“If only the Lord had killed us back in Egypt,” they moaned. “There we sat around pots filled with meat and ate all the bread we wanted. But now you have brought us into this wilderness to starve us all to death.” Exodus 16:3 NLT God could have just put an end to their disobedient complaining right there and sent them back to the bondage of Egypt. But in His infinite mercy (not getting what they deserve) and grace (getting what they don't deserve) He chose to provide manna from heaven and quail to sustain them. So the people of Israel did as they were told. Some gathered a lot, some only a little. But when they measured it out, everyone had just enough. Those who gathered a lot had nothing left over, and those who gathered only a little had enough. Each family had just what it needed.
Then Moses told them, “Do not keep any of it until morning.” But some of them didn’t listen and kept some of it until morning.(disobedience) But by then it was full of maggots and had a terrible smell. (you find maggots in dead things) Moses was very angry with them...
He told them, “This is what the Lord commanded: Tomorrow will be a day of complete rest, a holy Sabbath day set apart for the Lord. So bake or boil as much as you want today, and set aside what is left for tomorrow.”
So they put some aside until morning, just as Moses had commanded. And in the morning the leftover food was wholesome and good, without maggots or odor. (life in obedience) Moses said, “Eat this food today, for today is a Sabbath day dedicated to the Lord. There will be no food on the ground today. You may gather the food for six days, but the seventh day is the Sabbath. There will be no food on the ground that day.”
Some of the people went out anyway on the seventh day, but they found no food. The Lord asked Moses, “How long will these people refuse to obey my commands and instructions? Exodus 16 read the whole story here
When we read the story of the Israelites wandering in the wilderness for 40 years, many of us wonder how they could continue grumbling and complaining and being disobedient to God for that long and not understand why they were not able to arrive at Canaan, the Promised land. But it is actually the same today! So the people of Israel ate manna for forty years until they arrived at the land where they would settle. They ate manna until they came to the border of the land of Canaan. Exodus 16:35 NLT God sustained them with manna, but they never entered into the blessings He had promised them. He showed them mercy and grace and sustained them...period. They were not permitted to enter into the blessings of God, only to wander in the wilderness they hated. But God sustained them with manna--His mercy and grace--for 40 years.
Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “How long must I put up with this wicked community and its complaints about me? Yes, I have heard the complaints the Israelites are making against me. Now tell them this: ‘As surely as I live, declares the Lord, I will do to you the very things I heard you say. You will all drop dead in this wilderness! Because you complained against me, every one of you who is twenty years old or older and was included in the registration will die. You will not enter and occupy the land I swore to give you. The only exceptions will be Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun. Numbers 14:26-30 NLT
Many believers today are doing exactly the same as the Israelites in the wilderness. They are saved and maybe even go to church, pray and tithe; but still live sinful, disobedient lives. They gather their daily dose of mercy and grace to sustain them. They thank God for His mercy and grace that sustains them, not realizing the abundant life they could be living in His Kingdom!
Will you "get to heaven" being sustained on mercy and grace? Maybe. That's between you and Jesus--not my call. Will you live an abundant, blessed, fruitful Kingdom life being sustained on mercy and grace? No. There is no abundance in the wilderness of sin and disobedience. There is only "getting by" on manna.
Do you want to get out of the wilderness? Do you want to advance from being sustained to blessed, prosperous living? Also bear in mind, this isn't about being wealthy. A blessed, prosperous life is a life of peace, with divine health, healthy loving relationships with all our needs met and we are able to meet the needs of others. If you don't believe that, ask a millionaire who is dying of a terminal illness or who has lost the love of their family and has no relationship with them. Money is just a tool.
In Hebrews 12, we are told: "let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us." What sin easily trips you up? What is the thing that causes you to be disobedient to the Father every single time it enters your mind? The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. I Corinthians 10:13 NLT
I thank God for His grace and mercy. There were times in my life when that was all that sustained me. But I knew I couldn't stay there. I had to advance toward that abundant life He has for me. If I stayed in the wilderness, being sustained on manna, I would never fulfill His purpose for my life! That would be a tragic waste just because I couldn't become more self-controlled and obedient to His Word.
You have a purpose for being here. You were born with a mission. You will never discover it, wandering around in the wilderness being sustained by manna. Grab hold of that sin that so easily tempts you, cut it off at the root, throw it out and keep moving toward Kingdom living. You don't want to wake up in 40 years, having spent your whole life fighting the same battle over and over and never getting victory.
May your light shine brighter every day, as you advance in the Kingdom of God!
Be a Kingdom light shining in the darkness,
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