• johned@aibi.ph

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Eternity 60 - Gathering Enough

Exodus 16:17-18 ASV And the children of Israel did so, and gathered some more, some less. (18) And when they measured it with an omer, he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack; they gathered every man according to his eating.

This verse (about the supply of manna) gives us a principle about how God supplies His people "he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack; they gathered every man according to his eating".

Each of us has certain requirements for our life and ministry and carrying out of God's will - and God supplies exactly; large ministries have nothing over and small ministries have no lack. God supplies according to our "gathering' and our "appetite" ("according to his eating"). How much does your ministry "eat up" - that is what God will supply as you seek to gather funds.

In twenty years of ministry I have never been part of a God-ordained ministry that had either too much or too little. God's daily supply has always been there for me when I have done God's work, God's way. As Hudson Taylor used to say "God's work, done in God's way, will never lack God's supply".

In supplying the manna God gave double on the Sabbath - so the Israelites could take a rest. God did not want them always gathering or always working. God's supply includes supply so you can take '"time off" when required!

Neither were they to use today's supply tomorrow but to trust that the manna would come the next day. Ministries that are too insecure financially can sometimes become stingy and mean. This may be seen as "good stewardship" - but meanness is poor Christianity!

God wants us to be relaxed, wise and to be trusting - to follow His instructions and to rest in His provision. Sure we need to plan properly and a bit of thrift is wise and good, but we need to stay in a Christian spirit as we handle money and be lighthearted, generous, kind and open to people and to the Lord.

Jesus promises us that our genuine daily needs will be met by our Heavenly Father: "Matthew 6:33-34 ASV But seek ye first his kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (34) Be not therefore anxious for the morrow: for the morrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."

Financial anxiety is not part of Kingdom living - but nether is gross excess and materialism for earlier in the same passage Jesus has told us not to lay up treasure on earth (Matthew 6:19).

Living in Kingdom simplicity and generosity, and seeking first the Kingdom and His righteousness, attracts God's supply to our ministries for Him. God invests where His Kingdom manifests.

Beautiful, light-hearted, simple Christian living, with joy and love, focused on His agendas - will be funded by Him. However power players seeking their own interests will have to find their own funds! You have to be in God's will, on God's adventure, to know God's supply.

Lest this seem too harsh - remember where the Israelites were when God supplied - wandering in the wilderness, and often grumbling and unbelieving - yet God still supplied the manna! They were on God's adventure to the promised land - so God supplied. God's calling was God's enabling. He led, they followed, and He supplied - even though they were grumpy and often ungrateful.

Thus God does not expect perfection before He supplies - but He does expect participation is His plans and obedience to His call and leading. The Israelites may have been difficult but they still followed the fiery pillar!

We cannot expect God's supply for our whims or our wants but only for our calling and our needs. Sometimes God calls us to a great work - and then we will know great supply. Even if our "eating" is large - then we will still gather enough. The thing then is to work out what your Kingdom calling is, and the size of the ministry that you are really meant to be in ( a local church, a regional ministry or even a world-wide one) then move toward it.

Pride and presumption can lead some to pretend that their calling is bigger than it is and thus over-commit themselves. On the other hand fear and unbelief can mean we ask little from God. As someone said "Expect great things from God, attempt great things for God". There is a proper Kingdom boldness based on a sure knowledge of God's will and confidence in the Lord's daily provision.


John Edmiston


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