I have never seen a baby that didn’t get hungry; and most get rather demanding and vocal so there is no mistaking that they are hungry. It is a natural phenomenon to desire nourishment. When a child loses his or her desire to be fed, it is a sign that something is seriously wrong.
A Christian will quickly see the connection Peter was trying to make when he said, “as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby” (1 Peter 2:2). He was teaching what we should be like if we are natural, healthy children of God. If the babe in Christ will not eat, he/she will die. What is also obvious is that the Christian can only grow by spiritually ingesting the Bread of Life (John 6:35). We understand the physical side of this analogy. Ingesting poison would be catastrophic and excruciatingly painful. Malnutrition produces weakness and susceptibility to diseases that wrack the body with ugliness and malfunction. In fact, even an unhealthy diet will slowly starve a child to death, even though they may show signs of what looks like obesity. Likewise, if there is a lack of spiritual nourishment or the ingestion of things harmful to the soul, a spiritual child will die a slow, agonizing and eternal death.
It is not as though one cannot recognize that, over the course of time, there are indicators of health or the lack thereof. We are constantly aware of parameters that indicate physical health (temperature, blood sugars, etc.); likewise, spiritual health manifests itself in Bible study (and the attendant growth), worship attendance (a public expression of one’s love of God) and sacrifice (Matthew 16:24). The Hebrew writer affirmed, “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God” (Hebrews 5:12). So, how’s your spiritual health?