Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Like Newborn Babes...

"Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious." I Peter 2:1-3

I recently became a grandmother, and came home from my trip to see my beloved grandson. The first time I held him, I felt this overwhelming sense of love and the reminder of how helpless a newborn baby is. It is interesting that Peter asks us to be like newborn babies. I am reminded of how much we are like them by watching my grandson.

He could not hold his little head up, but had to be supported when we transferred him from one lap to another. Isn't that like how we must depend on God to lift our head? In Psalm 3, we find David's lament when he had to flee from his own son who wanted to steal the kingdom from him. He, like my grandson, needed help from outside of himself. He says:

"But You, O LORD, are a shield for me, My glory and the One who lifts my head." Psalm 3:3

The next verse says, "I cried to the LORD with my voice, And He heard me from His holy hill." This also reminds me of how we are like babies. My little grandson makes a lot of cute baby noises: squeaking and what I call "rooching" as he fusses a bit and squirms to settle and calm himself. And when his little tummy starts to rumble, he cries. Just like God the Father, his needs are met with his feeding, which is promptly made ready for him.

For us, that milk that we hunger for is God's Word. At first, we may not recognize that it is the substance we are truly longing for. But when we become new creations in Christ, we receive the Holy Spirit and this spirit is not satisfied with the things of this world. Sure, there are so many distractions, but none of them will fill us like the Word of God will.

But Peter gives us a clue as to when we will want the milk of the Word of God, and that is if we have tasted that the Lord is gracious. It is easy to avoid the Word of God if we are fearful of being condemned, but Peter says we must know the Lord's grace to desire the Word. I believe the more we look into the Word, the more gracious we will know Him to be.

But we must approach Him like that newborn baby. The baby doesn't have any pretenses.Their little belly is growling;that's all. So we must approach God's word as needing it as desperately as the baby does its milk.
I have a habit of reading the Word in the morning and sometimes I feel as if the enemy whispers that I am just going through a daily ritual. But not if I ask the Lord to reveal Himself to me in a fresh new way, that I might know more of His gracious kindness.

"Open my eyes, that I may see
Wondrous things from your law." Psalm 119:18

Is the Bible wondrous to us? It is if we know it speaks of grace from Genesis through Revelation. God's very first action after Adam and Eve sinned was to clothe them with skins, which tells us how our sins were covered when Christ bore them on the cross for us. David, who did not have the completed canon of Scripture, understood this when he said:

"Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered." Psalm 32: 1

If the Word seems stale,we can read through Psalm 119, where the Psalmist continually is asking for more revelation of the Word. We can ask of God the petitions just like the Psalmist did. If we see that God Himself has provided everything we need, then we can be just like little babies who cry out for our daily feeding of God's Word. God will answer, and provide that milk, in which we find our heart's deepest longings have been met through the Person of Jesus Christ.

"Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in HIM." Psalm 34:8

We admit that we can do nothing without Him. Just like my grandson, who slept peacefully in my arms after his feeding, we too can rest in His complete provision, which we learn of daily through the gracious milk of the Word of God. Corrie ten Boom once wrote a book called: Don't Wrestle, Just Nestle. That title seems to sum up the privilege we have as God's helpless little children.

Now we too can rest: "Return to your rest, O my soul, For the LORD has dealt bountifully with you. For You have delivered my soul from death, My eyes from tears, And my feet from falling. I will walk before the LORD In the land of the living." Psalm 116: 7-9

and finally, Psalm 23:1, 2 "The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures...