Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation…
When we think of things we crave, our thoughts most likely turn to food. Occasionally, I have a craving for chocolate or ice cream. A few days ago I had a craving for a really good hamburger. Not the cardboard fast food variety but a first class burger. I would like to say that my will power was sufficient to keep me from blowing my diet…but it wasn’t.
Obviously, all of us have different things we crave but as the Apostle Peter points out, we all come into the world craving the same thing. Newborn babies must have milk, not only because it tastes good but also because it is necessary for survival and physical growth.
Then as we grow we taste other things that lead to new cravings. Peter reminds us, “now that you have tasted that the Lord is good” you should “crave pure spiritual milk.” When we really experience the presence and magnificence of Christ, we naturally will desire more and more of Him.
Unfortunately many of us fail to experience enough of Christ to actually crave the spiritual maturity that results in a closer walk with the Lord. That’s why Peter puts this craving in the form of a command, “Like newborn babies, crave spiritual milk.”
Both of my sons are into fitness. They have developed a craving for exercising and healthy eating. It has become something they genuinely love, but I can remember a time when they had no such desire. In fact, both followed in my footsteps in losing the battle of the bulge.
No doubt, seeing dramatic changes to their physical appearance, feeling better about themselves, and living a healthier lifestyle caused then to crave even more in the way of physical development. When we throw ourselves into doing those things that help us grow in Christ and then see how we are changing, our desire for spiritual maturity intensifies. We want more and more of Jesus and the Christian experience.
Spiritual growth begins with commitment. It is that point at which you resolve to do those things necessary to, as Peter puts it, “grow up in your salvation.” When you received Christ you received everything you needed for spiritual maturity but it is your responsibility to pursue your full spiritual potential.
We must recognize that when we become Christians, we are newborns in the faith. God is committed to care for us just as a good parent cares for a child. As long as we are faithful to follow His instruction, obey His commands, and stay close to Him, we will mature spiritually. However, when we rebel, distance ourselves, and resist His attempts at growing us, we will not only fail to mature spiritually but also our salvation will be in doubt.
If you are not growing in your salvation then there is a dangerous possibility that must be explored. That is, did you really give your life to Christ? Were you really saved? Was your commitment to Christ real or did you just recite words behind which there was no meaning?
If your prayer to receive Christ was disingenuous and without faith then you were not saved and have no rebirth upon which to build. You have never “tasted that the Lord is good.” That taste leads to a craving for more “spiritual milk.” If there is neither tendency toward nor desire for growing in the Lord then you need to go back to square one to “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith.” (2 Cor 13:5) Those who have genuine saving faith desire pleasing God and growing in Christ.
Did you ever tell your teenage son or daughter they need to “grow up?” For that matter, did you ever say it to your husband? Ouch!! Peter is telling all of us who claim to be Christians that we need to grow up. “Grow up in your salvation.”
Interestingly, in the verse that precedes today’s focus scripture Peter writes, “rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.”(1 Peter 2:1) What he is essentially saying is, “You are acting like babies. You need to grow up. That’s not acceptable behavior for mature Christians.”
Sometimes we need a swift kick in the pants to wake us up to our responsibilities. Is today the day you need to be reminded that God expects you to grow as a Christian? Are you pursuing worldly cravings that hinder your spiritual growth? In other words, are you craving the wrong things? Is it time that you “crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good?”
For more on this topic, check out this article: Take Inventory of Your Rich Inheritance in Christ
Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 1 (January – March) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.