At times, I’m not a very patient person. I struggle with being impetuous. I’ve managed to improve on that over the years but it has and does require real effort to overcome the desire to ‘just do something’; so often, what God is waiting on is for us to come to the end of our preverbal rope. The place where there are no more resources, no more strength, and we are weary and broken.
Where we are going today hopefully will provide some encouragement for those like me who tend to take charge of things only to find that I need a ‘recharge’ upon exhausting my abilities. Encouragement and comfort when the chips are down and we can’t see past the next footstep.
Exodus 16:4-5 (CSB)
Then the Lord said to Moses, “I am going to rain bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. This way I will test them to see whether or not they will follow my instructions. On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather on other days.”
Maybe you think it a bit strange after the introduction to this article I provide you the excerpt from Exodus above. I did so, because I wanted to set the tone for the discourse. You see, the Children of Israel were deep in the wilderness. Food was sparse and they complained to Moses saying it would have been better to have stayed as slaves in Egypt rather than starve in the wasteland.
As a result, Moses asked the Lord for aid and the Lord God provided just exactly that.
What I want to focus in on here is something that maybe we don’t pay enough attention to most of the time. While it is significant that God provided, I think it is more pointiest, is that when God sent the manna he wanted to teach an object lesson to the Israelites. God told them to only collect enough for the day unless it was the day before the Sabbath when they could and should collect a double portion to carry them through the Sabbath day. It’s a really important fact that God showed us His model of his provision to his people. ‘Just in time’ inventory (Sustenance).
This isn’t the only reference in the Bible where God provides whatever is needed just at the right time. In fact that is a scriptural principle by itself.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 (CSB)
He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also put eternity in their hearts, but no one can discover the work God has done from beginning to end.
Not too soon, not too late, but everything appropriate in its time. Why?
- He wants us to depend on Him for our needs.
- He wants us to realize that our power is subject to His grace.
- He wants us to trust in Him completely, rather than our competency.
- He wants our surrender to His will!
- Why does God allow us to crash?
Well first off we do have the major responsibility for those implosions we are a part of. God doesn’t engineer our calamities. On the contrary, we are much too quick to do that on our own. But God will stand by and wait for us to arrive at the point we are eager to surrender to Him.
1 Peter 5:6-7 (CSB)
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your cares on him, because he cares about you.
There is that ‘time’ issue again. God waiting for us to be ready for Him. A few things are implicit here; Submission (Humble yourselves), the timing factor, leave it to God (casting all your cares on him) and this isn’t a game (because he cares about you).
The issue is our trust in ourselves rather than God care for us. It was with the Children of Israel and it is with us so often. We fail to turn over everything to Him because we have it covered; or so we think. It isn’t until those plans we have cast have crumbled in our hands that we are ready to surrender and submit our will to Gods.
Amos 3:3 (CSB)
Can two walk together without agreeing to meet?
The ‘crash’ if you will, is simply the point where your God and your will meet. Up until that point we have been running a high probability of being in conflict with God’s will for it. So it isn’t all that uncommon to find when we are in our darkest troubles that we are there because of our decisions, and we finally are willing to shed the encumbrances that prevented us from submission in the first place.
Jude 21 (CSB)
keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting expectantly for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ for eternal life.
So this what I pick up on here. Does God want us broken and in defeat? No. Does he always stand back and let us succumb to our own devices? Not really. What does God really want in all this then? He wants that pure fellowship that he placed Adam and Eve in the garden for. He wants our will subjected to His at all times. He’s not really looking forward to us hitting bottom to pick us up and dust us off. He would much rather that we on our own determine at the outset that what we really want is what God wants.
‘keep yourselves in the love of God’ says it all. If you love someone more than you love yourself then your will is sacrificed to theirs. We want to do what that person wants to do, even if what they want to do isn’t necessarily falling into our top 10 of the bucket list. We are safe when we find ourselves comfortably nestled into His will. The first position on our bucket list should always and constantly be surrender to Christ!
God comes to our rescue regardless of if we are the end of our rope or just starting out on a new journey. The determining factor is going to be our willingness to let Him lead and give up on our lofty plans. When we do this His strength is made perfect in us.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (CSB)
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is perfected in weakness.”
Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me. So I take pleasure in weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and in difficulties, for the sake of Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
This is a constant in our lives.
Lamentations 3:22-23 (CSB)
Because of the Lord’s faithful love we do not perish, for his mercies never end. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness!
Does this mean that we are going to breeze through life with no troubles at all? No, far from that. We live in an imperfect world and exist in an imperfect body. While we can’t entirely avoid calamity or troubles, we can minimize them when they are approached via the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Psalm 23:4 (CSB)
Even when I go through the darkest valley, I fear no danger, for you are with me; your rod and your staff—they comfort me.
Because of who we are and where we are there will be dark valleys that make it seem like there are zero options that can be safely navigated. The difference is that with our ego out of the way and our hope resting in Jesus we are not subject to fear and we find constant comfort in our shepherd’s watchful gaze.
Matthew 6:31-34 (CSB)
So don’t worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
I happen to love this passage so very much. First off its Jesus talking, but beyond that what a liberating collection of wisdom from our Lord! Don’t worry about eating, about drinking, about what you’re going to wear and you can take it further. Don’t worry about that illness, job, and mortgage payment. God knows! Even more importantly God cares! Seek God’s kingdom and ‘all these things will be provided for you’.
That last verse is just awesome; “Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” There is no reason to engulf ourselves in worry. Period, end of story. If you have turned it over to God it’s in his hands, leave it there!
Philippians 4:6 (CSB)
Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Got it? “Don’t worry about anything” because He’s got it. However, “in everything, through prayer and petition with thanks giving”, fret? No! Present your requests to God.
It’s called living in the Spirit. Our heart in union with the Holy Spirit living in us in complete surrender of our will to the will of our Lord. The results of this?
Galatians 5:22-23 (CSB)
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The law is not against such things.
Doesn’t sound like worry at all does it? Doesn’t appear to be disaster does it? Not even when it is disaster from the viewpoint of the world around us it is victory. And that is enough. That is enough for today. Enough for everyday.