Devotional In this text God commands us not to be spiritual fatalists. The word for long here is very simply the word desire — it’s a command to desire.
What this means is that if you feel stuck because you don’t have the kind of spiritual desires that you should, this text says, You do not need to be stuck! It says, Get them! Get the desires you don’t have. If you don’t desire the milk of the Word, start desiring it!
Now, that is amazing. A command to desire! A command to feel longings we do not feel. A command to feel desires we do not have. Is anything more contrary to spiritual fatalism than that? Fatalism says, I can’t just create desires. If they’re not there, they’re not there. If I don’t feel things the way the psalmists seem to feel things when they say, “;As a deer pants for the flowing streams so my soul pants for you, O God’ (Psalm 42:1) — if I don’t feel that way toward God, then that’s that. I just don’t. I'm not like the psalmists. That’s the dangerous voice of spiritual fatalism.
But God says, Desire the pure milk of the word! Now before you raise all kinds of objections, like, How can you command me to have a desire? What can I do to obey a command like that? How do I just produce a desire? You may as well tell a lame man to walk.
Can you imagine such a thing — commanding a lame man to walk? Who could do such a thing? We know. Let us ask God to create in us the miracle of longing for his word.
1 Peter 2:2-3 (ESV) - 2 Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— 3 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.
"Peter said to Him, 'Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.' And He said, 'Come!' And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, 'Lord, save me!' Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, 'You of little faith, why did you doubt?'" (Matt. 14:28-31 [NASB]). "'Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.'" (Matt. 7:7-8 [NASB]). "And Jesus answered and said to them, 'Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, Be taken up and cast into the sea, it will happen. And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive'" (Matt. 21:21-22 [NASB]). Faith is such a beautiful gift from God. It is a gift I do not earn or deserve. Faith is given through His lovingkindness by His grace and mercy. It allows us to humble ourselves before our Maker and ask for His forgiveness for our transgressions. It is the vehicle that brings us to repentance and salvation. Faith opens doors that are locked before us. It is the light that shines into the sea of darkness. With faith we naturally hunger for Him, to know HIm and His character. When we waver in our faith and begin to be like the world or of the world, we seem to desire less of Him. I, myself, stumbled and lost heart. Praising God and His infinite ways, He stretched out His hand and asked, "Why did you look away?" Funny thing with fear, it is just as contagious as the plague around us. I am thankful that He showed me that fear can sway our hearts. We can be cautious and do what is necessary, but do not do it looking at the storm. Do it with our eyes set on Him. - Jeff L.