According to a recent article I read online, a newborn may lose up to 10 percent of its body weight in the first days of life during the transition from placenta to independent digestion. From conception to birth, the fetus is environed by the life-sustaining components of his mother’s womb. Everything from sensory perceptions to nourishment passes directly from mother to child.
Once the baby is born, drastic changes begin to take place in the infant. There is no more womb, no more placenta, and no more umbilical cord. All nourishment must pass through the baby’s own digestive system in order to be assimilated and supply life to the body.
During this time, the baby’s metabolism undergoes significant changes. These changes are not immediately visible, but in time, they become more pronounced. Weight gain, increased stomach capacity, and the appearance of teeth all indicate one thing…the weaning phase.
Before these subtle changes take place, the infant is usually satisfied with nourishment from nursing or milk from a bottle. However, as the baby matures, these forms of feeding are no longer sufficient. Because of the growth that is taking place, the baby’s metabolic rate not only requires more, but demands more.
Forsaking The Bottle
In much the same manner, newly born-again Christians should prefer the sincere milk of the Word (1Peter 2:2) The foundational principles and doctrines that define our faith as believers should be the focus for babes in Christ, because that is what stimulates growth; things such as grace, salvation, baptism, etc. These things nourish us while our spiritual senses develop. When we are born again, our capacity for the knowledge of God is limited. Our understanding and our perception is limited. We must now learn to process everything through the lenses of God’s word.
As we grow, this creates a greater demand for a deeper understanding of God’s word. What used to satisfy us, no longer does. The change happens gradually and is barely noticeable at first. The sermons that used to excite us no longer satisfy the demand. The people that used to pique our interest; no longer does it for us. This could only mean one thing…
It’s time to forsake nursing or the bottle!
Maturity Demands Meat
“But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to descern both good and evil,” (Hebrews 5:14 KJV).
Solid food is for the spiritually mature. The entire purpose of digestion is the assimilation of food. We eat to live. Metabolism is the chemical processes by which a plant or an animal uses food, water, etc., to grow and heal and to make energy. I’m sure you’ve heard of the adage: you are what you eat. This rings true of both physical food and spiritual food. When it comes to scripture, it’s not about how much you know, but how much you apply to your life. The world is filled with people who know the scripture, but do not have the desire to yield their lives and hearts to God, to experience true change. The Bible states in James 1:22, that we should be “doers” of the Word and not just “hearers.”
Wisdom is paramount, but it must be coupled with understanding, according to Proverbs 4:7. The one distinguishing factor between carnal Christians and spiritual Christians is the amount of scripture that has been assimilated into daily life. The carnal or immature Christian knows that God loves him, and that’s where it ends. Immaturity limits the full expression of knowledge due to the lack of wisdom. The mature Christian not only knows that God loves him…but from a thankful heart; seeks to demonstrate that same love in their daily lives. The difference is in the application, and you can’t apply what you don’t understand.
Hebrews 5 verses 12 through 14 delineate the two degrees of spiritual knowledge; milk and strong meat. Many Christians never move beyond the milky, simplistic understanding of salvation through Christ. They never fully experience the exhilarting victory of the new life by placing a demand on God–El Shaddai (The Many-Breasted One)–to supply them with more. At some point, we should desire more than just a sermon that tickles our ears, but does nothing for our hearts. At some point, it should pain us, when we hurt others without a cause. At some point, the scriptures must leave the pages of our Bibles and pierce our hearts; breaking up the stony places therein.
At some point, milk must become meat.
Editor: Jaime Evans