4 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Look, I'm going to rain down food from heaven for you. The people can go out each day and pick up as much food as they need for that day."
21 The people gathered the food morning by morning, each family according to its need. And as the sun became hot, the food they had not picked up melted and disappeared.
35 So the people of Israel ate manna for forty years until they arrived in the land of Canaan, where there were crops to eat. Exodus 16 selected (NLT):
What is the first thing I'm tempted to let slide when I'm super busy? I'll give you a hint. It's one of the few things on my to do list that doesn't nag at me, isn't "productive," and doesn't need to be done yesterday. It doesn't even have to get done today "or else." I'm not losing sleep, time, or money when I put it off. And basically, no one else on this earth notices or cares if I do it or not.
I'm talking about my daily time spent getting to know and love God. The time I take to read His word and talk to Him about what matters to me. The time I take to listen to Him about what matters to Him, and to let Him love on me for the day.
The fact is, when I neglect this important daily sustenance, it may not matter that day so much. I can get by and do pretty well for awhile. But eventually it matters—a lot. I can't stay passionately inspired, creative, and anointed for the work God has given me without it. I begin to feel used up, dry as a bone, and overly tired. I miss the opportunity to hear God speak and for receiving His direction for my day, which is so much more exciting than the stuff I plan for and accomplish by myself.
I recently read about the manna days with the Israelites. I realized how much God tried to tell His people through this example about the vital need of spiritual nourishment through our daily time with the true Bread of Life, Jesus. He's our sustaining force, and He promised that if we filled up on Him, we would never be hungry. But the many days when I neglect my time with Him, I am so very hungry.
A few specific observations I've noted from this passage:
Jesus was my food sent from heaven.
I must eat of His presence daily in order to be sustained.
I can pick up as much as I need for that day, but it will not be enough for tomorrow.
Morning is the best time to gather this food, before I start my day.
The message He has for me today will disappear if I do not gather it up.
I will be nourished by His presence this way until I reach my future Promised Land where His presence will surround me in continual, unrationed abundance.
Today, decide that you will eat of His presence daily so that He might fill you up and make you satisfied. He has so much to give you and teach you, but it can only be done through this daily gathering of His Word and spending time with Him.
Dear Lord, give us this day our daily Bread…