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  • Writer's pictureMarco Inniss

He Provides Manna One Day at a Time

Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land the LORD promised on oath to your ancestors. Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years. Deuteronomy 8:1-4

When God provided the miraculous manna, he provided just enough. The description’s pretty precise. Those who gathered a lot had nothing left over, and those who gathered a little had enough. Then he gave them a curious command: “No one is to keep any of it until morning” (Exodus 16:19).

Why would God forbid leftovers? What’s wrong with taking a little initiative and gathering enough manna for a couple days or weeks?

Here’s my take on the manna miracle: The manna was a daily reminder of their daily dependence on God. God wanted to cultivate their daily dependence by providing for their needs on a daily basis.

Nothing’s changed. We want a one-week or one-month or one-year supply of God’s provision, but God wants us to drop to our knees every day in raw dependence on him.

And God knows that if he provided too much too soon, we’d lose our spiritual hunger. He knows we’d stop trusting in our Provider and start trusting in the provision.

Spiritual maturity is often confused with independence. It’s the exact opposite. The goal is codependence on God. God didn’t design us to “grow up” and be independent from him. Our desire for self-sufficiency is a subtle expression of our sinful nature. It’s a desire to get to a place where we don’t need God, don’t need faith, don’t need a local church home, and don’t need to pray. We want God to provide more so we need him less. That’s just not the way it’s supposed to work.

Drawn from the NIV Bible for Teen Guys. Article from The Circle Maker Student Edition by Mark Batterson with Parker Batterson, copyright © 2012 by Mark Batterson, published by Zondervan.

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