“Now the children of Israel camped in Gilgal, and kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the month at twilight on the plains of Jericho. And they ate of the produce of the land on the day after the Passover, unleavened bread and parched grain, on the very same day. Then the manna ceased on the day after they had eaten the produce of the land; and the children of Israel no longer had manna, but they ate the food of the land of Canaan that year.” Joshua 5:10-12
There are seasons in life in which God will provide for us by what seems to be miraculous means. Provision comes in from unexpected places; places in which we are not planting seed yet we are reaping a harvest. The children of Israel had a season of time in which this was taking place in their lives. They were traveling through the wilderness. They didn’t own any of the land they traveled over and therefore, were not able to plant and harvest. For forty years, this continued for the children of Israel as God took care of them by supernatural means.
Joshua 5:10-12 tells of a change in the way God provided for the Israelites.
God had spoken to the children of Israel through their leaders and fathers and had told them that there was coming a time in which they would live on their own land. During the days of Joshua, this prophecy came to pass. When the children of Israel crossed the Jordan River and ate the produce of the land of Canaan for the first time, God changed the way in which He was providing for Israel.
Think of this:
Walking along and picking up manna is much different from plowing, planting, weeding, and harvesting. There is no scientific pattern or human involvement in the picking up of manna. It is created by God, it falls from heaven, and the children of Israel pick it up each day. The extent of their involvement in this process is to trust in God and bring along a basket to hold the manna!
Working land is quite different. It involves processes and seasons and seed and knowledge. It is very easy for us to “de-spiritualize” this type of provision. After all, there is much that is controllable about this process and much that can be done by knowledge without the Spirit. Any man or woman can till a garden, buy and plant seed, maintain the soil and harvest what comes up! When we get involved in this type of process, it is easy to work God out of it since so much can be learned and controlled.
Many may disagree, but I believe that sowing and reaping takes a much deeper level of faith, maturity, and trust in God than picking up manna! It requires the sower to reject the temptation to assume control over the process. A wise farmer knows that, despite what he can do to bring about a harvest, there are two things that are certain:
1. The farmer didn’t create the soil, weather, seed, and seasons so he has a respect for the One who did.
2. The farmer can follow all of the “rules” of sowing and reaping and still not control the outcome.
The land of Promise has its temptations just like the wilderness has its temptations. In the Promised Land, things come easier and are more predictable than the wilderness. This is not due to our prowess but because of the power of God’s word fulfilled. Things can happen so easily that it can appear to us that we have learned the secret to making things come to pass. In this temptation lies the deception that we are making things happen, not God! Following this deception comes other temptations such as acting like “lords” instead of servants (I deserve to live at a higher level), and the possession of an “entitlement” mentality (I deserve the rewards of my labor and if I don’t get them, something is wrong and its not me that’s wrong!).
To be spiritually mature, you must learn how to change vehicles without leaving God behind! If God is blessing you in some area of your life right now, beware of the temptations of promise fulfilled! If you keep the following truths in mind, you will be blessed without becoming a “mess:”
I’m a steward and not an owner. I’m a servant and not a lord. What God is doing is for Him and not for my comfort nor my exaltation. I didn’t create the time of blessing nor the blessings themselves, so I give glory to the One who did. This season of blessing is not a validation of my holiness but of God’s goodness. If I don’t invite others to share in my promise, my promise will end up devouring me! My spiritual maturity is not gauged by how much I have but by how much I give! Sowing and reaping and all that goes with it is just as spiritual as picking up manna!
You are entering a time of fulfillment. Remember the lessons of the promise and your promise will be a blessing to you!
Merry Christmas and may you embrace the greatest gift of all – His Presence!!!
- End of Manna, Beginning of Fruitfulness (thepreacherscorner.wordpress.com)