Little by little, wean yourself… From an embryo, whose nourishment comes in the blood… to an infant drinking milk, to a child on solid food, to a searcher after wisdom… —Rumi
By design, our bodies cannot survive solely on liquids. Think about it: The body can survive on water alone for days until the metabolic processes start shutting down. Infants benefit from an exclusive diet of human milk, but there comes an age when human milk is no longer enough to sustain growth. Something more is needed.
We are designed for solid food. In fact, I’d even say that solid food becomes a gift to our human palate.
When we first come to Christ, we are infants. Our first days and months with Christ are packed full of faith-filled nutrients. The Spirit desires to give us a greater understanding of who Jesus is. But the move from milk toward meat requires our willingness.
How does the author describe meat? Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness (Hebrews 5:13).
“The teaching about righteousness” is the meat. Jesus invested much of His time teaching about a new righteousness. One of His parables speaks of two men—a Pharisee and a tax collector—who went to the temple to pray.
“The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people … I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’” (Luke 18:11-13)
Jesus called the second man righteous. To a culture that esteemed self-made righteousness, Jesus said no more. From now on, righteousness came from God through Jesus; it was a gift to anyone who wanted it.
Are you a milk drinker or a meat eater? If you believe you can earn God’s favor by what you do, you’re sipping two percent milk.
But, if you recognize and live in the beautiful truth that Christ replaces your sin with His righteousness, then you’ve turned into a spiritual carnivore.
Jesus, what is my approach to righteousness? Do I follow a list of rules or surrender to the gift? Rid me of performance and open my eyes to grace. Amen.