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Friday, September 14, 2012

"Breaking the Manna Mentality"

(Part 3 of 3)

“Man does not live by bread alone, but on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”

                                                                                                            Matthew 4:4

Have you ever heard someone say, “I’m just not being fed?” This is often the excuse given by members of our churches when they reach a place of spiritual dissatisfaction, dryness or disenchantment, usually, as they are leaving to find a new church. In some cases, there are real issues with the teaching that is taking place from the pulpit. However, in most cases, what is really being said is “The manna I am receiving here, isn’t satisfying me anymore.” Typically our solution to this spiritual drought is to change churches or change channels and see what other people can give us.

I want to challenge those of you who have said such a thing to consider this….Perhaps, God has caused the manna to stop in your life, so that you will dig, sow, reap and fight for the Word yourself! It could be that He does not want you to get comfortable with just receiving what other people have labored for! How about instead we, according to 2 Timothy 2:15:

“Study to show thyself approved, a workman that needeth not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (KJV)

We have to stop being satisfied with tuning in to hear what our favorite television teachers have to say. We have to stop being content with reading what our favorite Christian authors have discovered in their studies. Although we may be learning new things, we are still eating the manna. And as time goes on, we begin to get selective about it. We start choosing only a select few that we will receive from. We have to remember that manna doesn’t come from people, it comes from God. It was given for your spiritual nourishment, not your spiritual growth.

The manna mentality leads people into becoming dissatisfied and couples it with a constant desire for more. In Numbers 11, even though God faithfully provided what they needed every day, the Israelites wanted more than manna. So God gave it to them:

Tell the people: Consecrate yourselves in preparation for tomorrow, when you will eat meat. The Lord heard you when you wailed, “If only we had meat to eat! We were better off in Egypt!” Now the Lord will give you meat, and you will eat it. You will not eat it for just one day, or two days, or five days, ten or twenty days, but for a whole month- until it comes out of your nostrils and you loathe it-because you have rejected the Lord, who is among your, and have wailed before him, saying, “Why did we ever leave Egypt?”

                                                                                                Numbers 11:18-20

They wanted “more” from God, but didn’t want to raise a finger to get it! True growth does not come from what is laid outside our tent doors. We grow when we are willing to dig into the Word of God ourselves and allow the Holy Spirit to teach us. So get digging!


Pastor Scott Burr


Friday, September 7, 2012

"Breaking the Manna Mentality"

(Part 2)

“On the evening of the fourteenth day of the month, while camped at Gilgal on the plains of Jericho, the Israelites celebrated the Passover. The day after the Passover, that very day, they ate some of the produce of the land; unleavened bread and roasted grain. The manna stopped the day after they ate this food from the land; there was no longer any manna for the Israelites, but that year they ate of the produce of Canaan.”

                                                                                                Joshua 5:10-12

Nearly the entire time Israel journeyed in the wilderness there was never a day without manna. And although the provision lasted 40 years, it was never intended to be the way that God fed them forever. While they were in the desert there was an added measure of grace. But as soon as they reached fertile land, God expected them to live out kingdom principles.

Unfortunately, the only way to keep them from coming back out to revisit the pot was to take it away! Once they entered Canaan they had to dig, plow, reap and fight. The promises were theirs to have, but they had to operate according to God’s Word. God’s Word would become God’s manna of choice to give. Jesus said in Matthew 4:4:

“It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

I describe manna, today, as truth from God’s Word, that was plowed and reaped by someone else, and then is laid at our doorstep. Just like the manna Israel enjoyed, we did not have to work for it; it is laid at our tent doors. We did not have to dig, plow, reap or fight to get it. Today we enjoy manna in various forms. It comes to us in finely crafted Sunday sermons, well written books, wonderful television programs and radio broadcasts. We are enjoying someone else’s labor.

Here, however, is the truth about manna. Manna sustained Israel physically, but they never grew spiritually. As long as you are living on what is being laid at the perimeter of your tent, you will not grow either. God never intended for us to wait in our tents for someone to bring truth to us. Unfortunately too many Christians view the availability of teaching via television, podcast, radio, internet and print media as their own personal buffet. They can pick and choose who they like, what they like and tune the rest out. If we don’t like what one person is saying, we can change the channel, close the book or “unfriend” them on Facebook.

This is leading to spiritual foundations that are being laid without even opening up the Word of God! God had to stop the manna to stop their complacency! When the manna stopped, where would they get their food? They had no land! They had nothing planted! If they did plant, it would be months before they would get a harvest. Pastor Robert Pace, made a wonderful observation concerning this. He noted that when the manna stopped, they were just outside of Jericho. If they were going to eat, they were going to have to possess the land…fight, dig, plow, sow and reap! If God would have continued to supply the manna, Israel would have had no need to move forward!

Pastor Scott Burr


Monday, September 3, 2012

“Breaking the Manna Mentality”

(Part 1)

“On the evening of the fourteenth day of the month, while camped at Gilgal on the plains of Jericho, the Israelites celebrated the Passover. The day after the Passover, that very day, they ate some of the produce of the land; unleavened bread and roasted grain. The manna stopped the day after they ate this food from the land; there was no longer any manna for the Israelites, but that year they ate of the produce of Canaan.”

                                                                                                Joshua 5:10-12


For 40 years God provided Israel with bread every day! Israel had never seen anything like it. The people called it manna, which translated literally means “What is it?” According to Exodus 16:13-14:

 That evening quail came and covered the camp, and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. When the dew was gone, thin flakes like frost on the ground appeared on the desert floor.”

 Exodus 16:31 describes it as being white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey. They were to gather just what they needed for each day and twice as much on the day before the Sabbath. This bread from heaven was a perfect symbol of God’s grace. For throughout Israel’s journey whether they were grumbling against God, rebelling against Moses, worshipping idols or in willful disobedience…the manna was always there! God brought plagues, opened the earth in judgment, consumed the disobedient with fire, but never did He withhold the manna!

However there did come a day when the manna stopped! The day after they ate food from the land of Canaan the manna ceased. I wonder how many people went out looking for it the next day. I wonder how many days they went out to see if it would be there. There came a point in Israel’s journey that they had to start engaging kingdom principles. For 40 years, Israel woke up to heaps of manna around the camp. This means that an entire generation grew up who did not engage in sowing and reaping.

It is true that the desert was dry and barren. It would have been difficult, if not impossible, to grow crops there, but let’s remember that they were there by choice. They could have entered Canaan much sooner. Instead they willfully chose to disregard God and His promises and refused to enter the Promised Land. Still, by His grace, God provided manna to Israel.

Later, under Joshua’s command, when they did finally enter the land flowing with milk and honey, God expected them to re-employ kingdom principles. To live according to His Word! God was still going to provide for them, but it was no longer going to be heaps of food laid out at their doorsteps! God had to break them of their manna mentality!

Pastor Scott Burr