We enjoy eating in various restaurants, as our widening girth exhibits. We travel in a recreational vehicle (RV) for long trips, and we eat “at home” in the RV dining room or outside on the patio. Occasionally, however, we like to try the local cuisine in a restaurant.
In Wisconsin, for example, we ate at Bullhead’s Restaurant. Bill had pork ribs and sausage and all its trimmings.
I had broasted chicken.
The meals were delicious and, in fact, the second night we were at that campground, we went to Bullhead’s again and repeated our order from the prior day!
The point, however, is that these meals were solid food. We are adults, way past the age of infancy. Infants could not enjoy these meals because infants cannot eat solid food.
In Hebrews 5:12-14, the writer of Hebrews chastises the people because they were acting as infants in the Lord, needing milk because they were incapable of eating solid food.
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.
Milk is good, I like it and have it often with my breakfast. But solid food is sooooo much better than just milk.
How does the writer of Hebrews identify the mature Christian, the one who can, and does, eat solid food?
It is the person who has trained his/her powers of discernment to distinguish good from evil.
And how did they train their ability to be discerning?
By constant practice.
We all start this life as infants who can feed only on milk. We graduate to infant oatmeal and other cereals and then to baby food. After the infant’s teeth arrive, some solid food is given.
As Christians, we are born into the family of God as infants who need milk to survive. But the Christian life is not determined by calendar age. Someone in their teens may have been a Christian longer and studied the Word more than an individual who came to faith in Christ in their 70s.
In short, maturity in the Christian is determined by the ability of the individual to eat solid food. The ability to develop and repeatedly practice his/her discernment so that he/she can tell what is good and what is evil. The ability to discern when a teaching is leading them away from the straight and narrow road. The mature Christians do their best to present themselves to God as workers who have “no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15
Beloved, don’t be a Christian who is stuck “dining on milk alone”. Read the Scripture, listen to sound teaching, study the Bible and develop a discerning spirit so that you can identify when teaching is leading you astray.
In the Christian classic Pilgrim’s Progress, John Bunyan presents a picture of a man named Christian and his journey from being Graceless to his entrance in the Celestial City. At one point, Christian is walking the road called Salvation. It is described like this:
Now I saw in my dream that the highway up which Christian was to travel was fenced on either side with a wall, and that wall was called Salvation. Up this way, therefore, Christian did run, but not without great difficulty because of the load on his back.
This picture is described in the writing of the prophet Isaiah where God says;
In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah: “We have a strong city; he sets up salvation as walls and bulwarks.
Further along in Isaiah’s prophesy he says this:
And a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Way of Holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it. It shall belong to those who walk on the way; even if they are fools, they shall not go astray.
Jesus spoke of the way of salvation, characterizing it as having a narrow gate that is hard to find but which leads to life eternal.
“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.
Beloved, develop a discerning spirit that can show you right from wrong. Don’t walk along the wide road to destruction – follow the straight road of salvation that leads to eternal life. Don’t be satisfied with milk. Become mature Christians who can feast on the Word of God, who study so that they will know their God and Savior through the power of the Holy Spirit, and who stay on the narrow road. It will be hard, but nothing worthwhile is easy!
Blessings to you as you walk along the Way.
Father, thank You for Scripture that tells us how to grow and mature into Christians who are discerning and who refuse to leave the narrow road in favor of the easier one. I pray that I would have the dedication and purpose to be steadfast in my walk with my Lord.