the flock" of God, but there is simply no substitute for opening up the Word of God myself, employing the laws of meditation and prayer, to receive nourishment from the "meat" itself. At my age … I prefer steak over milk! Amen!
The primary reason babies are fed milk is that their digestive system has not yet developed to be able to digest strong "meat." How does that apply to believers? The writer of Hebrews draws the analogy of the "meat" being the Word of God. What would be a good analogy to represent the believer's digestive system? Well, in the natural realm, our digestive system is what extracts the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients from the meat and assimilates them into our bodies. What are we trying to extract from the Word of God? TRUTH!
John 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
All permanent change comes from within as we "learn" the TRUTH, "believe" the TRUTH, and then "act" on the TRUTH! Jesus Himself told us how we would come into the knowledge of all TRUTH when He said;
John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.
The Holy Spirit, and only the Holy Spirit, is the One who has been sent and appointed to guide believers into all truth. Continuing with the analogy of eating and digesting food, the "meat" is the Word of God and the "digestive system" is the Holy Spirit. Most believers still rely on "milk" for the same reason babies have to. Their "digestive system" has never matured. That is, they have not developed a "Teacher to Student" relationship with the Holy Spirit.
Without such a relationship, they are left trying to understand the Word of God with their minds instead of their spirit. The natural mind cannot properly "digest" nor assimilate the Word of God. The Word of God is not digested "mentally," but rather it is assimilated "spiritually."
1 Cor 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
Next month, we will begin discussing how any believer can begin maturing their "digestive system" by developing their relationship with the Holy Spirit as their Teacher.
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Your friend and co-laborer,
Gary Carpenter Ministries|
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