My life has become even more immeasurably rich since giving birth to our second son (our fifth child) two weeks ago. Timmy is a cuddly, lovable little boy. Already, he’s starting to lose the newborn look. He’s eating well and filling out a little. He even sleeps well (thank you, God!).
Sometimes, when Timmy wakes up, he does so gradually, squiggling and squirming and making soft, intermittent noises. If I don’t feed him soon enough, he’ll fuss, then escalate to full-out crying. Other times, Timmy knows immediately that he’s hungry, and he goes from zero (sleep) to 60 (awake and crying) in just a few seconds. When he’s that hungry, only eating will satisfy him. He wants his food right now!
I’ve written before about this week’s verse, and how we are to desire spiritual food—God’s Word—as strongly as my newborn son desires his food. But this week, I want to take this verse in a little bit different direction. The verse says that we Christians are to desire God’s Word in the same way as little babies desire milk. Last time, I took that to mean we should long for our Bibles as strongly as babies want their food. That’s still true. But this time, I want us to realize that we must also desire the Scriptures as constantly as babies desire breast or bottle.
You see, despite the fact my son is only two weeks old, I’ve already fed him well more than 100 times. It wasn’t good enough to feed him the first time, then once last week, once this week, etc. No, Timmy wants to be fed regularly. He doesn’t go very long before he knows with everything in him that it’s time to eat again.
On the other hand…we often go quite awhile between times of reading or studying God’s Word. A week passes without our Bible, and we’re not bothered by that. Sometimes, even longer passes, and instead of craving God’s Word more and more, we crave it less and less. We become used to not having it. We fill the space the Bible should occupy with other things: childcare, recreation, even church activities.
We simply don’t desire God’s Word as we should.
I know that all too often, I’ve often been inconsistent with my quiet time. Perhaps you have, too. Why? We both know regular study of the Bible is important. We both agree we should engage in it. So why don’t we?
Ultimately, what it often comes down to is that we don’t really believe it’s as important as we say we do. We don’t feel the need. Yes, family and homemaking responsibilities can make it pretty difficult to find time for regular study. But if we really believed it was important, we’d make time. No matter how busy we are, we could always find five minutes per day, except on rare occasions. Yes, it can be difficult to know how to study. But if we really thought studying was important, we’d find someone to teach us how to study, or we’d at least give it our best shot. But we don’t. Studying the Bible isn’t really as important to us as we say it is.
I encourage you to consider whether this might be true in your life. Is it possible that the reason you don’t study regularly is because you don’t really desire to?
I have to admit that this has been true of me at times. There have been times when, because life was going so well (or just because it was so busy), I’ve forgotten how much I need the Bible. I need to hear God speaking to me through His Word. So do you. If we don’t see the dire necessity of Bible study, we’re right where Satan wants us. He well knows that in order to bear fruit, we must be connected to the vine. So if He can get us to think we don’t really need one of the primary means of connection, he’s thrilled. He knows the power of the Word and is quite satisfied for us to ignore that power.
I don’t want to please Satan; I want to please God. I know you do, too. So if your heart doesn’t strongly and frequently desire Scripture, I encourage you to pray and ask God to change your heart. There’s not really a way to muster up the desire on our own. We need Him to help us long for His Word like He knows we should. Like my son longs to be fed, even when he only ate a little while ago.
So yes, desire God’s Word strongly. But also desire it frequently. If it’s been too long since you really wanted to open your Bible, ask God to help you want to. Then do it. If you don’t know how, find someone who can give you some ideas.
And next time you hear a baby cry, ask yourself, “How long has it been since I desired God’s Word like this baby wants to be fed?”
1 Peter 2:2—As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.