Part 11: Daily Bread
The low-carb-diet-craze has trained us to give bread the side-eye of distrust. Bread baskets and chip bowls are now associated, for many, as a tempting indulgence. I reject this crazy. And I'm fully aware of my GF friends who simply cannot enjoy many gluten rich carbs that bring me such joy. This is a result of the fall. And I grieve with you. Our bodies are broken in many ways, and I for one am still mad at Eve for her rebellion in the garden as it relates to food and more specifically the messed up way we try to control our diets.
If low carb diets and gluten free options are our new normal, I wonder how it affects us when we read about the 300+ times the word "bread" is used in the scriptures. Instead of learning to feast on healthy things and concentrate on portion control, we purge, binge, diet, and label certain foods as our enemy.
Christians are going to have to reclaim the love of bread in our faith in the midst of a low carb society or we risk an unbalanced spiritual meal plan. Because bread, in the bible, is a symbol of God's presence and provision. Bible bread is one of our most comforting spiritual realities as Christ followers.
One of the surest signs we are hungry for more of God is our prayer life. Jesus teaches his disciples to pray, and thankfully both Matthew and Luke (eyewitnesses of Jesus' life, ministry, death, and resurrection) kept a record of their unique viewpoint on Jesus' teaching about a Christian prayer life. I want you to see both side by side, and I want you to notice our word of study in both passages. Bread and prayer are braided together like glorious challah bread.
Luke 11:1-4 "It happened that while Jesus was praying in a certain place, after He had finished, one of His disciples said to Him, 'Lord, teach us to pray just as John also taught his disciples.' And He said to them, 'When you pray, say: "Father, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.’”
Matthew 6:8b-13 "Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen'"
Jesus could have written books, even volumes, on the subject of prayer, but He determined to share with us these priorities based on the way He prays.
- The Christian God is the one true living God and His name is holy, it's sacred. We should ascribe to God His worthiness.
- God inhabits the heavens and the earth the way a king inhabits his temple in his kingdom. And in response to those truths, and all that we know about Jesus' purpose to inaugurate God's kingdom here on earth during his earthly ministry, we should ask God to bring more of heaven to earth.
- But in the meantime, while we wait for Christ to return, to come to earth a second time, as we wait for God to recreate and redeem all things in the new heaven and new earth, we must ask God to provide what we need to survive each day. Because, you see, we are dependent upon God to provide for our needs. His presence nourishes our soul, His creation provides the food we need for our bodies, and so we know we need God, we need Him daily.
- We are in constant need of forgiveness and there is great honor asking God to forgive us each time we pray.
- God lead the Israelites into the wilderness to be tempted and he led Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted. Even Jesus asks God to relieve us of those testing times.
Daily bread sounds like my kind of meal plan. When I pray, I'm rarely able to ignore my dependence upon God. That's why I'm asking Him for things like bringing more of heaven to earth, what I need to survive today, the forgiveness I have not earned, and a passover on a season of testing. Because He is the only one who can accomplish those things. I don't like feeling needy because I know it reduces my self-reliance and increases the probability that you will think I am weak. But I am needy. I need God. Daily. That's why we pray. We need to pray just to make it today...
As we hunger for more of God's presence in our lives, the first step to fill ourselves with more of God would be diagnosing that we are in fact hungry. Second, we need daily bread to survive and Jesus is our Living Bread. Nothing else will fill you up. Carb-loading on destructive habits, destructive relationships, and constructed idols will leave you with cravings. In great contrast...
Psalm 145:16 "You (God) open Your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing."
Psalm 147:14 "He makes peace in your borders; He satisfies you with the finest of wheat."
Psalm 81:16 "I (God) would feed you with the finest of wheat; and with honey from the rock I would satisfy you."
Psalm 132:15 "I (God) will abundantly bless her provision; I will satisfy her needy with bread."
Jeremiah 31:25 "For I (God) satisfy the weary ones and refresh everyone who languishes.”
Psalm 16:11 "In Your presence is fullness of joy"
If God's presence brings us the fullness of Joy, if God promises to satisfy the needy with bread, if God is our Living Bread, if we need our daily bread, we will find our fill with knees to the earth in prayer.
When was the last time you prayed? What did you pray for? How did you pray? And how might a season of spiritual hunger mirror your prayer life?
In a season of great spiritual hunger, I started to follow the breadcrumb trail through the sacred scriptures to find the most satisfying bread for our soul: Jesus.
This led to an obsession with the 300+ times “bread” is mentioned in the holy scriptures, and you’re reading the results, a 16 part bible study: I.Love.Carbs.
Let's break bread together. You could start from the beginning here & be sure to sign up to get the latest blog post delivered right to your inbox >>>>>