Last night as I was finishing up Gentry’s nightly snuggling/nursing session, I began to think of several passages of scripture in the Bible. The beautiful thing about the word of God is that it speaks in symbolism that we can all understand whether or not you are well versed in the original KJV English or not. I really feel like since becoming a parent that the word of God has come alive to me in a way that it wasn’t before. We can all understand the symbolism of God our Father, although many people who have had abusive and absent fathers can’t wrap their minds around God the loving Father, having never experienced what it means to have a father. We can relate to stories of Jesus the son because he was tempted in all ways like as we are. We can identify with God the Holy Spirit if we have ever attended a spirit filled church simply by the waves of the presence of God that being in that atmosphere makes us feel. However, being a parent puts you on the other side of the coin. While I have experienced God the Father in my life and identified with that, experienced the presence and power of God through the Holy Ghost, and resonated with God the son Jesus in my own personal life, I feel like I can look at the Christian life through the eyes of God now. God desires a deeply personal relationship with us, much like we desire for our own children to look at us as friend, mentor, and guide. There are many references in the Bible to God being a parent.
Mat 7:11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
I see parents everywhere continually overindulging their children with gifts. Everything that the child wants, the parent buys for them. We took Reese to Hershey, Pennsylvania yesterday as we are here on deputation now. The ride at Chocolate World is free and then there are mounds of Hershey merchandise everywhere. Parents all around us were buying their kids hundreds of dollars of candy for the novelty. Of course since Reese is 3, we were able to satisfy him with one Reeese’s chocolate candy and Gentry needed nothing. This is a great stage in life! (Of course all the diapers is where our money goes instead of to toys) The point of this is to say that if all of these parents want their kids to be happy and have a good time, how much more is God in heaven desiring to take us on a “family vacation” and buy us what our hearts desire. God desires us to go through vacation seasons in life and abound in blessing just like earthly parents desire that for their children. We can understand better how God thinks when we have our own children. I’m not going to wax eloquent on the pros and cons of indulging your children with material things, the point of this article is just to get us all thinking about how God truly desires us to have what we want. He wants to deflect our tantrums, give us good memories, and allow us to acquire positive souvenirs in this journey of life.
Just like Gentry desires to nurse and cuddle with me, we should desire that intimate relationship with God, our parent. John was referred to as the disciple that Jesus loved.
John 13:23 Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.
Do we take the time to nurse our spirit and be close to the heartbeat of God. The beautiful thing about a mother nursing her children is that not only do the children derive sustenance, the mom is also filled with her need of snuggling. Sometimes we just need to bless God with our worship. Oftentimes we are guilty of wanting a powerful worship service so that we can feel good. We can leave church feeling like we just really had a good service because people were worked into a pentecostal frenzy. This is not the true mark of a good worship service. Was God blessed by our worship? Did he “receive our praise”? Was he truly invited and able to “inhabit the praises of his people”?
1Pe 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
1Pe 2:3 If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.
One thing we notice as parents is that babies are frantic for milk. Since Gentry is getting so big, nursing no longer provides all the nutrients that he needs. If we want to get any sleep at night, I give him a bottle with formula and cereal in it. When he is done with his nursing at night, he looks up and sees his bottle and gets absolutely frantic. He cannot be appeased until he is finally holding the bottle, eating, and tasting it. This reminds me of our Christian walk. When we first come to God just experiencing church and the worship services seems to satisfy our longing. Unfortunately, many Christians never grow beyond this. They can be in church for 20 years and all they want are the goosebumps and chills that you can get from feeling the holy ghost and presence of God in our worship services. They are satisfied to be at the bosom of God for the 2 hour Sunday service, jump, run around, and pat each other on the back. If you are ever to grow as a Christian, just like if babies are ever to grow, you have to move to more than just snuggling. At some point you need to get into the milk of the word. The Bible says that as babies desire milk, we should desire the word of God. At some point milk isn’t enough either and we need meat to sustain us. At this point as Christians we should be fulfilling the great commission “to seek and to save that which is lost”.
The point of this blog is to inspire you to move beyond infancy in God. Don’t be satisfied to just taste of God and think that a good service is when you run around the church. Dive into the word of God, get the mind of God, and finally, reach those that are lost with the message of God.