Milk or Meat?

Hebrews 5: 12

For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food.

It is so easy to end up right here, still requiring the milk of the Word instead of the meat. In fact, sometimes it is comfortable. It is a place of little responsibility. Someone else has the responsibility of feeding us. Our job is to listen. We want people to sit under teaching ministries and absorb all they can. However, there comes a time when each of us must arise and put all of it into use. We must pursue maturity even as we continue to absorb the teachings of those who have gone before us.

Eventually, too, we should graduate to meat from milk. Why are our teachers still having to teach kindergarten? The writer of Hebrews says by this time we ought to be teaching and yet we are still suckling. It’s time to step up and grow up.

No one wants a 40 year old baby, not even our teachers. Of course, in the body of Christ there is no age specific parameter. Rather, we all begin knowing very little and grow in our knowledge and wisdom. After a while, though, we ought to be able to stand on our feet and walk. We no longer need someone to hold our hands every step of the way. We always have our elders for those issues which are outside our experience or knowledge but we ought to come to a place where we can handle the milk of the Word with grace.

This is not a call to arrogance or independence. It is encouragement to grow to the full maturity of the Word in Jesus, our Christ. It is time for some of us to stand up and use what we have been given. I believe in soaking in the Word and in teaching but I also believe in doing what we know to do without being coached day in and day out. As long as we stay babies, we have an excuse but God is calling us into maturity, where “I didn’t know,” will no longer suffice. Grow into your full stature while remaining humble and subject to instruction for it is not maturity if you cannot still receive instruction. That is called arrogance and it is dangerous. Rise up and be who you are destined to be. Quit playing at being a Christian and instead put on the full mantle of God in Christ Jesus.

Quail Quandary

Numbers 11: 23

And the Lord said to Moses, “Is the Lord’s power limited? Now you shall see whether My word will come true for you or not.”

Okay, so who knows the end of the story? We all do, don’t we? God’s word carried the day and Moses witnessed miracle upon miracle. I wonder, though, how Moses felt or what he thought when God posed that question to him. Honestly, it makes me a little uncomfortable.

What preceded God’s question was Moses’ doubt. The Lord seems to be calling Moses on his lack of belief. I find myself feeling guilty as I read this because I feel that doubt in my own soul. How many issues have I faced, prayed over and still carried doubt in my heart?

The people of Israel were on their protracted journey to the Promised Land. They complained about the lack of water and God gave them water gushing forth from rocks. They complained about not having bread so He gave them manna from heaven daily. Then, not satisfied with the manna, they complained about not having meat. So, God promised to give them meat enough for a whole month. Moses questioned God about how He was going to feed 600,000 people with meat enough for a month. Today’s verse was God’s response.

The story is fulfilled when God sent enough quail to the Israelites that there was literally quail on all sides of the camp three feet deep. It took the Israelites two days to gather it all.

That is the way I want us all to live with God. I want us to experience His bounty. More importantly, I am sure that God wants us to live in His abundance and in the constant expectation of the miraculous. If we can learn to believe in God’s ability and willingness even against overwhelming odds, we can see these kinds of outlandish miracles in our lives too.

The thing you must know about this story, though, is that Moses shifted out of doubt into belief. When he left God’s presence he went to the people and proclaimed God’s promise. There is our key. We must believe if we are to receive. Practice today believing the Word of God. The Bible is loaded with personal messages to you. Let God fill you up as He did Moses and receive your bounty.