“For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food.”—Hebrews 5:12Recently, I had the privilege of spending the evening with an old friend. As these moments often do, the topic turned, at one point, to the subject of God. My friend is not what you would call religious, but very deep. There were three areas around which my friend was troubled.
First, the subject which plagues all but the shallow: IF God is good, why so much suffering? Then, the subject drifted into God’s wrath or anger, and, finally, why Jesus had to die. It is amazing to me how many of us think we have it all figured out, myself included. As I listened to the questions that were plaguing my friend, I was struck with how profound human minds and hearts, which take time to simply be honest, can be. I must admit that this was not a discussion where we arrived at too many solid conclusions, but what we both walked away with was the overwhelming conviction of three things.
First, our religious conditioning has left us ill-equipped to truly understand and know God’s heart.
Second, we both felt that, in our crying out to God and telling him “I don’t understand,” God was whispering back, “That’s right. You don’t. But you will. I am not like you. And you really don’t know me as well as I’d like. But we are not done yet.”
And lastly, this is the stuff eternity will be made of. We will be pondering complexities of the love with which we are loved everyday throughout forever. This is the “deep” Paul referred to. (see Ephesians 3:14-19). This is the “solid” food that nourishes the starving soul of humanity.
I used to think of the subject of God’s love as the fluff. You know, the down in the comforter kind of stuff that’s soft and keeps you warm. But Paul did not look at God’s love so lightly. Carefully consider the words here in Hebrews:
“For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil. Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of instruction about washings and laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment.” (Hebrews 5:12 – 6:2)
Did you catch what the milk really is? That Jesus was the Messiah, repentance, faith, externalities, and doctrines such as the resurrection and the judgment. Don’t misunderstand me. These are not bad, just “elementary.” Once you’ve got ‘em, you’ve got ‘em. It’s time to move on! Let God take you deeper into the subjects which surround His character, His love, and the contradiction between Himself and us. Get to Know Him as He truly is. This is that which challenges the sharpest minds, satisfies the deepest longings of ones heart, and, with arms wide open, welcomes a lost soul HOME.
With the aim of beginning that journey today will you, along with me, give God permission to begin eternity now? He is right. We don’t understand . . . yet. We are looking through a “glass dimly lit.” But one day soon we will see. We will know as we are known. One subject will swallow up every other: the unabashed love of a God, though unrequited, for a world embracing every heart-ache. His is a love which, for time and eternity, will be proven . . . unequalled.
I wish you God’s best this week!