Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal. . . . the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.” Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.”
. . . . Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread the fathers ate, and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever. . . . After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. So Jesus said to the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” (John 6:27; 33–35; 53–58; 66–69)
Jesus talks a lot about the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of the world. He uses language that tells us to be in world, loving and living, blessing and being but not to be of that world. Rather, we are called to a greater reality, a Kingdom reality as cooperative friends of Jesus, living lives of creative goodness for the sake of the world and by the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus promises that as we live more fully into our identity as citizens of his Kingdom that we will experience peace, joy, hope — an abundant life, more and better life than we ever imagined possible.
The problem is that each of us is in danger of being by the world we are in more than the Kingdom we are of. And that should not surprise us. That’s why Paul says we need to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. The voices of the “in” world are loud and persistent, those of the “of” Kingdom can be still and small. The advertising man and the person you are competing against for promotion speak in the language of the “in” world, while contentment in all circumstances reside in the Kingdom we are “of” — God’s Kingdom.
There is a name for the things that keep us captive in the world, the things that have more power over us than we ever intended to give them. That word is addictions. In order to be freed from our addictions, we need a process, and it begins with commitment where we:
1. Admit we were powerless over our addiction.
What is the addiction that you are powerless over? Name it.) 2. Come to believe that a Power greater than ourselves can restore us to sanity.
Do you believe that God is more able than you to set you free you from that?) 3. Make a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
What do you understand about God? Do you see him as your sustenance and greatest need, quenching your hungers in ways that will satisfy you forever? If you do, decide right now to turn this thing over to him. Invite someone else into the process and work the process. Believe the promise from God that he who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it. Allow him to move you into the life you always wanted.
Peace, hope and love Doug