MILK, OR SOLID FOOD? 24.04.19
MILK, OR SOLID FOOD? 24.04.19
What are you doing with your prayer time? What is your focus? Does your prayer life include areas for your own spiritual growth? If it doesn’t, it needs to.
In 1 Cor. chapter three, Paul is admonishing Yeshua’s followers for their failure to grow up spiritually: “And I, brothers and sisters, could not speak to you as Spirit-filled but as worldly—as infants in Messiah. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready. Indeed, even now you are not yet ready, for you are still worldly. . . .” (1 Cor.3:1-3). He is telling them that it’s time to grow beyond the initial stage of salvation and come to a higher level of understanding, aligning their walk with The Word.
Further to this, we read, in Hebrews: “although you ought to be teachers by this time, again you need someone to teach you the basics of God’s sayings. You have come to need milk, not solid food. For anyone living on milk is inexperienced with the teaching about righteousness—he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who through practice have their senses trained to discern both good and evil” (Heb.5:12-14). It’s time to mature, and practice what they have been taught. “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put away childish things” (1 Cor.13:11). These areas need to be addressed in prayer in order that we may surrender our needs for growth to our Father in heaven. We must surrender our childish ways, and become aligned with His Ways. Through prayer, combined with the ongoing process of killing off the flesh, these things will be accomplished.
So, now, it is time to do as Paul, and “press on if only I might take hold of that for which Messiah Yeshua took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself as having taken hold of this. But this one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal for the reward of the upward calling of God in Messiah Yeshua. Therefore let all who are mature have this attitude; and if you have a different attitude in anything, this also God will reveal to you. Nevertheless, let us live up to the same standard we have attained” (Phil.3:12-16). Paul is clarifying that: (a) he has not yet mastered everything that he needs to know spiritually, but (b) it is his full intention/goal to fulfill all that the Lord has called him to; therefore, © he will continue to focus on attaining what the Father has for him, (d) not dwelling on his past mistakes, and (e) that we all must have this attitude, and (f) walk in that which we have come to understand; (g) when we fail, the Holy Spirit will bring revelations which will convict us, so we can set it right with Him. Bring these things to the Father in prayer and employ His strength; stop trying to attain through your own flesh, which can never attain.
In Ephesians chapter four, Paul does an extensive teaching on the process of maturation. It includes many points, all of which cannot be delved into here; however, the one we need to integrate into our Study here is what addresses this process of spiritual maturation. It is the Lord’s intention “to equip the kedoshim/saints [that’s supposed to be us, folks] for the work of service, for building up the body of Messiah” (Eph.4:12). It is not possible to build others up, or to equip others with what we ourselves have not yet attained. “This will continue until we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of Ben-Elohim—to mature adulthood, to the measure of the stature of Messiah’s fullness” (Eph.4:13). In other words, we need to develop our relationship to a closeness where we do come to know HIM, before we can mature, and become like Him.
“As a result, we are no longer to be like children, tossed around by the waves and blown all over by every wind of teaching, by the trickery of men with cunning in deceitful scheming” (Eph.4:14). We must reach that point where we are not shaken by every gust of wind that comes along, nor even by the fiery darts and arrows of the Enemy. “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all ways into Messiah, who is the Head” (Eph.4:15). We need to mature to a place of being able to speak truth firmly and with authority, in all situations, without being provocative. We want to be like our Messiah, Who did not let the Pharisees get away with anything; He simply spoke the truth, with love. Through surrender, through prayer, through a walk of increasing intimacy – this is how we will attain.
“So I tell you this, indeed I insist on it in the Lord—walk no longer as the pagans do, stumbling around in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance in them due to the hardness of their heart. Since they are past feeling, they have turned themselves over to indecency for the practice of every kind of immorality, with greed for more” (Eph.4:17-19). We are to be overcomers. That includes overcoming the flesh – putting the old self to death, whereby we are no longer in bondage to sinful habits, lifestyles, and practices; no longer led by the social system of political correctness, caught up in the evil of the world, for Yeshua said clearly that we are not to be part of this world, although we live within the structure of this world. “They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world” (John 17:16). Only through the full surrender of the flesh can this be accomplished. Only through close communion (which involves prayer, folks) with the Father can this be accomplished.
We need to be praying God’s Word. It’s time to put aside carnal, selfish soulish prayers and begin focussing on the spiritual growth needs that will bring real transformation, taking us through that process of sanctification. May we mature in our walk, and become more like Yeshua every day.
© 2018, re-edited 2019 by Verna Crowther. All rights reserved.