Are You Content with Bread from Heaven?
Jesus answered, “Truly I tell you, you are looking for me not because you saw the signs, but because you ate the loaves and were filled.” – John 6:26 (CSB)
The day before Jesus had turned a small boy’s lunch into enough food to feed over 5000 people. The people that stood before him now were part of that crowd. They have chased after Jesus now in another town in order to get more bread. Not for him but for what he can do for them.
Sadly today we are no different. Many Christians have turned Jesus into some cosmic fix-it-man. We chase Jesus to overcome our depression, our sickness, our family strife or chase him looking for some new emotional high. When the need is satisfied, we stop chasing.
I pastor a Pentecostal church. I love the Pentecostal and Charismatic tradition but we easily fall into the trap of defining our walk of faith based on our emotions and feelings. However, our emotions and feelings can easily lead us a stray. We immediately think something is wrong if we don’t “feel” the presence of God or “hear” his voice. Many will run from one special church service to the next. They pray for that next great revival looking for the next great “move of God.”
Now don’t get me wrong; Jesus does bring healing to our lives and he will guide us through the struggles of life. There is nothing wrong attending a revival or special night of worship. The question is, what is the true state of our heart? Do I really love Jesus, the one who gave his very life so I might live eternally with God our Father? Or do I love the “things” he brings to me? Am I content with the bread from heaven?
“I am the bread of life,” Jesus told them. “No one who comes to me will ever be hungry, and no one who believes in me will ever be thirsty again. But as I told you, you’ve seen me, and yet you do not believe. Everyone the Father gives me will come to me, and the one who comes to me I will never cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me. This is the will of him who sent me: that I should lose none of those he has given me but should raise them up on the last day. For this is the will of my Father: that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him will have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” – John 6:35-40 (CSB)
In the wilderness the children of Israel received bread (manna) from heaven. Each day they had to collect enough for just that day (enough for two days on the day before the Sabbath). This bread must have had the right ingredients to sustain life. They did not need to eat anything else. Each day they had to have the faith the bread would come the next day. But they grumbled and complained. They were not satisfied with this heavenly bread.
Those who saw Jesus walk this earth saw his miracles and still did not believe who he was and asked for more signs. We are no different today.
We are much like the heroin addict chasing his next high. We chase the next spiritual high from Jesus and not Jesus himself. The feelings quickly fade so we quickly run off to the next event. We tell ourselves we are living for him. We tell ourselves he is our all. Then life goes in a direction we don’t like and we grow angry with God. We want our emotions tickled – we want that next spiritual high. At the end of the day we discover we really make our lives about us and not about Jesus, the bread of life.
Jesus is the bread of life and he alone should bring us satisfaction. If you never felt the presence of God again or heard the whisper of his voice, would you be content with Jesus the bread of life?
I pray Lord Jesus that you forgive me for the times I have chased after your benefits more than you. Sought after that feeling or the next “word from God” more than you. Anoint me with your Holy Spirit to re-order my desires and passions. Cause me to be content with you Lord Jesus and you alone – the bread of life.
From that moment many of his disciples turned back and no longer accompanied him. So Jesus said to the Twelve, “You don’t want to go away too, do you?” Simon Peter answered, “Lord, to whom will we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.” – John 6:66-69 (CSB)