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Cultivate the craving
At our outdoor service this past week, one of the verses we were looking at was 1 Peter 2:2-3: “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.”
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In some other passages, biblical authors encourage their readers to move on from milk and eat meat- meaning, dig deeper. Pursue growth. Don’t become apathetic in your immaturity. But the focus in 1 Peter isn’t on the milk, it’s on the craving. Newborns crave milk. If you’ve lived with one, you’ll know that firsthand. Sometimes, especially when a newborn is growing, it seems to be all they want in life. And that’s a healthy sign. If the baby isn’t ever interested in eating, something has gone quite wrong.
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I thought about this in relation to our stay in the hospital last month after Zachary’s heart surgery. Normally, Zachary would never turn down ice cream. Or a popsicle. Or a treat of any kind. But in the hospital, in those days after the surgery, he did. He had unlimited ice cream and popsicles at his disposal, and parents who in that moment were actually entirely willing to let him indulge in this, and he didn’t eat a single one. The reason, of course, is because things were not right with his body at that moment. He had just come through surgery, everything was funky, and his normal cravings were nowhere to be found.
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Maybe that’s a bad analogy, since ice cream and popsicles aren’t actually healthy (unlike milk for newborns). But the connection is that his lack of craving was an outworking of a body not fully functioning as it should. The absence of right craving is an indication of something deeper going on.
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Peter says we are to crave pure spiritual milk. I mentioned on Tuesday that this milk points in two directions: a few verses earlier, Peter talks about the enduring word of God. Then, in verse 3, he says that his readers have tasted that the Lord is good. The “milk” we are to crave is God and His word, where He has made Himself known.
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When things are rightly aligned in our lives, we will crave this milk. We will crave the presence and revelation of God. And conversely, when we lack that craving, it is an indication that our heart has become misaligned. Here’s my question for you: where are you at this moment? Do you crave pure spiritual milk?
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If you don’t, one way of following Peter’s encouragement is to seek the Lord in His word, even if you don’t feel like it. Cultivate the craving by engaging in the kinds of things that you want to crave. Join us on Tuesday nights. Spend time in prayer, pick up your Bible, listen to some worship songs, and seek ways of doing all those things with other people, too. Cultivate the craving.