Monday, October 11, 2010

God is glorified by the non-miraculous

And the manna ceased the day after they ate of the produce of the land. And there was no longer manna for the people of Israel, but they ate of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year.
Joshua 5:12

The generation that entered Canaan under Joshua had grown up eating manna. For many of them, it was the only food they had known. They had lived their entire lives trusting in God's morning provision of miraculous food in the desert. But when they crossed over into Canaan, covenanted with God at Gilgal, and celebrated the Passover, all that changed. They began enjoying the fruit of the land. And the manna ceased.

This was God's will for them. They would no longer be the recipients of a daily bread that defied the laws of nature. Instead, the world in which they lived which had been designed to feed them through the routines of agriculture would do so. It was God's will that the non-miraculous define their lives. And this was equally a testament to God's provision as manna in the desert.

Personally, I believe that God's will is to lead His people in this way. He could certainly intervene and do all over the third world what He did for Israel in the desert. Think about it... wouldn't manna from heaven be a terrific solution to world hunger? And the evangelistic opportunities that would emerge from it... people would be drawn to something supernatural. But that is not God's design. He insists on humanity's resources (which are abundant) and the food of the good earth (also abundant) be distributed by hard work and care to those in need and hunger. God is glorified most by caring Christians making the difference using the resources we work together to grow and distribute to the needy. It is in the wisdom of His design that a water cycle exists, that soils can be maintained as fertile, that we have the knowledge to improve crops and farms, and that we have the means to store, preserve, and distribute food globally.

It is in the everyday stuff of this world that we need to see God. And it is in that daily, normal routine that we must come to Him and find His spiritual provision. It is in the stewardship of each of our individual lives that He is glorified and known. If we are waiting for a miracle, instead of serving in the moment, we might just be missing the kind of relationship that is as old as God's design for Israel eating from the fruit of Canaan in obedience to Him.

- Prepare your minds for action.
1 Peter 1:13

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