walk in the word
Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O Lord, God of hosts (Jeremiah 15:16, esv).
I love the picture of eating the Word of God—“Your words were found, and I ate them”—because the Bible is certainly nourishing and satisfying. But I also love it because of its reminder that without it, we starve our souls and leave ourselves vulnerable to leading chaotic, rudderless lives, rather than experiencing the “joy and the delight” of being filled by the truth of Scripture.There’s more than enough in the Bible to keep us growing stronger and more mature throughout all of life. Click To Tweet
I think of our two youngest grandchildren now, who even as babies recognize their need for staying close to their mothers. They need milk, and they know it. They crave it. They survive on it. And in their little way, these tiny children show us something important. “Like newborn infants,” Peter said, we are to “long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation” (1 Peter 2:2).
How cruel would a person be who would leave a baby screaming in the nursery, hour after hour, knowing what those cries are communicating—an awareness of need, a desire for their hunger to be satisfied? And yet somehow we forget the obviousness of Peter’s analogy, wondering why we stay so spiritually weak and thin, so low on resources. No faith, no comfort, no strength—all because we’re choosing to stay impoverished, not seeking the source of nourishment the way even a tiny baby does.
But another reason I’m so drawn to the imagery of eating the Word of God is because there’s more than enough in the Bible to keep us growing stronger and more mature throughout all of life. The milk is fine for a time, certainly needed while we’re young. But we’re designed to go from milk to meat, from simplicity to substance. And by making a habit of it, we find ourselves fed by Scripture in a way that no other food or delicacy can satisfy.
The writer of Hebrews chastised the church for not continuing their growth in this fashion. “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil” (Hebrews 5:12–14).
Sadly today, too many believers—and too many pulpits in too many churches—aren’t moving past the milk stage. They consider themselves filled up as long as they’ve addressed their own felt needs to their own satisfaction. But just as we’re not designed to stay young forever in age, neither are we designed to stay young forever in spiritual maturity. And feasting on the Word of God is the best way—the only way—to be sure that what you eat is giving you what you need, not only for each day but for every stage of life.
Lord, You never begin a new day for me that I don’t need Your Word to help live it. Forgive me for ever thinking otherwise, for thinking I could survive on milk, or on nothing. Thank You for giving me access today to a spiritual feast. I only ask that You develop in me such an appetite for it that I stop seeking other things for my supply. Fill me with Your Word. Soak it into my inner being. Feed me, Lord, for I go hungry without You. I ask in Jesus’ name, amen.
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