How many of you have heard church people say the words “I’m not being fed”? I would imagine most of you have. Maybe some of you have said it. This comes from a mentality that the preacher or small group leader feeds and the ones who fill the room eat. I want to approach this subject from levels of spiritual maturity.
First Peter 2:2 says “as newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word that you may grow thereby.” Babies are dependent upon their parent or guardian. That parent/guardian is responsible for taking ALL the steps of feeding. That baby eventually is able to be taught how to beginning feeding himself and moving on to thicker foods. It is a process that takes time and still must be guided. Eventually, that baby becomes independent enough and develops the digestive system to tolerate even thicker foods. One day, that person is old enough to feed himself without assistance and is able to digest meat.
Notice the progression. The Bible first talks about babes in Christ digesting milk. Their spiritual systems cannot handle anything else. The writer of Hebrews says this about meat: “But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Hebrews 5:14 NKJV).
According to the writer of Hebrews, someone who is spiritually of age should not expect to “be fed”. That comes from a consumer mentality. We are not consumers; we are worshipers and servants of the Lord Jesus Christ who exercise the spiritual discipline to continue to grow in our faith.
If you find yourself “not being fed”, I would like to submit to you some “feeding instructions”.
Pray. Sounds simple, right? Talk to God. It isn’t as complicated as you may think. Before you can gain spiritual understanding, you must ask the Holy Spirit to reveal God’s truth to you.
Be receptive. Your attitude makes all the difference. If you approach spiritual disciplines like you know everything or that a pastor/preacher can’t teach you anything, repent of that wicked spirit of pride. Ultimately, it is the Holy Spirit who teaches you. The teacher is just the mouthpiece. If you have an issue with the teacher, get it right or find another teacher if you cannot resolve it.
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15 KJV). This is a command not a suggestion. There are so many good study tools available today. You can go to a Christian bookstore or order commentaries online. The website, preceptaustin.org, is a great resource as well for reading what preachers and commentators say with even deep explanations of the Greek and Hebrew words that were translated into our language. There are study Bibles galore and multiple Bible versions. We have the most Bible study tools at our fingertips, yet we are the most biblically illiterate society.
I am not saying that preachers and teachers should not adequately prepare. From the perspective of one who has preached since I was 14, I can tell you that preaching to a crowd is a challenge. I have preached to at most 400-500 people. Those people are all at differing levels of spiritual maturity, emotional and mental maturity, and the preacher has the challenge of trying to preach a message that will try to cover this broad span. Guess what? Not everyone will connect with the message. Sometimes it’s the preacher. Sometimes it’s the listener. Sometimes it’s the fact that God did not necessarily touch your heart the way He did for someone else. Bottom line – It’s not about you!!! It’s about God accomplishing the bigger picture of His will. The mature believer will rejoice when someone else gets the blessing because there was a time when you were the one to whom God spoke while others rejoiced at what He did in you.
I hope these feeding instructions were helpful. Maybe you gained some perspective. Maybe God won’t use this in the least for you. That’s okay. At least be open to something that God may want to teach you. If you have questions, start digging until you get to the bottom of it.
Photo from parents.com