Time for Solids
By: Christy Lee-Yim
Key Passage: Hebrews 5:12-14
For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone
to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God You need
milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word
of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for
those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice
to distinguish good from evil
Karis has finally grown out of eating purees. We started solids with her at
that 5.5 month mark and we haven’t looked back. It has been so much fun
(and very messy) to try new flavors and textures with her in the last few months.
The look of wonder in her eyes as she explored new foods was priceless.
Sometimes she would squeal with delight, flailing her hands and laughing
to show her love for certain flavors like sweet potato. But now that we are
at about 8.5 months (already!) she has decided that purees just aren’t her
thing anymore. After much experimentation and little battles of trying to get
her to eat while she stubbornly refused for several days, we have found that
she is officially done with purees and that she prefers to self feed! It’s so weird
to think that just a few months ago, this baby used to live only off of my milk.
Now she is growing up to be more independent day by day.
As I was reflecting on this, I was reminded of this passage from Hebrews.
The author of Hebrews reminds us that just as babies grow in their abilities
to eat solid foods after months of being completely dependent on their mothers
for milk, we as Christians are to grow in maturity in our faith. The author of
Hebrews is actually rebuking the church here because by now, the believers
should have been well trained to actually become teachers of the word. They
should be “well learned” and “well practiced” (v. 12 and 14). He explains here
that a mark of maturity is the ability to know God’s word, well enough to feast
on God’s truth without someone feeding it to them, and well enough to instruct
others as well. Furthermore, he goes on in the next chapter to explain that maturity
in the Word helps us to withstand the hardships of this life, trusting in faith of the
things we cannot see with not just mere sentimentality, but with the assuredness
of faith. Maturity, for Christians, is not an option: it is something we need in order
to survive. We need it not only for our own flourishing, but also for the flourishing
of the Church. It is our duty and joy.
This is a great challenge for our church today, and also the Church at large.
Many of us have been walking with the Lord for a long time, yet we are still
not “well learned” and “well practiced” in the Word of God. There are many
reasons for this. It could be out of business, not prioritizing our personal
studies of the scriptures because we are consumed with our own lives.
It could be out of laziness, a desire to prioritize other needs before spending
time with God. But what I’ve noticed at this church and others is that many
people are hesitant to go deeper into the Word of God because they are fearful.
From conversations with people in the church, many are not confident to go
deeper into the Word and study theology because they don’t want to be wrong,
don’t think they’re “smart enough”, or don’t know where to begin (Side note here:
theology is inevitably a part of studying the Word of God. The discipline of theology
entails many men and women who have come before us who spent their entire
lives studying the Scriptures, asking questions, and faithfully interpreting the Word.
It is a necessary part of knowing God’s Word because it is about thinking God’s
thought after himself. Why stubbornly start from ground zero if we can join in
the existing conversations of saints who have come before us, who have already
gifted the Church with their works?)
What this looks like in function is that we rely on solely the pastors or Bible study
leaders to tell us about God, while our personal devotions and studies lack severely.
This produces a lack of intellectual curiosity or desire to learn about the mysteries
of God. The result of this is a shallow faith, one that is totally dependent on someone
outside of God himself, and one that is not enjoying the true depth of God’s goodness.
This also leads to a fear and reluctance to train younger believers in the faith. This is
not just the case for our church, but for most evangelical churches around the country.
This is a great crisis of our times.
If we truly believe that our God is infinitely great and infinitely great, we must seek
to know our great God truly as he is. It’s no wonder that so many theologians have
tried to think God’s thoughts after him by devoting years and years of their lives to
studying God’s Word: our God is infinite and there is no measure to his greatness.
The good news is that this great God hasn’t stood away from us aloof. He has come
to us as a man, showing us his very character, and dying for us so that we could know
him personally. He has also given us his Word so that we can know and love him more.
This is why in Luke 10:27, Jesus tells us that we ought to “Lord your God with all your
heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your
neighbor as yourself.”
The grace in all of this is that we don’t have to have an advanced degree in
theology to know God. God tells the Israelites in exile in Jeremiah 29:13:
“You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.”
Jesus reminds us again of this promise in Matthew 7:7-11: “Ask, and it
will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened
to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and
to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks
him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a
serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who
ask him”. God’s desire for us is to know him. If he seek him in the Word and ask Him,
we will find him. There is no prerequisite for becoming a mature Christian, other
than being united to Jesus himself. Receive this grace today and walk in the depths
of his greatness.