Continued from Hunger
When once a hunger had been born in me for God’s presence then, naturally, I sought to be fed. The revelation of our own spiritual bankruptcy, whether by food shortage or some sort of crisis, is the catalyst for the formation of a hunger for God. When we are able to see our spiritual bankruptcy it is then that we can truly seek God in the way He should be sought. Not as a means to an end, or to fulfill an agenda of our own but by loving Him with all our heart, mind, soul and strength. It is because we have seen that without Him we are starving and dying, and in the desperation of soul-hunger we begin to seek after the Bread of Life. And that’s what I did. Suddenly the temporal, physical things that used to bring me some degree of satisfaction became empty and vain. I began to crave Jesus and His presence. My prayer time was in the evening, and all day long I would look forward to the evening when I could be with Him again.
Jesus said “Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you because God the Father has set His seal on Him.” (John 6:27)
God sees our need of Him. He knows that without Him we are starving. And He knew that man would reject Him in the Garden of Eden, in order to pursue his own way. That is why God prepared a “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” Because of His infinite mercy, God had already prepared a way to repair the breach between man and God and to bring us back into fellowship with Him. That way was by sending His only begotten Son, Jesus, to the cross to bear the dreadful curse for our souls. Before He was crucified Jesus said:
“I am the living Bread which came down from Heaven. If any man eat of this Bread, he shall live forever; and the Bread that I will give is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat? Then Jesus said unto them, “Verily, verily I say unto you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoso eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the Last Day. For My flesh is meat indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He that eats My flesh and drinks My blood dwells in Me, and I in him. As the living Father has sent Me, and I live by the Father, so he that eats Me, even he shall live by Me.” (John 6:53-57)
Jesus said this to the very people whom, the day before, had been miraculously fed with the loaves and the fish. He wasn’t referring to cannibalism, He was telling them to look beyond the physical miracle of the multiplied loaves and fish and to see the greater miracle standing before them – God’s own Son. His life was about to be given for them so that they may have life. He was going to be crucified, His body broken and His blood poured out for their sin so that they would no longer have to be separated from God by those very sins. There was no longer any need to starve spiritually. Here was the provision right in front of them. In verses 48 and 58 He says “I am the bread of life…This is the bread that came down from heaven – not as your fathers ate the manna and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever.”
So here is God’s provision for our spiritual starvation right in front of us. It is Christ’s Himself. When we turn away from our sin of independence and pride and put our faith in the Bread of Life then we are filled with His life, by His Holy Spirit.
Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” (John 6:35)
He is the source of our life and He is the sustainer of our life. We need to be full of Him. Nothing else can satisfy, no religious duty or practice, neither anything in this world – only Him. We need to be in His presence regularly, feasting on the Word every day, allowing His Spirit to convict us, speak to us, minister to us and we need fellowship with others who are full of Him too. As David, we need to know how to encourage ourselves in the Lord. We need to know how to feed on Him.
We also need to maintain a hunger for Him. I find that that is more difficult when life is going well. Although I actually still need Him now as much as I did when I suffered the depressive episode, it’s easier for me to forget that need of Him now that I am free of depression. That’s why I need to read the Word because it convicts me, washes me and changes me. I also need to pray regularly because I find that the more time I spend with Him the more time I want to spend with Him and feed on the Bread of Life.
To the Laodiceans, who could not see their own poverty and need of Him, Jesus said, “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.”
Next part 3 – Feeding Others