One of the reasons for our bondage to the flesh is that we are, by nature, empty in our spirits and our hearts. Our inherent emptiness compels us to seek fullness. For this reason detrimental overeating, overdrinking, overworking, overthinking, sexual impurity, excessive attachment to family or friends, etc. dominate humankind.
The good news is that there is a remedy, a way to satisfy our spirit and feed our souls that is beneficial and freeing. Notice how Jesus taught this:
Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” 30 So they said to him, “Then what sign do you do, that we may see and believe you? What work do you perform? 31 Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” 32 Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” (John 6:29-33).
Jesus told His disciples that doing the work that God requires is believing in the Son whom He has sent. The Jews then asked Jesus for a sign, a miracle, so that they might believe in Him, reminding Jesus that Moses did a miracle by asking for and receiving manna in the wilderness.
Their request for a sign evidenced their spiritual blindness, for Jesus had already changed water into wine, healed numerous people, fed a multitude with a few fish and some bread and walked on water.
Graciously, Jesus corrects the people, teaching it was not Moses who did the miracle but rather God in heaven. And then Jesus offers enlightenment by defining what it means to “believe in the One He has sent.” Notice how Jesus teaches that to believe in Him means to come to Him and feed on Him - the Redemptive Manna whom God has sent:
“For the Bread of God is He who comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world." 34 Then they said to Him, "Lord, always give us this bread." 35 Jesus replied to them, "I am the Bread of Life. The one who comes to Me will never be hungry, and the one who believes in Me [as Savior] will never be thirsty [for that one will be sustained spiritually]. 36 But as I told you, you have seen Me and still you do not believe.” John 6:33-36 (Amplified Bible - AMP)
And now we understand how to get free from bondage to our flesh. The message Jesus taught was 1) Come To Me, 2) Feed On Me, 3) Believe In Me. These truths teach us exactly how to feed our faith, fill ourselves full to overflowing with Christ so that we’re no longer empty and hungry.
Let’s look at these together so that we might truly believe in Jesus, feast on Him, be filled to overflowing in Him, and no longer have to to look elsewhere for satisfaction. Let’s learn how to feed our faith:
First, Come to Me. “The one who comes to Me will never be hungry” (John 6:35). In context, to come to Jesus means to acknowledge our spiritual hunger and go to Him for the eternal food we need. It means to turn away from all the other avenues we have been pursuing, which leave us empty, and to come to Jesus for filling.
Have you come to Jesus? Are you broken? He can mend you. Are you hurting? He can comfort and heal you. Are you desperate for rescue? He is mighty to save. Are you always craving more? Jesus satisfies. Pause a moment, and watch this!
Jesus emptied Himself of His glory, His royalty, and the riches of heaven to come down to this earth as a babe in a manger. He emptied Himself further when He went to the cross, pouring out His life unto death and declaring with a loud voice, “It is finished!” He poured out every drop of blood, breathed His last breath and gave up His Spirit to save us.
Yes, Jesus emptied Himself completely, the purpose of which was to fill you entirely. “and [that you may come] to know [practically, through personal experience] the love of Christ which far surpasses [mere] knowledge [without experience], that you may be filled up [throughout your being] to all the fullness of God [so that you may have the richest experience of God's presence in your lives, completely filled and flooded with God Himself]” (Ephesians 3:19 AMP).
Jesus invites us to come to Him empty, and He will fill us. He speaks through Isaiah:
Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. 2 Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare” (Isaiah 55:1-2).
Second, Feed on Me. “Jesus replied to them, ‘I am the Bread of Life. The one who comes to Me will never be hungry, and the one who believes in Me [as Savior] will never be thirsty [for that one will be sustained spiritually]’ (John 6:35 AMP).
Feeding on Jesus is what rescues us from feeding our flesh, gratifying our lusts. We learn to feed on Jesus through spending time in His Word. “I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread” (Job 23:12). “When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, Lord God Almighty” (Jeremiah 15:16).
The key when spending time in God’s Word is to come to Jesus in each passage and to feed your soul on His marvelous work of redemption, salvation, and freedom.
As you read your Bible, look up to the cross and see Jesus offering you His body and blood. Hear Him saying to you from the cross, “I forgive you. I love you. I am for you. I am with you.” See His blood as your atonement, His death as your pardon, His resurrection as your power over sin.
Third, believe in me. “...the one who believes in Me [as Savior] will never be thirsty [for that one will be sustained spiritually]. 36 But as I told you, you have seen Me and still you do not believe.” John 6:35-36
Some people say “seeing is believing,” but Jesus made it clear that “believing is seeing” (John 11:40). If you put faith in Jesus and what He has accomplished for you on the cross, your spiritual eyesight will be opened to see amazing and glorious sights. And as you see them, your heart will be greatly encouraged, your soul will be wonderfully filled, and the result will be freedom from looking anywhere else to be satisfied. By faith, we feed on the cross, drink of the Spirit, and leave our tomb of sin to live a new life in Jesus!
And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us” (1 John 3:23).
“A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” 28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:26-29).
Freedom from our flesh comes by feeding on Jesus, the Bread of Life. He came down from heaven to die on the cross, thereby giving life to all who believe. The way to believe is to connect your faith with Jesus' wounds. Believe that He was wounded for your transgressions and bruised for your iniquities, that the punishment that brings you peace was upon Him (Isaiah 53:5). Look to Jesus and hear Him say to you, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. See the depths that I sunk to for you, touch the epicenter of my pain for you, and experience the reality of my love for you. Stop doubting, believe, and be free!"