Man holding a loaf of bread

He Provides Manna One Day at a Time

Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land the LORD promised on oath to your ancestors. Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years.
Deuteronomy 8:1-4

When God provided the miraculous manna, he provided just enough. The description’s pretty precise. Those who gathered a lot had nothing left over, and those who gathered a little had enough. Then he gave them a curious command: “No one is to keep any of it until morning” (Exodus 16:19).

Why would God forbid leftovers? What’s wrong with taking a little initiative and gathering enough manna for a couple days or weeks?

Here’s my take on the manna miracle: The manna was a daily reminder of their daily dependence on God. God wanted to cultivate their daily dependence by providing for their needs on a daily basis.

Nothing’s changed. We want a one-week or one-month or one-year supply of God’s provision, but God wants us to drop to our knees every day in raw dependence on him.

And God knows that if he provided too much too soon, we’d lose our spiritual hunger. He knows we’d stop trusting in our Provider and start trusting in the provision.

Spiritual maturity is often confused with independence. It’s the exact opposite. The goal is codependence on God. God didn’t design us to “grow up” and be independent from him. Our desire for self-sufficiency is a subtle expression of our sinful nature. It’s a desire to get to a place where we don’t need God, don’t need faith, don’t need a local church home, and don’t need to pray. We want God to provide more so we need him less. That’s just not the way it’s supposed to work.

Drawn from the NIV Bible for Teen Guys. Article from The Circle Maker Student Edition by Mark Batterson with Parker Batterson, copyright © 2012 by Mark Batterson, published by Zondervan.

42 comments

  1. Mark says:

    I enjoyed the word very much and have come to the conclusion that this is God’s loving way of showing us how much we need him each day.

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  2. Sydney Munyaradzi Nyamasoka says:

    This is so helpful and it sheds light on some of our most basic/overlooked but extremely dangerous tendencies. Thank you for sharing.

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  3. Annette says:

    This is so good. I needed this insight. It reminds me that I should always be seeking a relationship with GOD.

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  4. Ann says:

    Yes. We as God’s people must learn to trust and obey God, just as the Israelites did when fleeing Egypt for God’s promised land. God will provide for every single one of our true needs. Thank you Jesus! Heaven changes everything!

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    1. Sunil kumar says:

      Very true.

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  5. Mrs.Rhodes says:

    This is revelation and confirmation! I’m reminded to trust Him daily, one day at a time.

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    1. Doftoru Bejiga says:

      It is a very interesting lesson and one that has relieved my heart.

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  6. Faustinus Mbangu says:

    Those who gathered a lot had nothing left over. Those who gathered a little had enough. Than he gave them a curious command. No one is to keep any of it until morning.

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  7. I am glad to be part of the NIV community.

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  8. Marie says:

    Thank You! Yes, I need God to supply my needs DAILY. I need him daily, every moment and everywhere!

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  9. Annette says:

    I’m a child of God and want to know more of him.

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  10. Adedoyin says:

    Great read. Thank you for sharing!

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    1. Dorice Kobe says:

      To be dependent on God is being more sure that man does not live on bread alone. We indeed need the daily food of the word of God as our road map.

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  11. Dennis Mpulula says:

    This is good Bible material. Please continue emailing.

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  12. Nubia says:

    I’m praying for a family member who needs full dependency on our lord . No problem is bigger than our God .

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    1. Hadassah says:

      Amen

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  13. Mini says:

    Such a wonderful passage, really learned a lot.

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  14. Thank you Abba, Lord Jesus Christ, and Holy Spirit for all you do for me and my brothers and sisters.

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  15. Cindy says:

    This is a great reminder how we need to let go and let God.

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  16. Vusumzi says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this teaching with us that God is the PROVIDER in our daily lives and we need trust and have faith in him.

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  17. Hyacinth says:

    God promises to supply all our needs. He chooses to do it one day at a time. Hence the reason we need to communicate with Him everyday, by tasting and believing He is good.

