“In the wilderness, God puts us to the test, but in our cravings, we put God to the test. We ask, ‘What are you going to do for me this time?…
“Israel craved meat in the wilderness. It wasn’t their hunger for meat, but their rejection of manna and their lust for Egypt that provoked God’s anger.” – Anchor Devotional (Emphasis mine.)
I have often thought of their lust for the leaks and onions of Egypt
BUT…had not consciously thought of their rejection of the manna. No planting, no watering the seeds, no weeding, no harvest season. Just collecting the manna faithfully provided each morning. The perfect food chosen for them by their Father God..I do NOT want to reject the manna God provides for me. What about you?)
Chewing on the message
Am I rejecting His manna? I have been chewing on that thought for a few months: Rejecting the manna. Stunningly accurate. Scarily convicting. Hauntingly thought-provoking. What does that look like in the world we live in?
What do my friends say?
When I bring it up to my friends, they too, have the same reactions. Are we too complacent with Creator God? Our Sovereign King. Our Provider. Our Sustainer. The All-Sufficient-One. Our Protective Father. Am I acting like I think that I know better than He what I need?
Ugh! That pesky sin nature
We have this sin nature that longs for something DIFFERENT than what we have. A nature that naturally gravitates toward discontent rather than gratitude. In speaking with my friends about this, we had to admit that we want OTHER than what He provides more often than we care to admit.
What are some of the consequences of that discontent?
- Misplaced hunger (we are actually hungering for more of GOD but we think we are hungering for more of something/anything else).
- Sadness (we think we are sad because GOD is slighting us but we are actually sad because we are out of fellowship with the Provider).
- Temptations of all sorts (we open ourselves up to the Tempter. satan knows what will bring ingratitude, fear, discontent, broken fellowship, and temptations to carry out the sins we are thinking about/ considering).
- Rejecting God and His provision/His plan/His will (we neglect time with Him. We neglect prayer. We neglect fellowship with fully devoted followers. We seek counsel from like-minded people rather than those that are courageous enough to speak Biblical Truth into us).
- If we do not CHOOSE to turn BACK to Fellowship with the Lord and rather begin following unwise counsel we begin to shipwreck in our faith. (We become discontent to the point of taking matters into our own hands. We sink so low we actually begin to believe the lies and we sin against the Lord and His best plan for us).
- And then, the wilderness becomes our home (We eventually get to a state that NOTHING satisfies. Even if we know GOD has provided it. Like the Israelites in THEIR wilderness experience.)
- At this point, normally, God’s anger is provoked (Not because He hates us for not obeying resulting from our lack of gratitude. But because He DOES love us. He sends consequences equal to the offense. To bring us back to Himself. To get our attention. He does this out of love. Just like He did for the Israelites over and over again!)
What do we do when we realize our foolishness? Our sin?
- Give yourself grace. Realize cravings/temptations are common to all, and…
- Understand that the temptation is NOT the sin, but…
- Acting on the temptation/craving IS the sin and will have consequences
- Don’t wait for the consequences before you decide to flee; rather, immediately…
- FLEE TO JESUS CHRIST as soon as you crave ANYTHING other than HIM
- KNOW He instantly forgives and gives the strength needed to continue to…
- RESIST the devil, so he will flee from you…
- PRAISE THE LORD for that is the the way OUT of the wilderness…
- Give thanks for His plan…
- Give THANKS for the MANNA HE has PERSONALLY CHOSEN for YOU! For YOU are HIS beloved!
- Remind yourself that the “manna” HE provides is sufficient for all your needs.
Keep pondering His word and His will, dear friends.
Let me know how I can help.
Until next time…Thank you for all you do!