My children enjoy my wife’s cooking immensely, almost as much as I do in fact. Comparatively, when their mother decides to trust me with her kitchen, they only tolerate mine. I enjoy occasionally trying my hand at various meals, but my experiments usually involve lots of meat and potatoes (in other words, lots of grease). My kids can generally only appreciate so much of said fat, and even though they will politely sample the fare, they will sometimes do little more than pick at it. Alas, cooking is not my forte! So if I cook, you can definitely count on lots of leftovers!
I don’t really mind that they just “pick” at what I set before them. I’d much rather eat my wife’s cooking than my own also. But I think that it’s a real shame that God’s children have a tendency to do the same thing with the banquet of blessings that has been prepared for them. When we do little more than pick at our spiritual food, we miss out on the exquisite feast of spiritual treasures that He has for us. By being just “church attenders”, for instance, we’re just “playing with our food”. As a result, we get little more than a few measly sips of the “spiritual basics” and miss out on the nutrients that build us into healthy spiritual beings. In fact, the Church, in our culture is as a whole rather malnourished and ill-prepared for the vigorous exercises of faith required of it in today’s world.
Too often we come to our church meetings seeking to only nibble at the “desserts” of forgiveness and other positive language we do indeed find in the Bible, but we inadvertently cheapen them because we use them selfishly. As a result, we habitually fail to move on to the meaty but satisfying dishes of genuine discipleship. Sacrifice, perseverance, holiness, and mercy for others are all well and good, we deem, but we’d much rather have another helping of uplifting music and encouraging devotional thoughts.
Now don’t get me wrong! We need the “treats” as well as the “meat and potatoes”. My children know that I believe strongly that desserts make the meal fun and they are convinced that my passion for cookies and cake is off the chart. But I want something more filling than just desserts in my meals and I certainly want something more filling than a mere dabbling in Christianity can afford me.
Of course, the irony (if you will pardon the expression) is that God is a GREAT cook! By not giving His meals a chance, we miss out on deeper experiences with God, greater victories in our struggles, and wider opportunities for influencing others towards the kingdom of light! It’s sad but our propensity to want to try and live only on either the basics of the faith or the “fluff” is that our spiritual lives become powerless and lethargic.
But if we truly DO hunger for more, then let us allow Jesus to become our passion! Let us permit His Word to fill up our lives with His love for the Father! Let us drink deeply from the cup of grace and then share from its bottomless depths with those around us who are parched for hope and famished for truth as we prayerfully seek practical ways to touch their lives! Let us flex muscles of courage and wisdom as feeding on His Word “beefs us up”! And let the humility of Jesus grant us a daily grace that whets the appetite of those around us for the life-changing hope that we have in Jesus Christ.
The Church (which is made up of anyone and everyone who genuinely receives Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior) should want more than superficial spirituality. Many who leave the Church think that there isn’t anything more than the rut and routine of attending service or sparse participation. But there is. We’ve just barely scratched the surface. We’ve only begun to sample the meal that God has prepared for us.
Don’t be satisfied with status quo. Seek out the infinitely satisfying Savior Who died but rose again from the dead so that you could have “life to the full” (see John 10:10). Discover what He longs for you to know, that trusting God with all aspects of your life is wonderfully filling and delightfully nourishing!
“Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in Me will never be thirsty” (John 6:15 NIV).