an empty altar receives no fire, crave milk, Frank Bartleman, fullness of salvation, got spiritual milk?, growth, honeymoon phase ends, I Peter 2:2-3, Luke 6 & 13, moisture is everywhere, parable of soils, removal of milk, the first test
Jesus’ parable of the soils moves to a second type. Unlike the first type of listener, this person hears the word and becomes excited over it.
Some fell on rock, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. Luke 8:6
Unfortunately, this immediate impulsion to receive the word doesn’t last long. They fail to count the cost, to consider the commitment, the self-denial, the sacrifice, and study to stay close to Jesus.
Can you say “moisture”? Jesus said the seeds fell, they sprouted, and everything appeared great on the surface until the young shoots began to wither because there was no nourishment in the soil to sustain them. I can’t even begin to count all of the folks I have known through the years who have embodied this section of Jesus’ illustration.
Many have begun the Christian journey with gusto and exuberance only to quickly wither. Initially, they were excited about their new-found faith, or so it seemed. Without warning they began to slowly fade away and eventually stopped growing. Maybe they will catch a wave later, maybe not. There are no guarantees.
It is a matter of growth! Jesus explained how this takes place when in verse 13 He said,
Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. Luke 8:13
The crucial element missing from those Jesus is talking about is growth. Growth is essential if we ever want to mature. Peter encouraged new believers to crave milk.
Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation,now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. 1 Peter 2:2-3
Salvation is not the question, growing up in the fullness of our salvation is the issue! God desires that we grow up into all fullness of our salvation. It is imperative that all new believers take advantage of the opportunities which are set before them. We have more books, internet resources, teachings, and churches in our day and time than ever before in church history. Moisture is everywhere. There is no excuse to exist as a superficial spectator. I believe the Lord places in each new believer an inward desire or craving for spiritual milk. The first test every new believer faces is the removal of milk. It is not that the milk is gone from their life. They simply have to make a shift to seek it out. The honeymoon phase dissipates and real work begins. Those who fail to make this adjustment eventually wither and fade.
Got spiritual milk?