1 Peter 2:2 says, “Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up to salvation…”
Have you ever been around a hungry newborn? Have you ever heard their cry? I remember that cry. It is intense, desperate, almost panicked. And, it only subsides when they get what they want.
My daughter rarely used a pacifier. We had a few, and occasionally used them when we knew a bottle was going to be late, but generally speaking, she was not interested in them. She made that very clear one day as we were driving home from a check up. Her pediatrician was a good 30 minute drive from home, and we were stuck on the L.A. freeway system in rush-hour traffic. As her usual meal time approached, and she began to fuss, I tried to buy a little time by giving her a pacifier. She would have none of it. Instead of soothing her, it only served to make her angrier. She spit it out so hard that it actually hit the back window of our Jeep! She was not interested in an imposter. She wanted the real thing…and she wanted it now!
That is how we, as believers are to long for God’s Word. With that passionate, intense, desperate desire, like that of a newborn baby, that nothing else – nothing but the real thing can satisfy.
But, instead, we allow ourselves to be pacified. We allow ourselves to be satisfied – not by the pure milk of God’s Word, but by vastly inferior substitutes…impostors. And, what’s worse, we often prefer the impostor to the real thing.
We read “Christian” novels, and short, pithy devotionals books (or e-mails), we read books about this topic, or that biblical character. And, we assume that all is well, and that we are growing, and thriving, spiritually. Certainly, these books must “count” since they are based on Scriptural principles, and some even contain a few verses, or snippets of Scripture.
In light of 1 Peter 2:22, I love what the Psalmist says about what our relationship with the Lord and His Word (aka, “the law of the Lord,” “precepts,” “commandments”) should look like…
Psalm 19:7-11 “The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.”
Psalm 27:4 “One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple.”
Psalm 42:1 “As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God.”
Psalm 63:1 “God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
Psalm 119:40 “Behold, I long for your precepts; in your righteousness give me life!”
Psalm 119:131 “I open my mouth and pant, because I long for your commandments.”
Psalm 119:174 “I long for your salvation, O Lord, and your law is my delight.”
Are you revived by perfect law of the Lord? Do His precepts rejoice your heart? Do we find His words to be sweet? Do you want just one thing? Do you pant after God as a deer after water? Do you earnestly seek God? Does your soul thirst for Him? Do you long for His precepts and His commandments? Is your delight truly in the law of the Lord?
One of my favorite passages is Psalm 73:23-28, which says:
“Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. For behold, those who are far from you shall perish; you put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to you. But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.”
I love this particular passage because it so perfectly addresses the attitude that we, as Christians are to have. We should be saying, with the Psalmist, “There is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.”
If we truly desire to know God, and long for His Word, then a mere pacifier will not be good enough. In fact, instead of soothing us, it should frustrate us, and make us long all the more for the real thing.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want a pacifier…I want the real thing.