In John’s gospel, chapter 6, Jesus speaks of a type of food that comes from heaven. He will contrast this with physical food which the Israelites ate when they were in the wilderness. But what so characterizes this spiritual food is that it is “Heavenly,” the origin of which is Heaven, and thus possessing all the characteristics of heaven. Christ will then speak of HIMSELF coming from heaven, and specifically declares that He not only gives “…food which endureth unto everlasting life,” (John 6:27), but that He IS that bread of God. “For the bread of God is HE which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.” Now, He does not stop here revealing to us the great truths concerning this blessed reality. He takes us further to see that the whole purpose in the revelation is that we might understand that we are to be PARTAKERS of that heavenly Bread, that heavenly Life. This is not just some nebulous spiritual concept devised by natural man.
The fact of the matter is that Christ teaches that true Christianity is partaking of Another life, living from another Source, indeed, Jesus living in the heart by faith, and filling the life with Himself. Anything less than this unique, and yet, all encompassing reality, is NOT Christianity, but a sham, a form without substance, a profession without power. He will go on to say, “It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing…” (John 6:63) This statement sums up the whole matter… Christianity is Christ, and this by the quickening power of the Spirit of God in the life. These great truths are not to be just known and grasped, but to be lived.
Someone has said that “…truth is not mine until it becomes me.”
Practically, where does the “partaking” begin? And how are we thus to live by this Quickening Spirit? How is Christ to “dwell in the heart?” There is only one way, BY FAITH. One of the greatest passages which leads us to a life of faith is found in Psalm 23. We shall look at only a few truths here. The first is, we are called to “Have faith in God.” David puts it like this, “The Lord IS my Shepherd…” David knows what he is personally, a sheep, and he knows who the Lord is …the great Shepherd. But this is only head knowledge until he says, “MY Shepherd.” David must take a stand of faith, according to the knowledge of the truth that He has of God. He must make Him to be his Shepherd, that one who leads, provides, and protects. But when he does, he takes that position of faith whereby he can declare, “…I shall not want.” In other words, when he yields himself totally to the Shepherd, from that moment, the Shepherd will take care of him, as he follows Him. We see that the Shepherd takes care of his needs, and the first thing He does is to make the sheep lie down, be quiet, and this, so the God of peace can meet the deep needs of his soul. It is out of this revealing of Christ to the heart that “direction,” leading will come. And most importantly, there is this relationship of being led by the Shepherd, the resulting blessing of the Lord revealing Himself to the heart.
One last thought…It is important to remember that when Christ becomes our living bread, and at the same time, our Shepherd in whom we are to trust and follow, He gives also His Spirit, “…that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.” (1 Cor. 2:12) Now, remember that Christ is come down from HEAVEN, and as such He is our heavenly bread, in all of its goodness and purity. And so, that which is freely given to us of God by the Spirit… is heavenly. “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.” (1 Cor. 2:9)
May God, this day, give us this “Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him,” (Ephesians 1:17) but again, not in some nebulous manner or form, but concretely in the life. When Christ walked this earth, heaven had indeed come down to us. It was with the heavenly that He was filled. May this be our experience also, as we take Him as our living bread, our Great Shepherd, trusting in the Spirit of God to unveil to us His beauty in its power and strength. It is then that others will see His beauty in and upon us, and be drawn to Him.
Have a wonderful day of living by “heavenly” food, bread, this day…all day long…