Remember as a kid, just before dinner, when you’d get that sudden urge to have a snack? Even if the evening meal was only ten minutes away, it seemed impossible to wait; those cookies and milk were too irresistible!
But remember the inevitable result? It only satisfied temporarily. In fact, it even ruined your appetite for the real food at dinner. What once seemed to be so inviting and filling ended up doing more damage than good.
Funny, isn’t it? I mean kids. And snacks. Kids can’t wait to have their tummies filled, but snacks never really do the job; they only appease the taste buds, which, in turn, fool the mind, making us temporarily forget about our real hunger and need for nutrition. And therein lies the oddity about snacks: They never totally satisfy, and end up stealing any appetite we might have for healthy food. Apparently, snacks serve very little purpose at all, except to cause a multitude of pre-dinner arguments between parents and kids.
Too many Christians who are getting fed in the same way many of us did as kids – with snacks! And it is ruining their appetite for real spiritual food. Sadly, church leaders across America are doling out sermonettes, social speeches, and motivational talks, each void of a common nutritional element: Scripture. Consequently, there are more starving and malnourished Christians than ever before, immature believers who’ve been fed evangelical TV dinners and midnight snacks. If we think such snacks will suffice as complete nutrition when we have a mission to complete, we are sadly mistaken; we will find ourselves lacking health and vitality.
The writer of Hebrews urges us to go beyond the elementary things and move on to maturity (6:1). We are not told to abandon the basics; only to move beyond them. His instruction is analogous to the growth process of humans. When we were babies, we fed strictly on milk. But as time went on, we moved on to things of a meatier substance. We never abandoned milk; it is still a part of our diet, just not to the extent it was when we were babies. Get the picture?
I am not a nutritional expert. Stop by some evening and you’ll probably find me and Julie enjoying some chips and salsa. Spot us on an errand and you may see us sneaking in some M&M’s. Catch us at a ball game and you’re likely to see us sharing some french fries.
But I know, in the spiritual realm, “snacks” will not enable us to run the marathon of the Christian life. Studies rooted in cultural opinion won’t cut it; devotionals with no biblical depth are mere detours. Sermons without substantial connection to the Scriptures will not help us go on toward completion. It takes the Word of God—the meat of Scripture accurately taught and relevantly applied—to stir us out of our “pew potato” condition.
Fed up with an unhealthy menu of spiritual snacks? Ready for a buffet of the choicest cuts from the Master’s table? Get out your knife and fork and dig in to the Word. Yes, every single day. Make the time to eat spiritually. Take a bite—bites!— out of the Bible. Don’t worry—God won’t let you choke.