daily bread

by Elizabeth de Barros

“We must continually focus and firmly place our faith in Jesus Christ —
not a “prayer meeting” Jesus Christ, or a “book” Jesus Christ,
but the New Testament Jesus Christ,
Who is God Incarnate —
and Who ought to strike us dead at His feet.”

– Oswald Chambers

There — he said it, not me.

Exhortation like that might feel like a cold slap in the face on an otherwise damp morning, but isn’t it the truth?

We need to be reminded again and again if we want to keep things on the straight and narrow — to keep Him set before us at all times. If we’re not careful, we’re easily led astray. Let’s face it, it’s in our nature to go running after other gods. Isn’t that why it says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”?

Truth is hard-nosed. It doesn’t give up and it won’t bow down. It strips away excess and lessens the options. That is, if you’re looking for options. But if I set the Lord before me, as bread upon the altar is set, everything else takes a back seat — it has to. He is the showbread, a shadow reminder that He is the food I long for even when I scamper off in search of Him in lesser things. The reality of the showbread is that He patiently waits for me to return to where I belong: before the bread of His Presence.

I must know Him. I must have Him. Not some subjective experience or second-hand revelation. I can’t live on someone else’s anecdote, no matter how funny. And I’m not a hair holier if I manifest a reactionary goose bump. I must seek Him. He must be the One I reach for, the One I partake of — Jesus Christ — the One Who is found upon the sacrificial altar of all lesser things.

 

Still Life with Stoneware Jug, Wine Glass, Herring, and Bread, 1642
Pieter Claesz, Dutch, about 1597–1660

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