“Like newborn babies, 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.”
(1 Peter 2:2-3)
The first step in our spiritual growth is our relationship with God. Having had a taste of the wonder of His loving goodness it should increase in us a longing for more – to be able to draw closer and closer to Him and to experience more of His reality and love.
A child feeds on the life-giving milk drawn from the loving breast of its mother. The branches flourish and bear flowers and fruit from the life-giving sap drawn from the heart of the Vine. Just so we need to draw on the life-giving presence of the Holy Spirit within us – feeding our hearts and spirits with the love of God Himself. (Romans 5:5)
But as Jesus tells us in the account of the Vine (John 15) there is more. There is the nourishment that comes from the word of God – the Scriptures that He has given us. They form our minds as they teach us and direct us. Under the blessing of the Spirit we find that we can both study them and soak in them to such an extent that their absence would leave us like the deer panting for streams of water. (Psalm 42:1)
Our growth as Christians is dependent upon both our spiritual union with God and our living out that relationship in the ways that He has directed. Love and obedience go hand in hand and both require the other if the relationship is to deepen and prosper as it should. As Jesus said,
- “Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.” (John 14:21)
- “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” (John 14:23)
So often we stop short and try to exist on the barest of sustenance. We can allow our relationship with God to deteriorate into a shopping list of needs and some formal prayers. There is awaiting us however a marvellously deep ocean of love and spiritual richness if we will venture further in. Paul knew this and it transformed the harsh legalist into the man who could exclaim,
“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” (Ephesians 3:16-21)
Decide to grow in your faith and relationship with God. Give yourself time for quiet awareness and conversation with Him – and for daily reflective Bible reading.
Lord please help me to draw closer to You and to live out the life that You have given to me. Amen.