A ‘You’ Direction
Stop letting fear call the shots
Why is it that when we step out in faith, we find ourselves looking back at what was? We let fear call the shots which in turn sabotages the future God has planned for us. I find myself doing this a lot lately. Now that the rubber has hit the road or should I say, my sandals have hit the dust and dirt of the desert plains, so to speak, and I’m stepping out into the unknown, I feel like the Israelites who kept telling Moses how ‘better off’ they were in Egypt than out here in the wild, dusty wilderness. I wanted a new direction in my life but ended up replacing the ‘new’ with ‘you’ which is me. When I let fear call the shots, my new direction caused me to rely on myself and not on God to provide. I should have realised that a ‘you’ direction instead of a ‘You’ direction, (which is God because of the big Y), was never going to work out in God’s plan because it relied on me instead of Him. Something had to give.
Exodus chapter 16 is a classic. It’s all about the manna falling down from heaven so the Israelites didn’t starve in the desert. Maybe like me, you’ve read this story a thousand times and just skimmed through the details of what was really going on in the text.
“Gather only as much of it as you should eat by yourself. Pick up two quarts of bread for each person who lives in your tent.” The Israelites did as they were told. Some people gathered a lot, others gathered less. When they used a two-quart jar to measure it, the one who had gathered a lot didn’t have more than he needed; and the one who gathered less had just what he needed. Miraculously, each person and each family- regardless of how much they gathered- had exactly what they needed. (continuing God’s instructions) “Don’t try to keep any of it until the morning. Either eat it all or throw it away.” But some people ignored Moses and tried to keep some of it until the next morning. Overnight it became wormy and started to have a dreadful smell. Moses became furious with them because they had disobeyed God’s instructions. Exodus 16: 16-19 [The Voice Translation]
Notice something? The people who tried to save the manna for the next day only ended up with worms and bad smells. That’s what happens when we let fear call the shots on our destiny. The worms get into our thinking, leaving us with a bad smelling attitude that tells God that we don’t trust Him enough to secure our future, so we’ll just have to do it ourselves. Our smelly, old thinking gathers more than what God offers in one day because fear whispers that He won’t provide for tomorrow. A ‘you’ direction is all about self-reliance and self-preservation.
Don’t feel bad if you’ve done this too. It’s not easy stepping into a new direction. When we first take the leap of faith, we all try to collect more manna than what God has given us for the day. However, we cannot allow fear to call the shots. We must stay focused on the set of instructions God has given each one of us if we are to head toward the ‘You’ direction which is letting God provide with what we need each day. No more and no less.
Secondly, notice that no matter how little or how much manna each family gathered, they had exactly the right amount that was needed for that day. When God provides, He gives you what is needed not what you want – which is more and more and more manna because fear whispers that you’d better gather more, just in case God holds out on you.
Why is it that since the beginning of the human race, we let the fear of not having enough get the better of us. Like every. single. time? *sighs in coffee cup* Because the desert is dry, hot and uncomfortable, and Egypt was…well…better. Slavery was better than freedom? Really?! I do believe that the Israelites were suffering from a slight case of amnesia or the heat from the desert sun had made them all go mad. Either way, we can act the same. A ‘You’ direction requires us to stop looking back at Egypt and be happy with the manna God provides in the wilderness of the desert.
1 Corinthians 10:13 says, ‘We all experience times of testing, which is normal for every human being. But God will be faithful to you. He will screen and filter the severity, nature, and timing of every test or trial you face so that you can bear it. And each test is an opportunity to trust him more.’
Hear that? Each test is an opportunity to trust Him more and that means being satisfied with the manna He provides for each day. Stepping into the ‘You’ direction, which is God taking the lead and not ourselves we have to learn to trust that He will lead us through the wilderness and into the Promised Land. So, stop letting fear call all the shots and step into the ‘You’ direction with confidence!