I was spending some time on the Nature Trail in Shamrock Park in Venice, Florida and passed a sign along the trail that caught my eye. Here it is:
I thought about the need for that sign. No doubt, many well-meaning trail walkers have brought food with them to give to the animals. (Just after I passed that sign a bobcat crossed the trail in front on me, and I admit I had no inclination to call out, “Here Kitty, Kitty” and feed him anything.) If you feed wild animals, they quickly become dependent upon humans continuing that practice. They lose the ability to find food on their own. Just like the signs when you enter Yellowstone – “Do Not Feed The Bears.” The rangers will tell you the sadness they feel when they have to pickup the bodies of dead bears that have forgotten how to find food in the winter time when there are fewer tourists to feed them.
What does this have to do with us? Please, develop the ability to feed yourself the Word of God. Know how to go to the Bible to study, to receive daily nourishment for your soul, and to get you through times of crisis and trial. It is so important that you be able to use the Word of God on your own, to self-feed the Word of God. Our job as ministers is to present the Word and equip you to study the Word, and to make it understandable – but you MUST not become so dependent upon us that you ever lose the ability to go to the Word of God on your own and intake its message.
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” II Timothy 3:16,17