I've been thinking a lot about what it means to really rely on Jesus to be my strength and source of life. Many say they are followers of Jesus, but for how many of us is Jesus everything we need? After Jesus had fed the 5,000, he had many hungry followers. Many it seems, wanted more free food. Jesus said to them in John 6, "you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of loaves." Later he went on to say "I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh." The idea of eating the flesh was so difficult for many of the followers to grasp that they stopped following Jesus. They were likely thinking of God's law in Leviticus where they were taught to not eat or drink blood of anything. They missed the fact that in Leviticus it says, "For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it for you on the altar to make atonement for your souls, for it is the blood that makes atonement by the life." (17:11,12). Jesus was the fulfillment of that atonement for life! We know, and have heard many times, that Jesus is the bread of life. But what does that really mean? His flesh and blood sacrifice paid for our sins, giving us life. His physical death became the source of our spiritual life. In John 6, Jesus referenced the Israelites in the desert eating manna. God gave them just enough manna for each day. If they held on to any, it was rotten the next morning. When Jesus met the woman at the well, he told her that he could give her living water so she would never thirst again. We know that bread and water are the basics for our survival. We need food and drink each day in order for our physical bodies to live. We also need to feed on Jesus each day for our spiritual body to live. Jesus is our source of sustenance and strength. How do we find that sustenance? In His word and through prayer.
Sometimes I go to a large food supercenter and buy a month's worth of food. My refrigerator is full and I don't need to go back to the store for a while. Over time as we eat, there is less and less food available. When all the supplies are gone, if I don\'t go back to the store, we will go hungry. During the time the fridge was full, we take it for granted that something will be there when we need it. The Israelites in the desert didn't have refrigerators; they had to rely on God each and every day for their "daily bread." I often find that when I spend a good amount of time in the word and prayer one day, I slack off the next. It's as though I think that one day of feeding on Jesus is enough to get me through for a while. And then after a few days, I feel disconnected from him. I feel a loss, like something is missing. I start to get hungry. If I continue on that path and don't return to the word, I will starve. Like the Israelites in the desert, we need to learn that the word and prayer is our manna and our source of life. If we don't feed on it everyday, we will go hungry. Sometimes we may confuse that hunger with something else and try to eat elsewhere. But no matter what we fill up with, whether it's money, friends, education, power--it still will not ease that hunger. Only Jesus can fill us so that we are satisfied.
How have you been fed today?
"Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink." (John 6:54,55)
Author Bio Christina Fox is a licensed psychotherapist, a stay at home mom of two active boys, and an avid blogger. She shares about the work God is doing in her heart to transform her into the mother he has called her to be at www.toshowthemjesus.com.