I consider it one of my greatest privileges to feed people the Word of God. I believe hearing the Word of God preached is vital to faith, and I never want to downplay the value of preaching.
Though it is crucial, the hearing of good preaching can never replace the value of learning to feed yourself from the Word of God. Yet, unfortunately, many Christians remain beaten down, weak, and discouraged due to the inability to nourish themselves on the Word without assistance. That doesn’t mean that we can’t study the Word together, but there is an irreplaceable confidence in the Word that comes from when God opens your eyes directly in the scripture with no one else to influence what you hear.
In other words, mature believers know how to feed themselves.
I want to point you to an obscure little verse that occurs twice throughout the book of Proverbs:
To put it plainly, an idle person comes to a place where nourishment is present and yet never puts in the effort to feed themselves. The sad truth is that many believers come to Sunday gatherings and get fed once a week through a meal prepared by another, not eating again until the following week. They may even be super-involved in the church, having their “hand in” many places, yet can’t be bothered to feed themselves.
I get it because I’ve lived it. When I was first saved, I had an insatiable desire for the Word of God, and I fed the habit regularly. Then, within a few years, I was married and moved to attend ministry school with my wife. We constantly learned from some of the most anointed, powerful, revelatory teachers on the planet for nearly two years straight. While that experience certainly significantly influenced me, I realized that I had nearly forgotten how to feed myself on the Word when I got home.
In the abundance of all the great teaching, my perceived need to feed myself atrophied. I liken it to spending two years in a hotel room with daily room service, then forgetting how to cook once I got home.
In truth, all the potential growth from that mind-blowing teaching would be severely hindered until I apprehended the teaching in the Word for myself.
For example, I had a decent measure of breakthrough in healing and deliverance after leaving school and receiving teaching from many national leaders in those areas. It wasn’t until I stopped receiving it only second-hand and dug into these truths for myself that the measure increased. I see significantly more breakthrough now in those areas than I did back then.
The difference is that now I stand on the Word of God for myself. I don’t just stand on the Word of God because someone else told me to; I stand on what I have seen. Authority is birthed from that reality.
I’m all for feasting on good content (I do write a blog after all) but what can happen is that we begin to assimilate a bunch of perspectives from other people about God and His Kingdom with no clue what we actually have. You can consume all of these sermons and information and still be malnourished.
One of the most tragic verses in the Word for Me goes like this:
“12 For though [i]by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the [j]elementary principles of the actual words of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unacquainted with the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to distinguish between good and evil.” Hebrews 5:12-14
The writer of Hebrews is expressing frustration because the people should have no problem feeding themselves and others, yet they have come to need breastmilk again. Nourishment produced by someone else.
Those who partake “only of milk,” food produced by another, can never reach maturity.
Give me an army of ten on solid food over an army of one thousand breastmilk-drinking babies every time.
It is vital, crucial, and necessary that we learn at any cost to feed ourselves on the Word of God. Hearing it from others is beneficial, but will never lead you to maturity. Mature believers know how to feed themselves.
I pray you receive this as an admonishment, not a criticism. Dig in again for yourself. Nourish yourself. Feast on the Word.
May your hunger for the word surpass any natural hunger you’ve known, that you would get to a place where you say, as Job, “I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.”
I am a Pastor, Author, and Teacher based out of Kansas City, MO. I am passionate about the message of the Kingdom, Grace, Healing and the renewing of the mind. I have been following God since age 18 when I was radically transformed and inserted into revival. I have learned some hard lessons and seen some wonderful fruit in the Kingdom, and my goal is to impart wisdom and grace to you to walk in fullness. I have a walking miracle for a wife and three amazing boys.