Tuesday, May 29, 2007

in need of daily bread

How many times have we experienced a breakthrough only to awaken the next day left wondering? Oftentimes we err in wanting an experience back rather than looking for what lay behind and beyond that. Breakthroughs are usually just beginnings, beginnings of a new work that God is doing in one's life, a work that will take time and involves a process.

The Lord taught us to pray, "Give us this day our daily bread." Here it means primarily temporal needs, but it also can be moved beyond that to include all the need we have as human beings. Humans do not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. We need fresh revelation from Scripture by the Spirit to our hearts into our lives. And Jesus' reply to the multitudes' request: "Lord, evermore give us this bread," is important for us here: "I am the bread of life. Those who come to me will never hunger and those who believe in me will never thirst." This means we must press on, day after day to receive the heavenly manna. Yesterday's manna was good and important for yesterday, but it is no longer edible for us today. We need daily bread from God, not just temporally, but spiritually, into the whole of our lives.

Notice too that the prayer the Lord taught us to pray is not just for ourselves. It is for all of us in Jesus, his entire Body on earth. The answer to our prayers does not merely involve ourselves in our own locked up little worlds. It involves all others in Jesus, and really amounts to being in mission to the world. This was true of the manna in the wilderness with the children of Israel, and it's true for us today as the church, the Body of our Lord. This is a community endeavor. What I experience and do not only affects others around me; it is for others around me, as well as to myself.

What might you add to these rather scattered thoughts?


Charity Singleton said...

Ted -- I appreciate how you highlight the corporate emphasis of asking for daily bread. With so many people living lives of hunger (both physically and spiritually), it makes me wonder what God is calling US to do when we pray this way.

Ted Gossard said...

Charity, Thanks. And I like your emphasis here on what we're to DO. Seeking to understand from God, that. And I think too that that is not just, or even primarily an individual exercise, but a corporate one we should seek to discern together.