God’s Changing Provision; May 19, 2017

Joshua 5:12 The manna stopped the day after they ate this food from the land; there was no longer any manna for the Israelites, but that year they ate of the produce of Canaan.

God supplies, but He doesn’t spoil. When the nature of His provision changes, we tend to panic. Actually, the Israelites had a hard time getting used to manna in the first place, but once they were used to it, having it stop was probably anxiety-producing. No one under 40 had eaten anything else! (Actually, it seems to me that they probably ate meat from the sacrifices and from hunting, but they hadn’t had grain and such.) Because God had them moving for those 40 years He provided supernaturally, but with their changing circumstances, He changed the nature of His provision, requiring more participation on their part. I am reminded of what happens when people who have grown up on welfare are required to work for a living. The reaction can be rather severe! The problem comes when we fail to recognize that things like welfare payments are for special circumstances and are not the normal state of things. I’m sure plenty of Israelites were upset when the manna stopped! In the final analysis we are all totally dependent on God for our existence, but He, being the perfect Father, knows what is best for us, and it’s certainly not a dependent, entitled mentality. We are to be active as stewards of the things and the opportunities He provides. When Jesus told us to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33) He wasn’t just saying not to be anxious, He was saying that we are to be active in the tasks God has for us. If we will do that, we will discover that God’s provision is abundant indeed.

This has certainly been my experience. The more I have focused on getting stuff for me, the faster it’s gone through my hands. When I have focused on knowing and doing what God wanted of me, I have enjoyed genuine prosperity. That doesn’t just mean getting stuff, it means that what I have had on hand has lasted and served me well. I have some clothing that I’ve worn for over 20 years! Recently the Lord has been indicating that some things are to be replaced, but I’m not to mourn their passing. I sometimes wonder what it would be like to have enough income to owe income tax, but to my observation, I live much more comfortably than some people who have a lot more income. The point is, if I’m where God wants me to be, doing what He wants me to do, I don’t have to worry about anything. He’s got it.

Father, thank You indeed for Your abundant provision. Help me be the steward of that provision that You want me to be, so that Your purposes for each part of it may be fulfilled, for the blessing of many and for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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