Two weeks ago, my husband and I spent four days in Myrtle Beach, SC. He took part in a pastor’s golf tournament every day, and I laid on the beach catching up on reading … and my tan.
In the evenings, we enjoyed dinner together and attended two shows.
While waiting for the magic show to begin, we leisurely strolled around “Broadway at the Beach” taking in the sights. As we crossed the wooden bridge that spanned the lake, we stopped to view the multitude of fish swimming below. The creatures jumped over the top of one another in hopes of someone dropping bits of food into the water.
We had no snacks for them, but my husband extended his arm as if he did. The fish went nuts—flopping frantically in search of the expected morsel.
I told my husband, “They are so conditioned by their environment and habits, they scramble for the food when you extend your hand, even though you have nothing for them. And look how hungry they are—mouths open and ready.”
My mind, as it often does, shifted to spiritual matters, and I pondered the lesson I could learn from the bream, carp, and catfish that evening. Those fish knew that an arm stretched across the water was the source of food, and they assembled at the appropriate spot, mouths wide, hungry for a tidbit—even fought one another to get it.
Do we recognize our source of spiritual food so clearly? Are we conditioned by our environment and habits thoroughly enough to rush to the appropriate location for nourishment?
Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” “Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.” Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” John 6:32-35
Jesus is the bread of life, and He came down from heaven so we would be filled spiritually. God’s Word is food for our souls. He is the source of our daily nourishment.
Are we as hungry for a word from God as those fish were for a crumb of kibble? Are we still spiritual babes, or have we matured to solid food?
“You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.” Hebrews 5:12-14
And how do we mature?
We act like a fish.
Gather at the proper locations—personal time in the Bible and prayer, the local church, a small group, fellowship with believers. And when we gather, we show up with hearts open wide—expectant—ready for what the Lord will teach us.
Unlike my husband, God doesn’t tease or trick us. When He stretches out His hand, He blesses and pours out His goodness. When we go to Him hungry, searching, and ready to hear from Him, He always feeds us. He will not withhold His Holy Spirit from anyone who asks.
So I say to you: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Luke 11:9-13
When you received the Holy Spirit, you gained access to the knowledge, wisdom, and blessing of God. And that’s all the food you will ever need.
Join the conversation. Have you experienced feeding the fish in Myrtle Beach, or somewhere else? Where do you gather for spiritual nourishment? What resource can you recommend to others to enhance spiritual growth?