Yesterdays Manna

Don’t hold on to something God is calling you out of, whose fruit may have been ripe for a season. Whatever that “thing” is may have been filling for a time, but it needs to be left behind for something fresh and meaningful today.

During 40 years of wandering in the desert, God provided for Israel. The manna was waiting every morning for their daily consumption. But God commanded Israel not to store it up for the future. It was just for the day. Is it possible that you’re holding onto something that seems good but has rotted from the inside out – and you haven’t noticed? That’s not an easy question to answer.

I’ve often challenged folks to consider times when our good heart gets us in trouble. That may be from stepping through boundaries that aren’t ours to permeate, or it may simply be a gesture that’s read the wrong way and you get burned in response. There’s also that element of grace that requires truth be spoken in difficult circumstances. Then there’s that thing you’ve been doing for the “kingdom” for so long it’s become a chore, not a privilege or even a calling.

Over a year ago God asked me to lay down my career as a coach, mentor, and consultant to business owners. It wasn’t a full-time gig, but it was something I knew years earlier that God called me into. As He painted a vision for my future, it had no immediate place in the equation. Ministry awaited. Writing a book and this blog became a priority. Teaching and volunteering at the local Mission, where my wife works, became an obvious “thing”. I had to lay down the past for the promises of the future. It was tough. No income and little interaction with people and groups that had become a regular part of my life. It was a wilderness move – or so I thought. What I didn’t realize is that God intended that time to be for further spiritual healing and revelation required for the next steps He had planned for me. Embracing Brokenness Ministries and beyond.

What must go to make room for the next thing? Like clothes in the closet – we can’t keep adding to the wardrobe without taking something out or we run out of space. Same applies to our lives, ministry, capacity to thrive, or ability to function with balance.

Is there a greater good coming in this next season of life? Or is it more work to take on that challenge, trial or relational stress that comes with that greater good? It may be true for you, but it seems risky to take the next step. #trustgod would seem like the appropriate response, but it ain’t quite that easy, is it?

Change was built into the human experience to get us to loosen our grip. I love the old 38 Special tune; Hold on Loosely. The next few lines are epic – But don’t let go – If you cling to tightly – You’re gonna lose control. Counter-intuitive, right? The song was referring to relationships, but it’s deeply true in the Kingdom as well. In God’s Kingdom. He’s the determiner of seasons, not only in nature but in life. Hold on loosely since He’s in control.

In my coaching career I insisted that my clients work on a One Year Plan for their business. Makes sense. In fact, I created a 5-year planning tool to document mid-term strategies looking ahead at the opportunities and threats lurking in the shadows of their future. I’d then have them develop tactics to counter or accentuate the coming conditions. After all, anticipating and planning are much better solutions than fear and over-reaction to changing circumstances. No stakeholder likes uncertainty. But in the Kingdom, its full of uncertainty. How many times have you accurately predicted God’s future for your life, your relationships or even the ministry you’ve been called into? Me? Almost never! But He does show Himself faithful in the daily demands of our life. It does require a commitment toward intimacy though. Intimacy that few believers have experienced. Now understand, I’m not saying don’t plan. But initiating a God ordained plan and waiting for the details as He unfolds them is a much more productive place to live.

The challenge is not to get hung up on yesterdays manna. When the Israelites tried to gather extra they got greedy or fearful or both. By the next morning, it was rotten. So much for our way of thinking. Perhaps it’s time to consider letting go of what seems right, even today.

Is God calling you into something new? Ask Him. He’s always available and waiting for an even deeper intimacy with each of us. What that looks like for you may be different than it did for me. For me, it was changing circumstances. Confirmation from an intercessor. A soft-spoken word in my heart. I just knew it and the rewards were indescribable. A deeper and even more intimate relationship with Him. Today’s manna is much different than yesterday’s, and tomorrow’s may be different than today. Relinquish it. Embrace the new. Enjoy it. But most of all ask for it.

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