Summary: The "want-to" is the fuel of our spiritual growth, and God stands willing and able to provide the wannabe to us.
I wannabe a wannabe
March 26, 2006
Now admit it. Some of you are like me, and the past few weeks, you’ve spent more than a few hours in front of the TV set, or maybe even somewhere in person, watching basketball games, because this is your favorite season of the year.
Basketball fan or not, one of the things that’s so compelling about the NCAA tournament, and what has come to be called March Madness, is the idea that there will be upsets, that the sheer desire, the hunger, the want-to, of these teams, from big schools and smaller schools, will help them to rise above expectations, sometimes play David against Goliath, and achieve something incredibly memorable. Fans want to live this vicariously, but the players, especially, are all wannabes.
You’ve heard that term applied to all kinds of things. When you want to be something, you’re a wannabe. In this case, they’re all wannabe national basketball champions. I’ve thought a lot about this, and I’ve been thankful that God gave me this wonderful sports analogy so I could spiritualize my hours of basketball-watching these past few weeks, and call it sermon preparation.
But as I’ve thought about this, I’ve realized there’s a very real spiritual analogy at work here, and that’s what we’re going to look at this morning.
You see, we should want to be wannabes. We should wannabe wholehearted followers of Jesus.
1 Peter 2:2-3 (NIV) Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.
Here, Peter is telling us we should crave, or intensely want, the pure spiritual milk of the Word of God. He tells us that by consuming this pure spiritual milk, we grow up in our salvation.
So, wanting, strongly desiring, even craving, is not only appropriate, it’s necessary for our growth in the things of God. These basketball players,
as well as certainly the coaches, and many of the fans, crave the success on the court, they crave wins. They hunger and thirst, and strongly desire the good feeling that comes with winning.
This desire, this craving, is so strong, that it leads to something. It’s a motivator, to do the things it takes to get to that point where you’re in the NCAA tournament, and playing the best teams in the nation, with a hope of winning a championship.
(ORU head coach Scott) Sutton wants his players to remember the experience of playing in the NCAA Tournament. "I think it will motivate them to work harder because once you get a taste of it, you want to get back every year."
What a taste of success brings you is a hunger for more success. What a taste of good food brings you is a hunger for more. It’s part of our human nature. It’s normal, and kept within its proper boundaries, that is, craving the right things, this craving, this hunger, is a good thing, even a desirable thing.
It’s certainly a good thing with babies, isn’t it? If a baby doesn’t want to eat, we know something’s wrong. A baby doesn’t need to be taught to be hungry. He or she is just hungry. So, if we don’t hunger, if we don’t thirst, there’s clearly something wrong.
Medically speaking, if someone has no appetite, no thirst, we don’t think, well, maybe they’re just not interested in growing, they’re just not hungry, or thirsty.
No, if someone has no desire for food or drink, we think, there’s something wrong with them! Because we’re supposed to be hungry or thirsty.
So, if someone has no appetite or thirst, we begin to explore why there’s no hunger, no thirst. Babies instinctively crave mother’s milk. And that’s what Peter recognized in this passage of scripture, as he drew this metaphor between babies and us. Let’s reverse the verses here – verse 3 to 2…
“now that you have tasted that the Lord is good, crave the pure spiritual milk which will help you grow up into salvation.”
We crave because it’s natural, but we should crave all the more, because we have tasted and seen that the Lord is good, and this should help us want to know Him more.
Crave here means: to dote upon, i.e. intensely crave possession (lawfully or wrongfully) :- (earnestly) desire, (greatly) long (after)…
Peter’s admonishing us to crave the things of God.
The metaphor’s point of comparison (like newborn babies) is not the smallness or innocence of a baby, but its strong and instinctive longing for its mother’s milk. To a newborn baby such longing is wholly natural and inevitable, but the longing for the “pure milk” of which Peter speaks is something that must be commanded, and something on which the readers must fasten their attention and effort… Word Biblical Commentary