S156P1 – Our good spiritual progress: milk first

1 Pet. 2:1-5

So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander.  Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.  As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

First-time parents typically attend some kind of training or classes to prepare them for the new little bundle.  There will be classes related to the pregnancy and delivery.  There also will be classes related to taking care of the baby from day one.  While there are some things one would not know unless taught or experienced, there are other things which are obvious to anyone.  That newborn baby will not be chowing down on a steak for some time.  Even something as mild as a cracker or a piece of bread must wait.  It takes time for the human body to be able to process that which we would consider actual food.  We first start with that gentle liquid diet.

Whether milk or formula, infants drink long before they ever eat.  This is because they simply cannot handle solid food until their digestive systems become sufficiently developed.  No one is trying to deprive the infants of the really tasty morsels.  This is for their good, and it works the same way spiritually.  We must grow into being able to process something much more potent and substantial than milk by first feeding on that mild milk.  It is a necessary step.  We might see other spiritual food and desire it, but the new Christian is like the new baby.  The new Christian simply cannot digest more than milk in the beginning.  It takes time to develop the fortitude to handle anything heavier.

While it is a good thing to desire the greater food, we cannot jump the gun when it comes to our spiritual development.  There is no use in trying to consume that which we cannot digest.  It does not do us the good it is designed to do if we are not ready for it.  This is part of accepting that we will come from small beginnings.  It also is an indication that we are not designed to stay there.  The spiritual milk which first feeds us is only for a time.  It is for us to take from it all the nutrition we can so that we will be ready for what comes next.  Father, help us to yield to the process You have designed of growing us to spiritual maturity.