“Give us this day our daily bread.” Matthew 6:11 NIV
It’s amazing when you think about it how much of our day revolves around food. Let’s say you eat three meals a day. That does not include the prep time for that food, the time it takes to go and get the food, and the time it takes to consume said food. You may snack during the day as well, whether it is a protein-packed, energy-producing snacks, or those quick grabs of candy that you hope no one sees.
I find that thoughts of food consume my thoughts during the day; if I am eating breakfast at work, I am already planning with my co-workers where we are going to lunch. I may text my wife during the day, “What’s for dinner?” I’m sure sometimes to her panic, thinking, “I just made dinner last night!”
What’s this obsession with food? Well for one, we need it for survival. If you take away the fancy packaging, the exotic presentations, and the new creations that marketing companies try and push their food in a new way to consumers, we all need food to function at our peak level, or just at any level for that matter.
When teaching His disciples to pray, Jesus prayed “give us our daily bread.” There is no doubt that bread was important in the cultural economy of that time. It makes sense to pray for food on a daily basis in order to survive and see tomorrow. But what if Jesus meant more by how He was praying?
If you look at the Israelites time in the desert, they were given a miracle every day in the form of manna, literally translated as “what is it?” God was their provider; it was a form of “grain of heaven” and “bread of angels” as Psalm 78:24-25 describes it.
Having children it’s hard not to think of the movie Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs when I think of manna from heaven. The Israelites were not allowed to take any more than a day’s worth of provision. If they tried to hoard it, the next day it would be moldy (Exod. 16:20). The only exception to this was the day before the Sabbath. The Israelites were fed this way until they entered the Promised Land and which point the manna from heaven stopped (Josh. 5:12).
The Israelites literally had to be reliant on God for their daily bread.
Once the awe with the miracle subsided, the Israelites complained about only having manna. I’m sure they were tired of the manna soup, manna soufflé, manna pot pie, manna doughnuts, manna tortillas, etc…
The Bible makes it clear that they were given manna to “humble and test” them to “teach that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord” (Deut. 8:3 NIV). Satan tempted Jesus in the desert to turn stones to bread; Jesus quoted this verse while He resisted this temptation.
Right after Jesus fed the 5,000 there were people following Jesus trying to get a free meal. He knew their hearts and called them out for their selfish motivations.
“Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
“Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.”
Then 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 6:32-35 NIV
Jesus brings manna full circle back to him and his work on the cross. The spiritual sustenance we need comes from Jesus to give us life everlasting. The daily bread Jesus prayed for had more significance than physical food. Jesus came from Bethlehem which means “house of bread.” Where else would the Bread of Life come from?
What our spirit years for is a daily dose of time with Jesus; however, we are often quick to dismiss and ignore those longings. Someone craving the physical sustenance of wholesome food can be temporarily appeased through junk and fast food; however, the body is designed to consume nutritional food that results in both energy now and longer life later.
If we ignore our spirit’s daily plea for time with the Bread of Life, we face the consequences that may not be easily correlated with this inaction. We may partake of spiritual “junk food” and hope that will sustain us, but we are still spiritually tired, full of doubts, and vices that control us.
Spiritual junk food might look like reading a quick Bible verse on social media without ever opening the Bible for ourselves, a half-hearted 10-second prayer while our mind is on other things, a sound bite from a recent sermon, etc. Nothing is necessarily wrong with these things unless it replaces quality time with Jesus.
Jesus wants to be our daily bread, our spirit’s true fulfillment. This has to be on a daily basis. We would not willingly eat physical food once a week (on a Sunday for example) so why would we starve ourselves spiritually as well?
If you feel empty, if you have sins that seem to control you, why not go to the Source, the maker of your soul, the sustenance of your spirit and let Him fill you up? You may find that the more you have of Him, the more you will not compromise one day of not being in His presence, you will agree with the following verse:
“Better is one day in your courts than thousands elsewhere.” Psalm 84:10
Discerning Reflection: Lord, help me see the correlation with spending time with you daily and the impact it has on my spirit. Help me seek you daily with a fresh hunger for your Word and your revelation to me on a personal basis.
Prayer: Lord, help me seek you daily. Give me insight on how I can adjust my schedule and routines to honor and meet with you. Help me see the importance of time with you and please meet me where I am at with a fresh relationship. Amen.
Featured Image by Mae Mu