Joshua 5:12: “And the manna ceased on the morrow after they had eaten of the old corn of the land; neither had the children of Israel manna any more; but they did eat of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year.”
When the children of Israel crossed over the Jordan and came into full view of this bountiful land, they also saw the enemy strongholds that would need to be destroyed. They had already been delivered from the hand of Pharaoh, experienced life on their own, free from the bonds of slavery, ate manna from heaven, had clothes and shoes that did not wear out, and saw many miracles that should have sustained their loyalty and faith for a lifetime. They had also witnessed first hand what disobedience would bring upon them. They had been given all the tools necessary to possess the promises of God, yet all too often they were filled with doubt, reluctant to fight, and lacked faith in God’s provision. To put it bluntly… they always wanted more by doing less!
Hard work comes when the manna stops, but so does deeper blessings, sweeter experiences, greater freedom, and all the fruit of the land that we could possibly eat. There is great significance in the day the manna ceased. Cities would be conquered, giants would fall, and this amazingly fruitful land would be possessed. We must take care that we do not fall into a manna mentality that would keep us from possessing what God has for us. It is too easy to rest in contentment and be sustained by “manna” and never march forward to the Canaan that awaits us.
While there are great lessons to be learned from this event in history, let us also absorb the spiritual guidance and encouragement that it offers by considering the pros and cons of the purpose of manna. When manna is falling, it is because we need it. There is less work involved because it is freely provided, however, it is only meant to be life sustaining until we enter our purpose by conquering the enemy around us. Once the manna has stopped, this means we have entered our purpose and all that we need is there for us to take. There may be more work involved, but instead of sustained life, we can now experience abundant life. Life filled with variety, freedom, blessings, love, joy, peace, and strength to face each day!
Let me encourage you today to march after the promises of God. When we sit and wait for the promises to come to us, we’re only sustaining ourselves on spiritual life support. We expect manna to fall on us when God wants us to march and conquer. We must pray while actively engaging in preparation, and plow ahead through our daily lives while keeping our faith at work. Faith that is not exercised — is not faith at all.
Don’t slip into a manna mentality, be a promised land seeker! Put on God’s armor and begin to march through this day. You may encounter troubles and difficult people, but the reward will be much sweeter. When you look down and see no manna, there is no need for alarm. This simply means to look up and begin to possess the promises that God has already supplied. You need only be willing to take them!
I pray, “Father, forgive me when I doubt Your sovereignty and I wait on others to help, to fulfill my needs and bless me, because I’ve become lazy in obtaining it for myself. Lord, give me spiritual eyes to see when I slip into this way of thinking. I want to be a conquerer. I desire to be an asset to my church and those around me, and not become a burden that others need to gather for. Thank You Lord for blessing me, may I never forget what You have done. Let it inspire me to reach those around me, in Jesus’ name, amen.”
Rev. Cathleen N. Cathcart is pastor of New Life Worship Center in Spartanburg.