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  18. Chukwudi Pablo says:

    When Jesus Christ taught us to pray The Lord’s prayer, the part where He said “Give us this day our daily bread,” this is a prayer of total dependence on Jehovah to provide for us our everyday bread. That also explains why in Exodus 16:19 Jehovah told them “No one is to keep any of it (manna) until morning” because He knows what we need and He is willing to provide for us on a daily basis. That is why HE urged and commanded us in Matthew 7.7 to ask and we shall receive, to seek and we shall find, to knock and the door shall be opened unto us.

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  19. Katia Gonzalez says:

    I believe God makes rules to see if we are true followers. No matter how unrealistic the rules are, God wants to see who his followers are. It’s silly to think we can’t have too much of God or we will get overwhelmed. I want to breath God from the moment I wake till I go to sleep. I can’t get enough of God.

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  20. Kgali says:

    I really need a daily supply and close relationship with the Lord daily. One day at a time.

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  21. Mevis says:

    Thank you for reminding us to trust God 100%, daily in everything. 🙏🏾

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  22. Teariki says:

    Thank you for sharing. I believe what I receive is enough but always want more for security reasons. You are right that when you have too much you forget that it is God that is providing everything.

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  23. Simangele says:

    Amen. This is wise and eye opening Scripture that we need to focus on Him on a daily basis and He will provide us with our daily needs. Thank you God. You always stand before.

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  24. Girlie Ntsele says:

    Thank you for this reminder of how God wants us to live, day by day as the prayer say, “give us this day our daily bread”.

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  25. Mumbi says:

    Daily dependence on God is what I need to cultivate. Lord help me to remember just like you provided for my needs yesterday. You are faithful to do the same today and all days.

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  26. James Mwape says:

    And God knows that if he provided too much too soon, we’d lose our spiritual hunger. Am really grateful for this insight, it has blessed my soul.

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  27. Geri says:

    This opened my eyes to the danger of seeking tomorrow’s provision today – on my knees in gratitude & total dependence each given day. He is so wise!

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  28. Korma Fura says:

    NIV family of Christ, you are all doing a great job. God Bless you.

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  29. Hadassah says:

    Glory to Jesus Christ our Lord and saviour. Worry not about anything, for God will always take care of it.

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  30. Collette says:

    Thank you for sharing this message. The more I live one day at a time, the more I build my relationship with God.

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  31. lesedi modikwa says:

    Very insightful. What a new wave of understanding!

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  32. Sarita says:

    Jehovah gave them something they never had before. He wanted them to trust that the blessing came from his hands and HE would be with them always.

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  33. Trust says:

    Thank you for the insightful and powerful word. We surely shouldn’t be self sufficient for we are nothing without the Lord.

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  34. Lord you are my source, my very help in need. So Lord, forgive me when I falter and fail to obey you. Lead me back to you and your teachings. 🙏

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  35. Fatokun MC says:

    Now I know.better. Thank you so much

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  36. Caroline WM says:

    It’s often the case that I am codependent with human beings and not with God. That statement, “the goal is codependence on God” is a game changer for me! I am reminded not to place people/institutions on the pedestal in my heart/my Spirit, that only God should be on. Thank you.

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  37. பிரான்சிஸ் ஜேவியர் says:

    எனக்கு பாத தீபமாக விலங்கும் ஒவ்வொரு வேதவசனமும் என் உல்லத்தில் ஆழத்தில் பதிகின்றன தேவன் என்னோடு கூடவே இருப்பதை உணர்கிறேன் அமென். (God’s Word is a lamp for my feet and every Scripture is embedded deep in my heart. I feel that God is with me, Amen.

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  38. Paulette Sanders says:

    I’m so happy to be reminded of God’s love for me/us. No matter where I/we go he will never leave me/us. Thank you Jesus for the Blood 🩸

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