Today’s Manna – Our Daily Bread
Ask the Lord for rain in the spring,
for He makes the storm clouds.
And He will send showers of rain
so every field becomes a lush pasture.
How rarely do I ask God for the things that I need? How often do I find myself overlooking the pattern of the Lord’s prayer and leaving out one of the crucial components necessary for a full spiritual life?
You see, rain to a shepherd is everything. It is what brings life. It is not something trivial and unimportant, but it is what either brings crops and fruit and growth, or what never brings life to the parched and empty soil.
For us believers, the Holy Spirit is our rain. He teaches us and guides us and comforts us. He is that part of God that comes and lives in us and through us as we are sanctified.
And what does sanctified mean? It means that we are going through a process of being made more and more into the image of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It means that we are alive with the rain of living waters pouring down His anointing upon our lives. It means that we are growing up towards the light of the Son of God. It means that we are bearing good fruit because we are trapped into the vine of life.
Yes, the rain really makes all the difference that matters.
How much time do we dedicate daily to focused and deliberate prayer? Is it something that we value and look forward to, or that we do as a practiced religious routine, or that we ignore? We don’t want to neglect to pay, neither do we want to fall into empty routine. So how do we “keep it fresh”?
Call to Action
Fear the Lord.
Have we leaned too hard on the promises of cheap grace and forgotten the many examples of those who have fallen from grace? Have we forgotten the warnings about the fate of luke warm believers and false “religious converts”?
Fear the Lord.
Understand that we need to thirst for His righteousness, that we need to seek first the Kingdom of God. Remember that we need to eat the Bread of Life and drink the living waters and live a life dying daily from our own will, surrendering anew to His will, so that our dead branches might be printed away down to a stump, to reveal the new growth of the vine of life, to bear fruit in our lives that demonstrates God’s loving mercy and faithfulness, to share with others the very living waters, in case they decide to drink.
No, we don’t in our frustrations of wanting them to drink – we don’t force their heads under the water – throwing stones of judgement at them about their sins when our own sins are so clearly evident. We are not yet perfected, so why are our eyes drawn to the imperfections in others instead of remaining focused on those imperfections in ourself. It is the slight of hand of the enemy who doesn’t want to see God’s name glorified. He would rather have the world standing in judgement of each other pointing fingers instead of doing the very real and honorable work of living a life of obedience, honoring and loving and serving others in a stance of humility, not one that puts us in our own thoughts any higher than even a single man or woman. Have we forgotten or own sin? Have we no fear of God?
Fear the Lord.
He is faithful and true. He is bringing judgement. But many of those who cry out for judgement are crying it down upon themselves as they point fingers at the world around them.
Fear the Lord.
We not only need rain, Lord. We need fire. Fire to burn away the dross in our lives. Trial to prove to us that you are faithful and that we can rely upon your strength, or fall in our own weakness. Correction to set us back on the narrow path. Vision to see that the broad path of many leads to destruction. Understanding to know that calling with our words is not the same as claiming with our hearts and lives and actions – and that believing isn’t just knowing, but following.
We seek you, Lord.
Let us know that it is you by your tender mercies and grace, but remind us that you are God Almighty.
Teach us to Fear the Lord.
Discipline us not in your anger, Lord.
But lead us into your green pastures. Remind us that the valleys are just stops along the way, and even the mountaintops are a fleeting moment that do not compare to our final destination. Let us walk with you. Knowing both reverent fear because the servant is not greater than the master, and your loving kindness because you are the Good Shepherd who lives His chosen flock.
Call us yours. Lead us into your will. That we may know you even closer today.
This is the rain we seek, your anointing, your presence, your manifestation within our lives, so that we might glorify and honor your name.