The Lord showed me a very real illustration of spiritual health not long ago, and I was heartbroken. As of today, I have lived 9320 days on this planet, and I look back and wonder what happened to so many of them. Tom Elliff preached at both ReFRESH® conferences this year on numbering your days as if they are precious diamonds, and I am continually learning the importance of doing so. After all, doing something big for God usually means doing a lot of “small” things – every day obedience. You can’t just do one good, big thing for Him (like, for instance, take a mission trip to Africa) and think you are set for life. That’s just not how it works.
Just as the manna was there every morning for the Israelites (Exodus 16), the Lord is there, waiting on us to receive His new mercies. But it takes action on our part. The Israelites had to get up and walk out of their tent and gather the manna themselves, it did not fall into their laps. And we must do the same in our walk of faith. We must make the choice to spend time in His Word, so that we may grow and be nourished by His Daily Bread.
The picture that the Lord brought to mind as He was teaching me this was of Nabakoza. Nabakoza was found in a tiny, dark house in Africa back in August. She was a skeleton with skin on. She had not been cared for, bathed, or fed in months. She did not know love. Renee, Nabakoza’s God-sent rescuer said, “She was just there, no one was caring for her, no one was feeding her, no one was even looking at her. And that is how Nabakoza has lived everyday for the past 23 years… until now.” At 23 years old she weighed only 37 pounds. As I read her story, I was overcome with heartbreak.
I suggest you go to the blog I tagged above and read Nabakoza’s story. She is dancing with Jesus now and He is pouring His love over her in ways she would never have imagined to longed for.
But the Lord used Nabakoza’s story in more ways than one in my life. Of course I felt great heartache and pain and prayed often for that sweet life, but as I was studying of the manna provided for the Israelites, the Lord revealed to me that I, too, could easily become like Nabakoza. Not because I have been neglected and ignored, but because I have done the neglecting. I have not gotten up out of my tent every single day and “gathered the manna” to feed myself spiritually. I have sat alone in the dark too many days, allowing the enemy to tell me that I did not need the Word, the Daily Bread, to give me strength for that day. How many of God’s children are spiritually living as Nabakoza physically did? How many of us are depending on yesterday’s manna or last week’s manna as sufficient for our spiritual health?
Imagine what life would be like if we spent our mornings feasting on the Word. Imagine what this world would look like. Not only would we see revival, I believe that the Nabakozas of this world, those actually dying of neglect and starvation, would flourish and thrive as they discover their new life in Christ. Because He teaches us to go into the dark places and bring His light; to seek out those who are spiritually and physically dying and share with them our Daily Bread.
“Jesus answered by quoting Deuteronomy: ‘It takes more than bread to stay alive. It takes a steady stream of words from God’s mouth.'” Matthew 4:4 (MSG)