I love christian literature. I see podcasts and books as windows into other people’s walks with Jesus. They have helped me grow tremendously. But at times they have also been a horrible stumbling block for me in the past. It is so easy to kick back and pick up a book or push play on a podcast and allow myself to be spoonfed by a bunch of people who have spent a lot of time chewing on the scriptures for themselves.
Twelve years of Christian education has taught me that “Jesus was like this,” “and we should do that,” and “God said this.” However, I never really internalized these things because I had never experienced them myself before. I could have easily given you the “Christian answer” to any question but those answers had never actually penetrated my heart. This summer Jesus decided to change that and exchange my heart of stone for one of flesh.
This summer Jesus opened my eyes to the fact that I was far to content with spiritual milk. I had been gorging myself on so much Christian literature that I didn’t have the time or even a hunger for his very own words. I had simply been “downloading” the Christian answers for each situation and not letting their truth change me.
Since we were not allowed to bring Ipods and I rarely had access to a computer, I wasn’t able to live vicariously through podcast teachings. I did bring several books with me this summer and I could have easily borrowed any of the books that my teammates brought. But whenever I opened one up I could never get through the first chapter without being overwhelmed by a sense that I was disobeying my Father. He clearly showed me that I was not to read anything but His scripture this summer. I didn’t need any new knowledge floating around my head, I just needed to truly believe the stuff that was already floating around in there.
Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him. -Psalm 34:8
So whenever it rained for hours on end or whenever we had a spare moment during the day I would pull my Bible out of my knapsack and chew on the deep truths buried in it. I wish I could accredit it to some super-spirituality, but honestly I often spent so much time in the scriptures simply because I had nothing else to entertain myself with.
Never-the-less, the Father taught me countless things about Himself and who I am in Him. In these last two months I have learned more about my Father than in the ten before. Not simply head knowledge, but deeply rooted and well-mulled-over truths. Not things that other people tell me, but aspects of God that I have experienced for myself.
No more milk for me. I’m done letting other people chew on these beautiful truths and only satisfying myself with the weak-sauce milk they produce. I am going to chew them for myself from now on. Although it may not be easy, it is ultimately far more satisfying to feed oneself from the living word of God than to let someone else feed you.
(And no, I’m not saying that we should never listen to sermons or read Christian books. I’m just writing about something that Father taught me this summer. It might apply to your life, it might not.)