Meat and Manna
As we are now walking through increasingly intense and troubling times, it is more important than ever that we fortify our foundations. As a professional pilot, I was in continuous training to keep my skills sharp, and 90 percent of this training was fortifying the foundations. If my fundamentals were strong, they helped me to do the most important thing in dealing with an emergency in the air—fly the airplane. You have to keep flying the plane while dealing with the problems. Likewise, there are fundamentals in life that we must keep doing regardless of what else comes at us. This is why the most successful people in every field are those who do the basics best and devote themselves to constantly practicing them. This is why I unashamedly repeat certain truths and teachings throughout my writing and speaking and why I read the Bible every day.
There is the “meat of the word,” which is the illumination of the deeper truths. Every believer should be weaned from just milk so that they can eat this more solid spiritual food. We get this through our own in-depth studies, such things as going to conferences, maybe taking courses, reading books, or listening to the teachings of others on the subjects we’re pursuing. Every strong and advancing believer will have such studies going almost constantly, sinking their roots deeper and deeper into the Word and knowing the Lord’s ways.
Then we have what I call “the manna” of the Word. This is the lighter, daily Word we receive from the Lord. This can come from systematically reading a chapter or two of the Bible or a devotional. It may not be new revelation to us, but it will sustain us.
I once heard a pastor say that his wife had prepared him thousands of meals during their many years of marriage, and only a handful were so outstanding that he still remembered them, but all the rest kept him alive! It is the same with the manna that should be our daily diet. It’s not meant to be deep, or even new to us, but it sustains us in our Christian life.
In Exodus 16:4 we read, “Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a day's portion every day, that I may test them, whether or not they will walk in My instruction.’” That is remarkable. This one thing and primary factor will determine if the people will walk in the ways of the Lord or not. Will we too get up first thing every morning to gather something fresh from heaven for that day?
If we value the Word of the Lord enough to get up a few minutes early to start our days by seeking something fresh from Him, it can be one of the things that most radically changes our lives. You’ll find that if you begin your day with Him like this that you will be much better able to abide in Him all day. We will be more prone to take our thoughts captive, making them obedient to Him rather than wasting so much of our life in vain imaginations, frustrations, etc. This really could determine whether we walk in the ways of the Lord in a very practical, daily way.
In Deuteronomy 8:16-17 we read, “In the wilderness He fed you manna which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do good for you in the end. Otherwise, you may say in your heart, ‘My power and the strength of my hand made me this wealth.’” Here He adds that He gave them manna to humble them. We should all have humility as one of our chief pursuits because “God resists the proud, but gives His grace to the humble” (see James 4:6 NKJV). God’s grace is more valuable than any other treasure we could have on this earth. One of the ways that the Lord provided to keep Israel humble was manna! How did this keep them humble?
It is the same with us. By getting up first thing each day to seek fresh manna from heaven we are acknowledging that we cannot make it through the day without Him and His Word. Because of this, the simple devotion to get up each day to do this could be one of the biggest conduits of His grace into our lives.
As Jesus related in His teaching, He is the Manna that comes down out of heaven. It is not just hearing the words of the Lord that we’re seeking, but it is hearing the Word, Himself. It is a personal touch from Him each day that we should be more addicted to than a junky is for his next fix. This is an addiction that does not put us in bondage but truly sets us free to be what He created us to be.