“Dear Jesus, you are my daily bread…”
We love singing the songs, we love praying the prayers - but do we realise that “daily bread” means we need to actually seek, feast upon, and get nourished by Jesus daily?
Think about what good food does - it nourishes us, strengthens us, gives us energy, stops us from getting hangry (hungry and consequently angry at the same time) … so we seek it out. We search the fridge, find the goods, and feed ourselves with it - every single day.
Bread is consistently symbolised in the bible as the Word of God. In fact, the manna that God provided for the Israelites in the desert, paints the perfect picture of our daily need for eating scripture. He literally air-drops real bread from heaven into their camp - every single day for 40 years. The miraculous provision comes with one condition: don’t gather more than a day’s worth. Why? Because God wanted to emphasise their dependance on Him for nourishment and strength on a daily basis. (You need to read WHO'S THE MANNA for more on this - trust me #doit)
So, typically, the Israelites do the exact opposite and try to stock up on the manna. But God ingeniously designs the manna to go maggoty and smelly by the end of the day so it’s actually impossible.
/// Exodus 16:20 ///
“ However, some of them paid no attention to Moses; they kept part of it until morning, but it was full of maggots and began to smell. So Moses was angry with them.”
Ok gross. But funny. Their attempts to stock up the manna were thwarted. Who says God doesn’t have a sense of humour? He's hilarious.
The question begs: what on earth possessed the Israelites to do this? I mean Moses, God’s spokesperson at the time, literally just told them not to do that. Sure, he didn’t mention maggots, but shouldn’t God’s instruction be enough?
My answer: they were either ...
“I can’t be bothered going out every single morning and gathering manna so I’ll just collect a few day's worth. That’ll save me trouble of heading out tomorrow.”
“If I gather enough for a few days, that’ll be super time efficient and I’ll have time to sacrifice those pigeons…”
Interestingly, these 2 factors remain to be the greatest enemies of our devotional life today.
When it comes to gathering our heavenly manna - spending time in the Word on a daily basis - we either can’t find the time, or we can’t be bothered. And usually, there's 2 voices at work...
THE VOICE OF LAZINESS: It’s subtle, but most deceiving things are. It’ll whisper in your ear to stay in bed, sleep in a little longer - you’ll find time later in the day to read the Word (and you, me, and your coffee know that aint true.) It’ll convince you that it’s too hard, too much effort, and
give you every excuse in the book why you shouldn’t open God’s Book
(yet it’s strangely silent when you open up Facebook…)
Reading and studying the bible is like anything else in life that is worth while - it takes hard work, time, concentration and persistence! The truth is,
the Word of God is filled with treasure, waiting to be found - but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to dig for it.
If you’re prepared to put some effort into it, you’ll combat the Voice of Laziness when it comes whispering, and unearth treasures that’ll last you a lifetime.
THE VOICE OF BUSYNESS: It'll urgently tug on your shoulder, insisting that you don't have the time. It'll tap its watch telling you it shouldn't take this long - there’s places to be and people to see.
But digging for treasure actually requires your time.
Now that I have babies, I can rarely be spontaneous about surfing anymore. I have to actually plan ahead and set my alarm to wake up and go - I even have to pack the car the night before! Gone are the days when I can stumble out of bed and make a last minute decision to check the waves. I simply don’t have the time. But because I value surfing and the reward it brings me - I’m willing to carve out space in my life and do what it takes to get out in the water - because I’ve experienced the reward.
I bet you set your alarm to get to work on time. I gotta ask - does spending time in the Word make it onto your calendar just as unquestionably?
Life is busy. I get that. But
we simply can’t afford to be too busy for the Word of God.
What you value, you make time for. If you value the Word of God, and His voice in your life, you'll make time for it in your daily schedule, just like everything else you love. Trust me, I’ve tried to come up with formulas just like the Israelites. “If I read an extra hour of my bible today, I won’t have to do it tomorrow because I’ll be nice and full.”
Um, no. Just because I eat a big meal today, it doesn’t mean I don’t need food tomorrow. We’re designed to NEED God’s Word and FEED on God’s word daily. Make the time, and put in the effort - the rewards far outweigh the sacrifice.
/// John 6 : 5 7 ///
anyone who feeds on me will live because of me.
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