Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Releasing Worry & Trusting God: Manna Moments

Have you ever heard (or said), "Well, it's not just going to fall out of the sky?!" It's an expression that reminds us that what we want/need isn't necessarily going to be easy and just fall into our laps. While it's true that we can't expect idleness and laziness to yield good fruit, we often forget that working, worrying, and striving too hard isn't how we should expect to get our needs met either. No matter what it is that we are hoping for (everything from material needs to answered prayers), we should be counting on God as the provider of those needs.

Our God is the God who rained down manna from heaven (Exodus 16:4). Yeah, FOOD rained down from the SKY! HE DID THAT! He is the One to whom we also pray "give us this day our daily bread" (Matthew 6:11) and who IS the "bread of life." As He said in John 6:32-35:
I tell you the truth, Moses didn’t give you bread from heaven. My Father did. And now he offers you the true bread from heaven. The true bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.
The SAME GOD who made sure that the widow's flour and oil did not run empty (1 Kings 17:8-16), will provide a gas tank, food cupboards, and a checkbook that doesn't run empty! The SAME GOD who took a few loaves and fish and fed THOUSANDS (Matthew 14:13-21, Matthew 15:32-39, Mark 6:30-56, Luke 9:10-17, John 6:1-14), is the SAME GOD that works miracles for us today! He WILL provide for you; miraculously multiplying blessings with baskets leftover! We don't have to complain, worry, and hoard like the Israelites did with their manna. We must break off this "scarcity complex" and TRUST the One who will ALWAYS give us enough!

Notice what story follows the feeding of thousands of people in Matthew 14, Mark 6, and John 6; walking on water! Let's take a moment to think about this part in Mark 6:52
For they still didn’t understand the significance of the miracle of the loaves. Their hearts were too hard to take it in.
Are we too of so little faith? Are our hearts so hardened by all the miracles we have witnessed in our own lives that we cannot walk on the water? Have we not been provided for thus far? Are we not still here to live, breathe, and bask in His blessings every day? In the "bread of life" verse mentioned before, that moment comes right after the feeding of thousands and walking on water. John 6:22-29 says:
The next day the crowd that had stayed on the far shore saw that the disciples had taken the only boat, and they realized Jesus had not gone with them. Several boats from Tiberias landed near the place where the Lord had blessed the bread and the people had eaten. So when the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and went across to Capernaum to look for him. They found him on the other side of the lake and asked, “Rabbi, when did you get here?” Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, you want to be with me because I fed you, not because you understood the miraculous signs. But don’t be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you. For God the Father has given me the seal of his approval.” They replied, “We want to perform God’s works, too. What should we do?” Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.”

 Finally, remember Jesus' words in Matthew 6:19-34. He starts off by talking about treasure, your eyes being the lamp of the body, and not serving two masters. That's a lot to unpack in those verses alone, but then he follows it up with "that is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life...." We see, value, and serve the wrong things so very often; worrying about all the things that he goes on to talk about (food, drink, clothing, etc.) and that all of that worrying won't add a day to our lives! "Look at the birds....look at the lilies of the field..." He says. As we scroll through our social media feeds, we see that "these things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers" (v.32); but WHY should it dominate OURS when WE who believe KNOW who is taking care of us? Jesus said the Father already KNOWS our needs and that we are to live righteously and seek the Kingdom of God first above all else. Then, He will GIVE US all that we need (v. 33). “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today." (v. 34).

I encourage you, brothers and sisters:
Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. - 1 Peter 5:7. 
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. - Philippians 4:6-7.
Grace and peace to you, my friends! Reflect on your own "manna moments" in your life. Trust His faithfulness! Remember how He has always provided for you and brought you through! Count your blessings and name them one by one (as the old song goes). PRAY about EVERYTHING! Declare it over the things (like your gas tank) that you're worried about running empty. Stop complaining and start praying! He'll fill you up and make things last! Don't let worry dominate your thoughts! That flour and oil will last! Trust Him! You are worth more than many sparrows! Never forget that Christ is over all things and gives US all power, authority, and victory through His finished work on the cross (watch this Dutch Sheets "Give Him 15" video...I'm quoting my favorite part below). "ASAH" and God bless you:
When Jesus said “It is finished” (John 19.30) at the end of His time on the Cross, He did not quietly whisper those words, as is often thought. It was actually one word, and He shouted it! (Matthew 27:50) Nor was Christ referring to His death, as many think. Jesus shouted the word tetelestai if He chose to use the Greek word John gives us. However, He spoke both Greek and Hebrew, and was quoting from Psalm 22:31 when He made this announcement. If He actually used the Hebrew word from that verse, it would still have only been one word, asah. Either word would have been a declaration that Christ had finished the assignment given Him. The Greek word actually meant “to pay a debt in full.” The Hebrew word is also the word for “creating” something. Perhaps Jesus was announcing the new creation!

We do know that when Christ made this declaration, the ground shook, rocks split and people were raised from the dead (Matthew 27:50-53). His words rent the heavens, shook the earth, and broke the power of death. Now He wants to speak through you. Declare His finished work over your situation. Decree His victory over the nations. Read Psalm 2 out loud over America, Ukraine, the Middle East. Shout “asah” over unsaved family members, your sick body, your checkbook. Release the roar!