Do you remember the highly successful "Got milk?" ad campaign years back, with all the celebrities and their milk mustaches?
The apostle Peter wrote about milk in 1 Peter 2, but his message was quite a different one. His point was that just like a newborn baby desires milk, so we should crave spiritual milk—spiritual truth. In fact, there's a lot of encouragement within the pages of Scripture to delight in and desire God's truth (see Psalm 1:1-2; 119:24; Job 23:12; Jeremiah 15:16).
So let me ask you: What do you eat a lot of, spiritually speaking? What do you crave? The old saying "You are what you eat" holds true in this case. Let me give you three ways to grow your spiritual appetite based on 1 Peter 2:1-3:
1. Be mindful of what you've tasted. The entire thought of these three verses is predicated on the supposition in verse 3: "If"—or since—"indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious." When you taste God's graciousness for yourself, you discover that it tastes better than all earthly pleasures combined (see Psalm 34:8).
When I first came to faith in Christ, someone told me that getting saved is sort of like having steak and lobster after you've eaten Hamburger Helper your whole life. Once you've tasted luxury, you're ruined. Once you taste what God has to offer you, you're not going to want to go back. So remember where you've come from and what you've tasted.
2. Be careful to push away junk food. Verse 1 says, "Laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking." These are the things that will spoil your spiritual appetite and choke out nourishment. You need to say no to them.
Notice that all five areas of junk food mentioned are horizontal, or relational, sins; they have to do with people. When a Christian forgets how gracious God has been to them, they start being ungracious toward other people. Either your bitterness will kill your appetite for His sweetness, or His sweetness will kill your bitterness. You can't have both.
3. Be faithful to feed on the truth—the real stuff. "As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby" (v. 2). In using this metaphor, Peter was simply saying, "Crave God's truth just like a baby craves milk, and you'll grow because of it." The bottom line is that you cannot grow spiritually without a steady diet of God's Word.
On a scale of one to ten—one being mildly interested, ten being an intense craving—what is your spiritual appetite like? Jesus said, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled" (Matthew 5:6). He said nothing about casually snacking after righteousness.
When it comes down to it, your spiritual growth is directly proportional to your desire. You are where you are in your spiritual life because of your desire—or lack of it. If you find yourself without a real hunger, it's probably because you're snacking on junk food. I pray that you'd treat that junk as something to be avoided, to be spit back out, and that you'd come to crave the real stuff—the pure milk—of God's Word.