“Great, but have you eaten?”

After the last two messages, I think I have this image in my head where I sidle up to the Lord, who of course is sitting on His throne, and I push a button and a little packet comes out with the a little card stating “sufficient grace for today, come back tomorrow.” Honestly, for me, this is the same as that small book with the title: HWMR. But, taking care of that form isn’t the point, is it? The point is that when we come forward into the Holy of Holies, to the Ark, in our experience the Ark becomes the table of the Bread of the Presence.

What is the table for? A feast! What is the bread for? EATING! The Christian life is a life centered and focused on eating. It is NOT a matter of doing or not doing this or that. It is NOT a matter of putting on a fa├žade of piety. It is NOT a matter of trying to change people’s thoughts and beliefs and workings and doings. It is simply and wholly a matter of eating.

Not long after the children of Israel began their wanderings in the wilderness God provided them with heavenly bread, manna. The manna became the constituting element that separated them from the other peoples and made them a heavenly nation. (Remember, you are what you eat!) But, the table of the Bread of the Presence signifies a deeper experience in our eating. Actually, we need to learn to feed upon Christ, to take Him in, to enjoy Him in this deeper way.

The significance of the Bread of the Presence in our experience can be seen in these five points when contrasted with the manna:

First, the manna was in the wilderness, outside of the outer court of the tabernacle. The Bread of the Presence is in the Holy Place. As a Christian you have the right and duty to enjoy Christ. Wherever you are, you can enjoy Christ! This is the manna. He is ready and available no matter where you are. But, there is a special portion of Christ that can only be found in the Holy Place and it is related to the Ark. The Ark is the embodiment of Christ, the Holy Place is the built up habitation of God. What is this? This is the church. This particular portion of Christ can only be enjoyed and experienced when you are built up with other believers. Do you feel like you can go on alone? Or do you realize your need for the other members? If you realize this need, then you can say that you have (to whatever extent) been built up in the church.

Second, the manna was available to everyone. The Bread of the Presence was food only for the Priests, God’s serving ones. This ties in with the third and fourth contrasts which are that the manna was the supply for their living, whereas the Bread of Presence was the supply which enabled the Priests to serve God; and that the manna was the daily supply whereas the Bread of the Presence was a weekly supply.

Finally, the fifth contrast was that the manna was scattered about on a field whereas the Bread of the Presence was arranged in a particular way upon the table. This signifies that eating this supply will produce a manifestation, a display of Christ that will be a nourishment to both God and man. When we eat manna we are separated unto God, when we eat the Bread of the Presence we become the duplication and manifestation of God on the earth.

These are marvelous, detailed points of how we need to partake of the Bread of the Presence. However, what stood out to me from this message wasn’t so much the how, but the who. This is the Bread of the PRESENCE. What does this mean? In Hebrew, the word translated as presence here is literally, “face.” To come into the Holy Place to enjoy the Bread of the Presence means that you come forward to the Ark as the throne of grace and enjoy Christ in the very face of God. The treasure in our spirit (the reality of the Holy Place) is that we have the face of God. A person’s face and countenance reveals everything about that person. When we have God’s face and live in His presence, we know God’s heart and thus can walk according to God’s heart and live a life that fulfills God’s purpose. Hallelujah, eating Jesus is the way!