Grace and Truth

…all the words of this life…


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God’s Storehouses in Famine

God has been showing me that right now we are entering a new season. Right now we are leaving behind the years of “plenty” and entering into the years of “famine”.

In Amos 8:11 we read:grain

““Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord God, “That I will send a famine on the land, Not a famine of bread, Nor a thirst for water, But of hearing the words of the Lord.”

I believe He wants me to share with you that whilst there is coming a wide-spread famine of the Word of God, He has a plan – a plan of mercy. And this plan is already well underway.

In Genesis 41 we read about another famine. One that spread throughout the whole world too. But of course back then God also had a plan.

God gave Pharoah two dreams. When no one could interpret their meaning, Joseph was summoned:

“Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “The dreams of Pharaoh are one; God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do: 26 

The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good heads are seven years; the dreams are one. 27 And the seven thin and ugly cows which came up after them are seven years, and the seven empty heads blighted by the east wind are seven years of famine. 28

 This is the thing which I have spoken to Pharaoh. God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do.

29 Indeed seven years of great plenty will come throughout all the land of Egypt; 30 but after them seven years of famine will arise, and all the plenty will be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine will deplete the land. 31 So the plenty will not be known in the land because of the famine following, for it will be very severe.” (verses 25-31)

The first seven years were years of plenty. The second seven years were years of famine.

We know that seven in the Bible is used for perfection, divine completion. I believe God is saying now the first season of plenty is complete, it is over. Now we are entering the second phase: famine.

A famine of the Word of God.

However:

  • Just as God had a plan of mercy for the famine in Egypt, so too God has a plan for this famine. Just as God sent a man, Joseph, ahead to Egypt to prepare for the coming famine, so too has God sent a Man to prepare for this one.
  • Just as Joseph went out from the presence of Pharoah to prepare for the coming famine, so too has Jesus Christ gone out from the presence of the Father to prepare for this coming famine.

If we look at Joseph’s plan, we see that it was quite simple. In the first season of the seven years of plenty, he stored up one-fifth of the food that was grown in local storehouses all across Egypt.

Kashan_granary_Barry_Kent

Kashan_granary_Barry_Kent

“So (Joseph) gathered up all the food of the seven years which were in the land of Egypt, and laid up the food in the cities; he laid up in every city the food of the fields which surrounded them” Genesis 41:48

In His sovereignty God knew this famine was coming. In His sovereignty God had sent ahead of it a man to bring about His plan of mercy, so that the: “food shall be as a reserve for the land for the seven years of famine which shall be in the land of Egypt, that the land may not perish during the famine.” Genesis 41:36

Likewise Jesus Christ, by His Holy Spirit, has been gathering and building into God’s storehouses during this past season, in preparation for this coming famine.

Whilst Joseph used Pharoah’s stone or clay buildings to store away the grain, God has a very different type of building in which to store up His food.

It is us.

We are God’s storehouses. We are His plan for the coming famine. Into each of us He has been building day by day, year by year. Line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, there a little.

“…we have this treasure in earthen vessels…” 2 Corinthians 4:7

Whilst Pharoah used earthen buildings, God uses earthen vessels.potter

Whilst Joseph used the local storehouses to hold the grain, God uses the local Body of Jesus Christ to store up His divine Life.   Every time we pray, we hear from God, we read the Word, we worship Him, we talk to Him, we spend time with Him He is building into us the bread of Life. He is storing away the grain in us of the Bread of God.

“For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” John 6:33

Remember: God always has a plan. He is in control. He is Sovereign.

When the second season began – the season of famine, the “famine was in all lands, but in all the land of Egypt there was bread.” Genesis 41:54

There is a time coming soon where there will be no bread for this world apart from what Jesus Christ has stored up in His own storehouses – in us, His people.

At that time Jesus will open up all of His storehouses and “all that is in them” (Genesis 41:56) will be given out to the starving masses.

Notice that it is the work of God to prepare for the coming famine. He is the one who gathers, who stores and puts away the food in us. All that is required of us is that we are there, receiving from Him.

Like Pharoah’s buildings we just need to allow the food to be stored up in us, and when the time comes, we need to allow our Lord Jesus to open us up and to use us.

grain-pouringWe will be emptied for the sake of others. But it is when we give out, that He is able to pour more of His life into us again.

I want to encourage you brothers and sisters that the years past of your time with Christ, of pain, of suffering, of being built into… it is not in vain. It is for a purpose. God has been preparing His storehouses for such a time as this. Take heart, God sees you, He loves you, He is about to use you.

Building in, building in….in order to give out, give out.

 

God bless you!

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Being Fed

Continued from Hunger

breadWhen 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)

Jesus2He 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