Morning
February 8

Exodus 15:25b-26 (NIV)There the LORD made a decree and a law for them, and there he tested them. 26He said, "If you listen carefully to the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, who heals you."


The people were thirsty and had come to a place of bitter water. It would have taken an entire lake to give that many people and their herds a drink. They asked if God was able to provide their needs. The Psalmist said they were testing God (Psalm 78:19). Both in the verse for today and in the next chapter, when they demand food, God turned it around and said the test is not if He was able to provide, but it is if they are able to obey. That is still the test. God provides food for every living thing in the world daily. Most starvation is due to wars that do not allow food to enter into areas where there is need. Man gets in the way and will be held accountable. But the point God is making is that if we are listening and obeying His directions, He will provide our needs.

In that day, God gave them health laws that if followed carefully would prevent much of the diseases they witnessed in Egypt. Today we are no longer under those laws but are to be led by the Holy Spirit. If we will listen and obey, we will not need affliction to help turn our ear toward God for our good. When God gave instructions for the collection of manna, He again says it is to test them to see if they can learn to obey. When we operate in a dependency on God, we will always have enough. It is when we go our own way that we find we are in need, because our own ways are not blessed. The test is for us, not God.

Consider: How should I respond to God's testing?


Evening
February 8

Matthew 6:25, 33-34 (NIV) 25"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?

33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.


In the verse just prior to this, Jesus told His disciples they had to choose between serving God and serving money. Loving one causes a detesting of the other. If you are going to rely on your own ability and what you can earn, your trust in God will fade. If you rely on God and His provision, your trust in self will fade. We all choose where we will place our faith. We may say it is in God, and yet our actions show we are relying on the money we earn.

Jesus is asking a question we should consider. What is life about? What is the importance of life? Is it to be dressed nicely and eat the nicest food? Or is it about the kingdom and His righteousness? You will act on what your heart really believes. Do we live for our taste buds? Once put so plainly, we see the absurdity of it. This is the way unbelievers live. If we have come to believe in the God who desires intimate fellowship with us, then we should be living for much greater goals than food and clothes. Surely, as we live in pursuit of His kingdom and righteousness, He will take care of those things for us.

How worry free the life of the Christian should be! We have a God who provides our needs day by day. We have found life to be more than the physical. We have found that our provision is not from our ability. We may struggle and go through difficulty, but we have purpose and meaning in our life. The great Provider will provide our every need in His perfect time. Rest in Him. Trust Him to be who He declares Himself to be. Focus on the real importance of life, and your temporary lack of a physical need will seem as insignificant as it really is. Before you know it, He will meet the need.

Remember: Stay focused on His kingdom and His righteousness.