I was surprised by a minister friend of mine when he stated the people who have many stories about how God did financial miracles for them are not the ones that we should pattern our financial lives after. Why did he say this? Because with all the miracles they have seen, they seem to still be in need of another miracle today to financially make it. As I thought about this I realized it was true. In other words, although these people have faith for financial miracles, they have not found faith to receive from God for long term abundant provision.
When the children of Israel were wandering in the wilderness, they received a daily miracle for their food called manna. It was fresh and new every day. It was miraculous provision. However, it could not be kept for the next day because any surplus would spoil. There was a complete dependency on God for provision every day.
Manna was not God’s long-term plan for provision. When God took them into the Promised Land, the daily manna stopped. It was no longer an option. In the Promised Land, the children of Israel were expected to live by the principle of sowing and reaping and seedtime and harvest. Let’s look at the scripture where the transition happened. It is found in Joshua:
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 5:11-12).
This was a different revelation of God’s provision for the children of Israel. It included faith, but now they were also expected to farm the land, to sow and reap. They were expected to have an abundance because provisions were made to help the non-Israelites in their midst as well as bring the first fruits into the storehouse and make other offerings. There was also a whole group of people, the Levites, who were to be supported out of the abundance of the general population. In the desert, their sandals didn’t wear out for 40 years, but in the Promised Land their sandals wore out and they had the resources for new sandals. This seems to be similar to living by the revelation of El Shaddai that was first introduced to Abraham.
The Promised Land was a concept indicating Israel’s possession of a place with God in the earth where there was security from all external threats and internal calamity. It was a place of rest for the people of God to grow and prosper. If this was true for the children of Israel, then can we boldly ask ourselves what is God’s will for Christians in the area of financial provision today? Is it God’s will for Christians to live in the desert or is it God’s will for Christians to live in the Promised Land?