Holding to Truth

holding to truth in love for the building up of the Body of Christ

Is Your Spiritual Eating Advancing?

Are you advancing in your spiritual eating?

“Is your spiritual eating advancing?” It’s a question worthy of sober consideration. 

We’re all aware of how important physical eating is to our human life. But are we as conscious about our “spiritual eating?”

You may be asking, “What do you mean by “spiritual eating?”

To “eat” is to contact things outside of us and to receive them into us, with the result that they eventually become our constitution.

So  “spiritual eating” refers to our receiving the divine, spiritual, life-element of Christ into us as our nourishment and supply to live the Christian life (John 6:57).

In John 6:57, the Lord Jesus said,

“So he who eats Me, he also shall live because of Me.”

Such spiritual eating, that is, receiving and enjoying Christ as your nourishment, should be the primary matter in your Christian life.   Your spiritual eating should always be advancing in definite stages.

So in this post I’ll consider three stages of spiritual eating and how to progress in your eating for normal Christian growth unto maturity.

 

Three Stages of Spiritual Eating–the Passover Lamb, the Heavenly Manna, and the Rich Produce of the Good Land

The Lord Jesus and the apostles often used pictures from the Old Testament to illustrate abstract New Testament realities. One of these pictures was Israel’s progressive eating in Egypt, in the wilderness and in the good land of Canaan.

Their  three stages of eating portray how we  should progressively advance in our eating of Christ first as our real Passover lamb, then as our heavenly manna, and finally as the rich produce of the good land.

Have you eaten Christ as your Passover lamb?

The first stage of spiritual eating is portrayed by Israel’s eating of the roasted lamb in Egypt on the night of the Passover (Exodus 12).  That became the first day of a new year to them (v. 2).

In the same way, your receiving of Christ as the Lamb of God (John 1:29) becomes the first day of your “sacred calendar.” It becomes the beginning of your Christian journey.

For the Passover, God told His people to do mainly two things—“take the blood” and “eat the lamb.”

To “take the blood” was to put the blood of a lamb on the doorposts of their houses. This signifies your entrance into Christ as your real “house” where you’re saved from God’s judgement. It is the  blood Christ shed for you on the cross that opened the way for you to enter into Him.

Today you can “take the blood of the lamb” by believing in Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God, your Redeemer. To apply His blood is to receive faith what Jesus did in shedding His blood for you.

Then, in the house, they ate the lamb. They ate the flesh of the Passover lamb for their life supply. To eat Christ’s flesh is to receive by faith all that He did in giving His body for you (John 6:54).

You can receive Christ as your Redeemer and life supply simply by coming to Him in prayer:

“Lord Jesus, thank you for becoming the Lamb of God to die for my sins. Lord, right now I apply your redeeming blood. By your precious blood, I enter into You as my real dwelling place. Lord, be my rich feast. Lord, I eat You as my real Passover Lamb. I receive You into me as the life supply I need to follow You on the Christian journey.”

By receiving the crucified and resurrected Christ as your life, you’ll be nourished and strengthened to rise up and make your “exodus” from Egypt. You’re ready to advance to the second stage of spiritual eating!

Are you eating Christ as your heavenly manna each morning?

The second stage of spiritual eating refers to your daily receiving of Christ as God’s heavenly supply. It’s a matter of your coming to Him each morning to be nourished and reconstituted with Him.

After beginning your Christian journey by eating the Lamb, you need to progress to eating Christ as your heavenly manna every morning (Exo. 16:14-16; John 6:56-58).

To progress through this stage, you need to build up a daily habit of rising up a little earlier each morning to receive spiritual nourishment. You need a certain amount of time with the Lord to feed on Him as your life supply each day. Here are a few pointers for starters:

  • Start by setting aside 10-15 minutes alone with the Lord; increase the time as your appetite grows.
  • Pray short, spontaneous prayers to open yourself to the Lord.
  • Confess any sins or guilt that you sense in your conscience.
  • Pray-read, sing, thank, and praise the Lord using 2 or 3 Bible verses for spiritual nourishment.

