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Dear Partner,

"What about tomorrow?" One of the primary ways that anxiety attempts to build a stronghold in our life is to get us in fear concerning what the future holds for us. Regarding material provision, we still sometimes catch ourselves worrying about whether we will have "enough" in the future, even when we are adequately supplied today. Now don't get me wrong, we are to be thoughtful and diligent to prepare for tomorrow. We are told to:

Prov 6:6-8  Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.

It is one thing to be prudent, diligent, and wise. It is another to constantly live in fear concerning tomorrow. Jesus taught very specifically against us living lives of torment based on fear of lack in the future:

Mat 6:31-34  Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Everything that Jesus teaches in this passage was first taught to Israel in the wilderness during the forty years when God fed them with manna. I have been sharing these "Lessons From The Manna" and this month we will look at one of the major lessons God taught them: GOD IS FAITHFUL! There is no reason to fear lack in the future.

God had a captive audience for forty years in the wilderness. Here was a people totally separated from the world system. They could not buy nor sell in the wilderness. They couldn't even sow and reap in the wilderness. They were totally dependent upon God and He designed the manna in such a way to teach them about His nature. Remember, He could have designed the manna any way He wanted to, so we can learn much about His nature by looking at the lessons taught from the manna.

Why did God design the manna so that it could not be kept overnight? (Of course, on the sixth night it could be kept and would not stink so no gatherings would have to be done on the Sabbath.) But all of the other nights, if you kept any of it until morning, it bred worms and stank. Why did God design it like that? Because He wanted Israel to learn there was no reason to hoard up food based on fear of lack.

Put yourselves in their sandals for a moment. In the beginning you might have a normal tendency to wonder if God will continue to provide manna every day. So, let's say you stash away a portion of manna so you can eat it tomorrow just in case God does not provide the following day. The next morning when you look outside your tent, you find that with the dew came the manna. Not only did God provide fresh manna every day, but you also found that the old manna you hoarded was now useless. After forty years of God proving Himself faithful every single day, even the most "professional worrier" would have to come to the conclusion, "There is no need to fear lack in the future. God will not fail to provide for us."

That was one of the primary lessons God wanted Israel to learn and it is also one of the primary lessons Jesus wants the church to learn again today. Yes, it is good to be diligent in our work and to be a people who live within our means. We should save some of our income for future needs. The bible commends those attributes in a believer. But Jesus spoke very strongly that we should not live as the unbelievers do who spend their whole lives from their birth to the grave worrying about, "What shall we eat? What shall we drink? What shall we wear?"

What is the lesson from the manna? GOD IS OUR FAITHFUL PROVIDER! No matter what comes in the future, the same God who provides for the birds of the air and the lilies of the field WILL ALSO PROVIDE FOR US! There is no need to live in fear. God will make a way for those who trust Him even when there seems to be no way possible. After all, He provided for Israel for forty years in a wilderness where nothing would grow.

I began these studies on the "lessons from the manna" because Paul referred to them when giving his advice to the Corinthian believers regarding their giving to help others who were in need. He was advising them to give out of their surplus in order to help those who were in need at the time. People who constantly live in fear of lack in the future simply will not part with any portion of what they have because they fear they might not have enough in the future. Paul wasn't encouraging them to give "everything they had." Far from it. He was simply counseling them to give a portion out of their surplus and not to live in fear of lack. (2 Cor 8:10-15)

Let us always remember these lessons from the manna: OUR FATHER IS FAITHFUL. HE IS OUR PROVIDER. HE WILL NEVER FAIL US. HE IS FULLY WORTHY OF OUR TRUST! HE WILL MAKE A WAY WHERE THERE IS NO WAY! Hallelujah!

Sue and I love you and appreciate you. We thank God for your generous and giving heart. God bless you!

Your friend and co-laborer,

Gary Carpenter

 

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