On Not Seeking More Than We Need

Gary Henry

“Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11).

FAITH MEANS HAVING THE CONFIDENCE TO ASK GOD FOR OUR NEEDS — AND THE TRUST TO ASK HIM FOR NO MORE THAN WE NEED. We must resist the hoarding instinct. It is enough that He gives us just the help we need today; we need not demand that today’s storehouse also be stocked with everything we MIGHT need tomorrow. Tomorrow’s needs will be tended to when the time comes, and faith is willing to leave all of that in God’s hands.

In the story of God’s provision of “manna” for Israel during their wilderness wandering, we get an interesting picture of how this is supposed to work. Enough manna was provided for them to eat each day, but they were strictly forbidden to gather more than one day’s supply (Exodus 16:16-21). In this way, God was teaching them to trust Him for all their needs, spiritual as well as physical, one day at a time (Deuteronomy 8:3).

When tomorrow finally gets here, what we often find is that the resources we end up needing are not nearly as great as those we thought we’d need. Most of the troubles we worry about never materialize. It was Mark Twain who had the honesty to say, “I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, most of which never happened.” What if God had gone ahead and paid the premiums yesterday on all the insurance we thought we’d need against today’s problems? The truth is, we would have been supplied with resources far in excess of those we actually needed when today came. God is not so wasteful of His grace as to spend it in this way, heaping blessing upon blessing simply to satisfy our shortsighted demands for “security.”

To take each day as it comes requires a trust that is truly childlike. This youthful WILLINGNESS TO BE DEPENDENT is so simple, and yet as tough-minded adults, it is so hard for us to maintain. We lose far too many of today’s advantages worrying about the imagined disadvantages of tomorrow. Yet in our quest for security, God is still asking us to TRUST Him. He desires that we relish the momentary joys and savor the supply of just THIS day’s needs.

“Be content to be a child, and let the Father proportion out daily to thee what light, what power, what exercises, what straits, what fears, what troubles he sees fit for thee” (Isaac Penington).