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Friday, May 13, 2016

Eating the Food of Angels

An angel fed my daughter.

If you are familiar at all with my twelve-year-old, you know that supernatural things happen to her on a regular basis. A couple years ago, she had the stunning privilege of seeing some of Heaven. That is a story in and of itself that will hopefully become a book. For today, though, I am going to tell you about one of the many experiences she has had with angels.

Ester was hanging around on her school campus after classes. She was hungry and frustrated. The way things had worked out that day, she wasn’t able to go home right after school. She had to wait for her aunt to finish up work and take her to our house. Her tummy grumbled and she muttered to Jesus about her discomfort. Shortly thereafter, she glanced at the shiny transparent vinyl covering the notebook in her hands. In it, she saw the reflection of someone approaching her from behind.

The next moment, that someone put a small plain cake down next to her. She looked up, and he had disappeared. She fixed her attention on the gift he had left. Instinctively, she picked it up and eagerly ate it. In spite of being quite simple, it was delicious. In spite of being small, it was filling and wonderfully satisfying. Soon afterwards, the delicate, lacey napkin on which the cake had been sitting also disappeared. She smiled as she realized that Jesus had listened to her unhappy prayer. He wanted to show her how intimate His care is in a very tangible way.

Ester’s experience reminds me a bit of Elijah’s: “Then as he lay and slept under a broom tree, suddenly an angel touched him, and said to him, ‘Arise and eat.’ Then he looked, and there by his head was a cake baked on coals, and a jar of water. So he ate and drank, and lay down again. And the angel of the Lord came back the second time, and touched him, and said, ‘Arise and eat, because the journey is too great for you.’ So he arose, and ate and drank; and he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights as far as Horeb, the mountain of God.” (1 Kings 19:5-8, NKJV)

Ester was learning about how extremely practical the Lord’s provision for her is. Elijah, too, was in great need of practical care in this 1 Kings story. He was exhausted after his confrontation with the prophets of Baal. God fed the old prophet, and God fed my daughter. The thing is, these are not actually isolated incidents. God fed the multitudes of His people supernaturally for forty years in the desert! And today, He wants to supernaturally feed you.

I actually share these stories because they tie back into the theme of taking communion. This might surprise you. What does being fed by an angel have to do with communion? Everything in the world, actually. Because taking communion means eating supernatural food. Again, in bringing these narratives to your attention, I am encouraging you to engage at a deeper level with the Lord’s supper. As He fed my daughter, as He fed Elijah, as He fed His children in the desert, so He wants to do for you.

Can you imagine receiving a meal so packed with power, that it gave you strength to journey tirelessly for forty days and forty nights? That was some incredible food and drink! What is all the more remarkable is that, prior to eating this meal from the angel, Elijah had not even wanted to live any more. He ate it, and all of a sudden, he had enough energy for a six week hiking trip! What was in that food?? It was definitely more than just a few extra calories. That meal ministered to the very depths of him.

The food that Elijah received, like so many other things in the Bible, is a spiritual picture for us. It connects right in with what we have been discussing: eating Real Spiritual Food and drinking Real Spiritual Drink as we take communion. As we participate in the Lord’s table, supernatural strength and courage for our life’s journey surges into our spirits!

Since we are talking about food from God, let’s delve even a little deeper into the concept of Jesus our Living Manna (John 6:49-51). Remember, when Jesus first gave the instruction to eat His flesh and drink His blood, He related it to the Israelites’ desert experience of eating manna. He prefaced this new concept of feeding on Him with the words, “Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead…”

He brought up the subject of their ancestors’ supernatural gastronomic provision. He did this to get it across to them that HE HIMSELF was the fulfillment of the spiritual picture painted by the outpouring of manna in the wasteland. God had fed His people with bread that literally came down to Earth from the physical heavens above – because in doing so, He was shouting out a prophetic announcement. He was proclaiming through a vivid, live parable that the time was coming when the True Bread would be coming down to Earth from Heaven. This far superior Manna would infuse us with not just energy for a day, but life forevermore. Life bursting and spilling over with abundance.

This is the very same life you ingest when you take communion. When you eat His flesh and drink His blood. This, dear friend, is what John 6 is teaching us.

The Psalmist Asaph gives us further insight into this bread from Heaven:

“Yet He had commanded the clouds above,
And opened the doors of heaven,
Had rained down manna on them to eat,
And given them of the bread of heaven.
Men ate angels' food;
He sent them food to the full.”
(Ps 78:23-25, NKJV)

There you have it. Manna was angels’ food. Supernatural sustenance. Somewhere in the culinary family of what Elijah got to taste. And yet, you and I get to feast on something even better. Asaph tells us that God opened the doors of heaven to rain down this sacred nutrition over them in abundance. How much more, in the new and better covenant that we now have, will He open Heaven’s doors over us as we receive His food! How much more will He feed us “to the full”…when He feeds us HIMSELF. Truly, the feast that He spreads for us now is blissful beyond expression!

Bread from Heaven. Are you beginning to capture in your spirit just how much provision is available in and through the Lord’s supper? Supernatural strength. Renewed energy for the journey. Nourishment in abundance. The heavens open over you! Just as Ester and Elijah both learned, Jesus will lavish on you whatever you are needing today, at His table. Come to the banquet…

A prayer of response:

Daddy God, I have great need of Your supernatural food. Right now, I respond to Your invitation. I come to the feast You have spread for me. Please meet me where I am and give me Your Bread from Heaven. You are my Living Manna. You are my strength, my sustenance, my delight. Please feed me You!

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