Have you ever seen a young mother searching her baby’s face with an aching heart because he’s sick and won’t eat? She keeps offering nourishment, and each time he refuses, it hurts her soul. Multiply that by infinity and you will start to get a picture of our Daddy God’s longing to feed you when you are languishing. This goes for not only when you are in a weakened state – He is intensely eager to nourish you at all times.
He sincerely yearns to pour His goodness into you! “The Lord longs to be gracious to you” (Is. 30:18, italics mine). He deeply aches with the desire to see you nurtured and strengthened by His very real spiritual nutrition. Your flourishing is His longing. It hurts His loving heart to see His beloved ones undernourished. He knows what abundant provision He has available for you. With all that is within Him, He burns with a passion to see you feasting on what He is offering!
We have been talking at length about feeding on Jesus. The Holy Spirit is continuing to hover over this subject. He really, really, really wants you to take this truth into the depths of you. Is your inner tank on low or empty today? Jesus is earnestly beckoning to you. He is patting the space next to Him at His table and looking at you with eyes full of invitation. He is bidding you to sit with Him and partake. As you respond even now, His presence wraps around you in profoundly affectionate welcome. Do you see His smile?
“For My flesh is real food and My blood is real drink,” He explains, joyfully enjoying your nearness (John 6:55). REAL food. True, authentic sustenance for the most important part of who you are – your spirit.
Paul remarks on this subject, in reference to the children of Israel, “They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ” (1 Cor 10:3-4, NIV). I’m struck by that. The people he is speaking of here did not have the breathtaking privilege that is ours, of hosting God Himself inside our bodies. They only knew Him from a distance. They could only hear His words when Moses His spokesman reported what He had proclaimed. You and I have His words whispering on the inside of us. His Spirit communicates to our spirit. Every day. Every hour. Every minute, if we lean in to listen.
And yet, they had spiritual food and drink too. I believe this speaks of their direct experience of His supernatural provision. Imagine: “Closed in between an army and an ocean? No worries – check out this dry path right through the middle of the waters. Oh yeah, and I’ll neatly eliminate the problem of the irate, bloodthirsty men in hot pursuit of you while I’m at it.” “Not sure where to go next? Here’s a cloud to guide you.” “Hungry? Have some manna to fill your bellies.” “Still hungry? I’ve got some quail for you.” “Wandering in an arid desert and thirsty? Not a problem – to your left you will find a spring of cool water gushing from an old rock that’s been lying here for thousands of years as dry as a bone.”
And on and on. “You got a need? I got a provision,” was the daily, hourly script. The Israelites ate the spiritual food of His constant, creative, attentive generosity. His desire was for them to get to know His goodness as He supplied each and every need along the way. (Sadly, they missed it.)
If those ancient ones with an inferior covenant had access to spiritual food and drink on their journey, how much more so do we! They had to get to know their God indirectly. But you and I – we have Him on the very inside of ourselves! That is the whole point of our new, superior covenant.
Daddy God waited with yearning for the right time to come to introduce the covenant we now walk in. On the edge of His seat, He announced its approach through the prophet Jeremiah, with excitement He could hardly contain: “‘The time is coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel…It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers…No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, “Know the Lord,” because they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest’” (Jer. 31:31-34, NIV, italics mine).
No longer would we need a Moses or a Samuel or a Nathan to learn what God was thinking, saying, and feeling. The new covenant would mean that each and every one of us got to be intimate with Him. You get to become one with His Spirit (1 Cor. 6:17). Christ in you. His voice inside you. His thoughts in your head. His energy in your body. His emotions in your heart. His passion in your soul. Is this not astounding?
So what does this have to do with food? Well, in the Old Testament story, they got to eat supernatural food. In this New Testament reality, our spiritual food is SO.MUCH.BETTER!!! The old covenant food was manna. Even it was so sacred that it earned a permanent place in the Ark of the Covenant. The reason for this is that it was pointing to what was to come: the feeding on Jesus our Bread from Heaven that was to come with the new covenant. Just as the Ark sat in the Holiest of Holies and housed supernatural food, now we ourselves can freely abide in the Most Holy Place of intimacy and feast on fresh revelation from His heart perpetually!
The food now available to us through the new covenant, is an actual partaking of the divine nature. As we feed on Him, His very being floods us. His promise through Jeremiah comes more and more true every day that we eat by communing with Him: we get to KNOW Him. In the deepest possible sense of the word, know.
This was the longing Paul also expressed in his writing to the Philippians: “I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him…I want to know Christ…” (Phil. 3:8-10, NIV).
The more we feed on Jesus, the more intimately we get to know Him. The more we feed on Him, the more we experience true life. He told those gathered around to listen, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you” (John 6:53, NIV). In other words, unless you learn to feed on Him, you are not really living. The converse is also wonderfully true. The more you feast on the spiritual food He provides, the more you come alive!
Jesus modeled for us the lifestyle of nourishing His inner being with spiritual food, during His life on the earth. He described it like this: “I have food to eat of which you do not know…My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work” (John 4:32, 34, NKJV).
As I meditated on this Scripture, Holy Spirit opened it up further for me. I understood that Jesus was talking about the intimacy that He was constantly sharing with His Daddy. This was about being so wrapped up as One that they shared one heartbeat. As a result, Jesus’ activities consisted in doing what He was seeing, feeling, hearing, and perceiving His Daddy doing.
In this chapter, His Daddy was ministering to a broken, rejected Samaritan woman at the side of a well. So Jesus was too. And then when she responded by opening her heart, Jesus experienced His Daddy’s exultant rejoicing over her, leaping up in His spirit. His Daddy’s joy fed His own joy as this precious daughter tasted of Their love for the first time in her life and was absolutely undone and transformed by it. (So much so that she immediately won many of her city over to Him!) This was the food He was talking about in this verse. This shared intimacy with Daddy, and what naturally flowed out of it, was sustenance to His deepest being.
Real spiritual food. Food that fills you with vibrancy, with eternal life. Intimacy with Daddy. This same feast that delighted Jesus to the core is exactly what He wants to feed you today. Sink into that heavenly seat next to Him at the banqueting table. Goodness is the aroma tantalizing!
Jesus, how it stirs my spirit to hear about Your Oneness with Daddy! Thank You for showing me that You long to give me the same. Right now my inner being is responding to Yours. The deep in me is crying out for the deep in You. Take me further into Your heart. Teach me to eat real spiritual food…to feast on You...to partake of Your nature each day, communing with Your Spirit. Thank You for making me one with You!