But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.

Hebrews 5: 14

 

This world is a solid food sort of place. The challenges that come our way place demands on the endurance of our bodies and our spirits in such harsh and taxing ways that it is hard to keep going on anything less nourishing. Yet, many people of faith in Christ, and at various times, almost all of us regress into a form of spiritual infancy in which we seek after easy truth and conveniently distorted understanding of scripture’s principles. These are times when the dense logic of God’s wisdom is deemed to be too hard to grapple with, and the reality of what is righteous and just is found to be nonconforming to the way that we want things to be in our universe. During these periods in the lives of followers of Christ, the Spirit’s role in our lives is redefined as one of being a bringer of warm feelings and peaceful images instead of being the one who guides us into discerning truth and the deep wisdom of eternity.

 

Consuming this solid food of faith is hard work. We need to practice at it on a regular basis. The rigor that it demands doesn’t leave much room for just coasting along or for times of vacation from spiritual disciplines. The ability to appreciate and to enjoy this sort of nourishment is formed through reading God’s Word on a regular and even on a continual basis. It is sharpened through discussion of the Word’s content with other followers of Christ, and all of this is brought into deep understanding and sharper focus in prayer and meditation and by the revealing work of the Holy Spirit. A life lived in the strength of a solid food diet is a life lived out in the discipline of a practiced spiritual existence. It is life in which practice is on-going and wherein the exercise of faith is unceasing.

 

All of this discipline and the effort that is attached to it does have its rewards. There is a richly satisfying quality to the Lord’s solid food that is not found in anything else. This diet gives to us the gift of understanding of God’s truth, and its adherents are led into the joy of following God’s will in their lives. Additionally, the ability to discern good from evil is a gift that is beyond value. There are many hard choices to be made in the process of living from day to day in our world, and God’s truth is the only source of real and lasting wisdom to use in making the sorts of choices that all of us are required to make. The Lord also grants us a form of confidence in the way that we choose to live our lives that can come only from the source of all truth. Seeking after the solid food of faith is not an easy thing to do, but its consumption brings with it rewards that are valuable beyond all else. Additionally, this solid food leads us ever deeper into a relationship with Christ and into the glory of His presence in our lives.