The Self Sufficiency Trap

The Self Sufficiency TrapThe Trap of Self Sufficiency

The Lord said to Moses, “I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them, ‘At twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning you will be filled with bread. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God.'”

That evening, quail came and covered the camp, and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. When the dew was gone, thin flakes like frost on the ground appeared on the desert floor. When the Israelites saw it, they said to each other, “What is it?”…for they did not know what it was.

Moses said to them, “It is the bread the Lord has given you to eat. Manna. This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Everyone is to gather as much as they need. Take only as much as you need for each person you have in your tent.'”

The Israelites did as they were told; some gathered much, some little. And when they measured it, the one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little. Everyone had gathered just as much as they needed.
Then Moses said to them, “No one is to keep any of it until morning.”

However, some of them paid no attention to Moses; they kept part of it until morning, but it the morning it was rotten and began to smell. So Moses was angry with them.

Each morning everyone gathered as much as they needed, and when the sun grew hot, it melted away. On the sixth day, some gathered twice as much as they actually needed, and the leaders of the community came and reported this to Moses. This is when the Lord said to Moses, “How long will you refuse to keep my commands and my instructions?”…for I told you to tell the people that they should take only what they needed for the day and not to try and rely on themselves and what they could store up and save.

Like manna, peace and blessings are God’s continual gifts to us.

They flow abundantly from His throne. Just as the Israelites could not store up manna for the future but had to gather it daily, so it is with God’s peace and blessings. The day-by-day collecting of manna keeps people aware of their dependence on God. Similarly, God gives each of us sufficient peace only for the present, when we go to Him in thanksgiving with prayers and petitions. He gives us enough for today, not tomorrow.

If God gave us permanent peace (that which could be stored up by us), independent of His continual presence, we might fall into the trap of self-sufficiency. We might think that we can survive with our own assets, bank accounts, IRA’s, or retirement funds. American culture encourages us to try and be self-sufficient.

God will never let this happen.

He has designed us to need him moment by moment.

As our awareness of our day to day neediness increases, so does our realization of His abundant blessings. He can meet every one of our needs without draining His resources at all. Our stores will always run dry.

We simply need to approach His throne daily in prayer and petition

and receive His peace and blessings with a thankful heart.