In church this past Sunday I was touched by the Father’s tender presence filling my heart with overflowing joy. The pastor beautifully prepared us to come forward to the communion table, and after tasting the body and blood of Jesus we sang of His great faithfulness and love. For a moment my spirit drank from the heavenly realm and His love surrounded me with blessed assurance. My response was tears of praise. What a great way to start the week!
On Tuesday I shared with you that one way to “strengthen your shoes” was being reminded that you belong. You have been adopted into God’s family by the blood of Jesus, symbolized in Joshua’s day by circumcision and in our day by baptism. But another essential element to “strengthen your faith shoes” would be intimacy with your Heavenly Father.
Notice after the children of Israel were circumcised they had communion; “On the evening of the fourteenth day of the month, while camped at Gilgal on the plains of Jericho, the Israelites celebrated the Passover” (Joshua 5:10). Under the nose of their enemy, the Father had them set a table for the Passover. God wanted to remind His children of His intimate love. He wanted them to taste and see that He alone is faithful and good!
Jesus gave us the fullness of the Passover meal displayed in the Lord’s Supper, or Communion. This is an invitation to be spiritually intimate with our Savior. The secret behind the power of the New Testament church was that they knew they belonged to the Father through their baptism and daily intimacy as they ate together at the Lord’s Table (Acts 2:42-47).
Read Joshua 5 again and notice the Israelites gained their strength for the battle by being centered on knowing whom they were and experiencing the presence of God’s overwhelming love.
In baptism and the Lord’s Supper, God has given us two great pictures and seals of our belonging and His intimate love. Don’t neglect these gifts of grace. Let them strengthen your faith. Let them remind you that you belong and are intimately loved.
Abba I confess today I belong to you. I claim my baptism as the seal of this truth. Nothing can separate me from your great love as your precious child. I ask today that you feed me spiritually the gift of your Son Jesus Christ. Let His broken body and blood from the cross cover my sin and present me perfect before your presence, so that I may walk forward in faith knowing that your love is all I need. Amen!