Longing for God

“Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk.” (1 Peter 2:2)

So what exactly is “pure spiritual milk”?  The apostle Peter makes it clear that we are to have an intense longing for this milk, but we know he is not literally referring to the “milk” that we drink. The answer is, the Word of God. Without an intense longing to hear from God through his Word, you will only remain a spiritual infant.  You might be a faithful pew sitter who remains involved in the church, but without God’s Word, you will never “grow up” in your faith.

Part of the problem is that all too often Christians are taught to be content with little.  Instead of being told to come to the feast and eat to your heart’s content, we have been conditioned to take in spiritual crumbs here and there and then think that’s enough. But the scriptures give us a much different picture.  In Psalm 37:4, David writes, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Or as the prophet Jeremiah explains, “Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart.” Indeed, there is a feast, but the question is, do we want to partake of it?

Over the past couple weeks, Steph and I (especially Steph) have been reminded of the intense longing babies have for breast milk.  They desperately want it and they are not afraid to let everyone in their zip code know that. In short, babies love milk! And that’s a good thing because it makes up 100% of their diet. We also have to keep in mind the matter of frequency. With pets, you can feed them once or twice a day and that’s enough. You give them a little dog-food or cat-food and some water and they’re good to go. But newborn babies are a different story. Before we had kids, I had no idea that babies need to be fed so often, but several feedings a day are necessary to keep the baby healthy and growing. If you only fed a baby once or twice a day, you would starve them. They might survive for a while, but they would never grow as they are intended to grow.

Does that mean I am saying we should read our bibles several times a day? While that would not be a bad thing to do, it’s not always realistic. I will say that you need to have a hunger and a thirst for God’s Word and you need to satisfy that thirst on a daily basis. There needs to be a consistency in your walk with the Lord. You need to find time ‘daily’ to dig into the Word and listen to God. Just as the baby who is well fed is going to grow rapidly, so too is the Christian who has a daily feast of God’s Word. The Psalmists really capture this type of “longing” that Peter is encouraging:

“How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts!  My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God.” (Psalm 84:1-2) “O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.”  (Psalm 63:1) “As the deer pants for the flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God.  My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.” (Psalm 42:1-2)

It’s my prayer that you will be able to identify with these Psalms and that God would give you an intense longing for His presence.  Just as a baby longs for his mother’s milk, so too do we need to long for our Heavenly Father and the manna that only he can provide. The choice is yours – either you can be satisfied with the crumbs the world offers, or you can feast on what only God can give you through His Word.

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