A Useful Test

Leviticus 26:5, 10 “Your threshing will continue until grape harvest and the grape harvest will continue until planting, and you will be eating all the food you want…You will still be eating last year’s harvest when you have to move it out to make room for the new” (NIV).

Observation: Leviticus 26 is the first place to extensively describe contrasts between those who walk in obedience and those who do not. It begins with God saying that if his people would follow His decrees, He would send rain in its season causing the ground to yield its crops and the trees to produce fruit. As if to drive home the idea of a never-ending provision, He said the harvests would be so plentiful that they’d have to move out the old to make room for the new; one harvest would extend to the next, and they would never know hunger.

Application: Think of it: a supply so abundant I would never go hungry! A God-given buffet stretching as far as the eye can see, through every season of need.  In this passage, the idea of His provision is that I will find myself living under His constant, generous outpouring, like being surrounded by snowflakes in an unending blizzard.

Do I really believe that? Was it good for the Hebrews but holds no application to my life today? If I say I believe His promise, does my lifestyle put the lie to my words? It is one thing for the poor of the earth to trust in such promises. They have no opportunity to step into my shoes, accumulating for themselves great stores of capital from which to live. The poor have little choice but to rely on a daily provision—manna falling from heaven or an agency handout.

But I who am rich ought to consider if, by laying up more wealth than needed for my daily supply, I have begun inching toward a role of self-provision that God intended for Himself. Have I crossed a line from being God-dependent, to the cultish view that I will become a god myself?

Here is a useful little test. Settle into a quiet place and imagine that all your capital assets have suddenly been taken away: 401(k), life insurance, nice home, well-paying job. Understand that you are now utterly dependent upon God for all daily provision. What passes through mind and heart in that moment? Is it terror and fear, or is there a deep assurance that He will keep all His promises? Does the mind begin to nervously consider whether I have kept my end of the bargain, keeping the first commandment first in all things? Am I glad to throw myself upon Him for every need?

Prayer: Father, this useful test has helped to reveal the focus of my own confidence. Forgive me, Lord, for saying I trust You, yet living another way. Make me into a delighted dependent of Your outpouring.

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