Before crossing into the promised land, Moses would tell the children of Israel to “remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord” (Deut. 8:2-3).
Now the Israelites called this bread from heaven ‘Manna’ which literally means, ‘What is it?’ (Ex. 16:15, 31). It was unknown, unfamiliar and unusual, yet they had to learn to live on it. In the same way, countless believers today are wandering through life trying to figure out, ‘What is it?’ saying, “God, what is your will for my life?” We are perpetually searching for relevance, longing to hit the mark we were intended to hit, yet we never seem to fully find it. As distractions and fears surround us, it will become harder and harder to discern His voice. Now is the time to follow Him to the wilderness, to fast, pray and learn to live on His wonder bread.
Though this world’s fingerprints are all over us, it is the Lord’s mission to mold us into the people He created us to be from the beginning, even if it means leading us through the inconvenience of a wilderness. He created us to trust, obey and follow His leadership with hearts full of love; therefore, He allows us to hunger. He will never force you, but He will starve you out of your comfortable, self-dependent shell until you finally choose to let go of your pride. Jesus came on the scene teaching that He Himself was the Bread from heaven, the Bread of life (Jn. 6:28-40). This offended many and several of His disciples left and walked with Him no more (Jn. 6:66) because they weren’t willing to receive His words as spirit and life. Just as those who complained and died in the wilderness, they wanted to follow God on their terms. Even today, we prop ourselves up with college degrees, personal accomplishments, large savings accounts, and honor before man, while genuine faith in Christ becomes a last resort (not that these are wrong in and of themselves). God’s will is found in the place of dependence, where we have nothing left to fall back on except His saving grace, wisdom and provision, counting all else as dung (Phil. 3). When your relationship with Jesus becomes more valuable than oxygen if you were a thousand miles under water, you will discover His will.
Jesus entered the wilderness full of the Spirit, but He came out of it in the power of the Spirit (Luke 4:1, 14). The Holy Spirit leads us through the wilderness, so we can find this wonder bread and learn the will of our Father. This is not only about seeing the bigger picture of His will because there is still so much that is outside of our capacity to comprehend, but it involves asking our Father for daily bread and receiving our marching orders for that day. God commanded the children of Israel to only gather enough manna for that day, no more and no less (Ex. 16:19). Don’t be so anxious about tomorrow’s bread nor try and live on yesterday’s spoiled manna, but continually seek after fresh bread while it is still today. Feast on the revelation of Jesus and be filled with the knowledge of His will by way of persistent prayer and hunger for His Word. Ask the Lord what is on His heart for that day. Follow the daily bread crumbs to your destiny with God. Ask yourself how your simple day to day decisions can be about your Father’s business?
Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. (Eph. 5:17)
“In the meantime His disciples urged Him, saying, ‘Rabbi, eat.’ But He said to them, ‘I have food to eat of which you do not know.’ Therefore the disciples said to one another, ‘Has anyone brought Him anything to eat?’ Jesus said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work (Jn. 4:31-34).'”
I can imagine the perplexed look on the disciples’ faces when Jesus had said this, knowing how weary and hungry He must have been from their journey. Similarly, after Jesus had been fasting forty days and nights, the Gospel of Matthew says “afterward He was hungry” (Matt. 4:3). He then resists Satan’s temptation while declaring, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Matt. 4:4).'”
The chief goal of Satan’s temptation was not to merely break His fast, but it was to keep Him from breaking through into His intended purpose. He wanted Jesus to choose momentary satisfaction at the expense of detouring from the will of His Father, but Jesus understood where true and lasting satisfaction comes from. It is not enough for us to just resist or avoid sin; we must actively fill our souls with the food of DOING His will.
It is interesting that Jesus tells His disciples about this ‘wonder bread’ at the place of Jacob’s well, Jacob being the one who tricked his brother Esau out of his birthright for some bread and soup (Gen. 25). It is our birthright (privilege) as born again Christians to do the will of our Father, and Satan will do anything to take that away from us. There is no one more bitter or depressed than a stagnate Christian living outside of their purpose because they continually sell their birthright for momentary satisfaction. The more we are caught up in fading pleasures, comforts and pursuits rather than being about our Father’s business, the less we experience the reward of walking in His perfect will and the joy of being fully alive in Christ. Eating His wonder bread sustains us.
“Then Jesus said to them, ‘Children, have you any food?’ They answered Him, ‘No.’ (Jn. 21:5)
Jesus said to them, ‘Come and eat breakfast.’ (Jn. 21:12)
Even after Jesus had shown Himself to His disciples, they still wavered between knowing His will and walking in His will. They quickly returned to what they knew; fishing (Jn. 21:3). Although they surely remembered the excitement they felt when their Messiah had hand-picked them, saying, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matt. 4:19), they allowed the fear of failure to govern their ability to follow God and do His work. So there they were, after a long night of catching nothing, and Jesus recruits them yet again saying, “Feed My sheep” (Jn. 21:15-17). He said this three times, reinstating Peter who had denied Him three times.
Many of you are in a long night season, unfulfilled, and searching for purpose, yet you are catching nothing. Hear the the Lord’s invitation: Feed My sheep, multiply the bread I give you and keep following me. Don’t over complicate this thing. When we detour from our purpose, we are starving our souls from true fulfillment. Jesus’ command for Peter to feed His sheep was an invitation to follow Him to his own cross. By his obedience, he would feed the Lord’s sheep with faith and courage for generations to come. People will feed off your testimony, so don’t allow the leaven of the culture to contaminate it.
Jesus didn’t pay that gruesome price to make our lives easier, but to show us the simple way to true life. Keep in mind that God’s will always leads us through the cross. “Yet not my will, but Yours be done” was the heart cry of Jesus throughout His entire earthly ministry, so why not make it yours?
Wonder Bread = The Word and the Will of God
We must find it, eat of it and multiply it.
“For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God…”(Col. 1:9-10)