In  Exodus 16:18 it says, “He who gathered much had no excess and he who gathered little had no lack; each of them gathered according to his eating.” So you should be neither greedy nor lazy. Simply gather the manna, Christ as your spiritual nourishment,  daily and early  (16:21).

In my previous post, “How to Begin Your Day with God,” I referred to this gathering of manna as an illustration of our time with the Lord in the morning.

By daily eating Christ as your heavenly manna, you’ll be constituted one of God’s heavenly people and be supplied to enter into the third stage of eating!

Are you feasting on Christ as the produce of the good land?

By your eating in the first two stages, you’re energized to leave the world and are constituted with Christ as your heavenly element.

In the third stage, you’ll come to realize that your Christ is not only a little lamb to redeem and save you. He’s not only the heavenly manna to supply and reconstitute you. He is a spacious land for you to live in, labor on and enjoy continuously. For more appreciation of Christ as the good land, I’d highly recommend a prayerful reading of The All-inclusive Christ by Witness Lee.

Colossians 2:6 says,

“As therefore you have received the Christ, Jesus the Lord, walk in Him.”

Footnote 2 on this verse in the Recovery Version says,

“As we have received Christ, we should walk in Him. Here to walk is to live, to act, to behave, and to have our being. We should walk, live, and act in Christ that we may enjoy His riches, just as the children of Israel lived in the good land, enjoying all its rich produce. The good land today is Christ as the all-inclusive Spirit (Gal. 3:14), who dwells in our spirit (2 Tim. 4:22; Rom. 8:16) to be our enjoyment. To walk according to this Spirit (Rom. 8:4; Gal 5:16) is the central and crucial point in the New Testament.”

The manna was given directly by God requiring no labor on the part of the eaters. However, the produce of the good land, as the continuation of the manna, required God’s people to possess it, labor on it,  resulting in a produce for their eating.

As believers, we need to advance in our spiritual eating from the lamb and the manna, to the rich produce of the good land. This produce signifies Christ as our consummated  life supply, the life-giving Spirit, as the issue of our labor on Christ. When we walk in Christ, contacting Him as the Spirit, moment by moment, we labor on such a spacious Christ. In this way,  He becomes the rich produce in all our living.

By eating Christ as the produce of the good land, we’re constituted with Him and made the same as He is in life, nature and expression for the building up of the church as the Body of Christ (Eph. 1:22-23 – typified by the temple built up in the good land).

If you were helped by something in this post, please take a moment to leave a comment.

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About Tom Smith

Hi. My name is Tom Smith. I'm the writer behind Holding to Truth in Love, and I love the Lord Jesus and His life-giving Word. Please feel free to send me an e-mail through the contact page if you have any questions. I hope you'd take a moment to subscribe to the Holding to Truth blog. Then you'll be sure not to miss a post. Thanks!

6 Replies

  1. Shelly

    Thank you so much for sharing these words of wisdom. May God continue to bless you and yours

  2. LeiraRuthF.

    It’s my first time to know that there must be an advancement in our eating. Before, I only think of Christ as the living bread yet Christ is indeed much more! He’s not just the lamb, the manna, but also the rich produce of the land. I am impressed that to enjoy Him as the riches of the land, there is an amount of labor. Eating is enjoyable yet we need to labor to have something to eat. The all-inclusive Spirit is there but we need much exercise of our spirit whenever we want to enjoy Him.

    1. Tom Smith

      It is a change of concept to realize that our spiritual eating needs to advance from gathering manna to laboring on the good land. Both are types of Christ, but the later is more advanced. May we all be enlightened to see that we should not just receive Christ as heavenly bread each morning, but progress to walking in Christ, laboring on Christ, to produce a rich harvest of Christ to offer up Christ for the building up of the Body of Christ. This is surely an advance!

  3. Cheryl Watson

    There truly is no end to the bountiful supply of Jesus Christ! The more I am enriched by eating Him, the deeper and richer He becomes to me. Growth is all together a matter of eating and digesting this bountiful Christ!

    1. Tom Smith

      Amen. May the Lord go deeper in our eating from gathering heavenly bread while wandering in the wilderness to walking in Him and laboring on Him as our spacious good land…walking according to His Spirit in all the details of our living.

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