Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.
Practice the pause. When in doubt, pause. When angry, pause. When tired, pause. When stressed, pause. And when you pause, pray.
A common complaint heard from people who walk away from a church often goes something like this: “I was not fed by the pastor’s teaching.”
What exactly does a phrase like this assume?
It is popularly presumed that the pastor is supposed to “feed the sheep” or to deliver such an inspiring message each week that the entire congregation leaves with an increased understanding of and a deeper commitment to God and his word.
But is this presumption biblical?
I often see this type of attitude as an infantile and self-righteous excuse for lack of spiritual growth.
People are blaming the teacher rather than assuming responsibility for their own faith.
I am not much of an expert on raising sheep, but I know that rarely do shepherds actually feed their sheep.
Shepherds do not pull up the grass, shove it in the sheep’s mouth, and force their jaws to move up and down.
One exception to this is when a lamb is orphaned and unable to feed itself. In this case a shepherd will feed the baby lamb with a bottle of milk.
The writer of Hebrews rebukes those who would receive the letter with hard hearts and dull senses toward hearing the voice of God.
He writes: “you have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food.” Hebrews 5:12.
Like orphaned lambs they were not growing—only able to drink from a bottle of milk.
For many, the only consumption of God’s word takes the form of milk passed on to them from the bottle—predigested food from a teacher delivered to babies.
Churches in America today are made up of spiritual infants who are stuck in a baby state of maturity. They have grown dependent on milk from teachers.
The Hebrews passage goes on to say, “for someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. Solid food is for those who are mature.”
The people of God should be maturing beyond a dependency on teachers so that they can study on their own and be a source of nourishment to others.
Yet, as long as the vast majority of Christians remain immature and dependent on milk, they will not reproduce disciples and they will not produce leaders.
We all need to become self-feeders.
The question is, are you able to eat on your own?
Do you read your Bible?
Let’s get busy. Let’s begin eating solid food.
Let’s start encouraging others in this journey to do the same.
Let’s not die, spiritually, of malnutrition!
I love you all.
Go give em heaven,