The Manna Test

I’m always fascinated by the supernatural provisions of God, especially when the Children of Israel were in the wilderness. The feeding of the entire nation of Israel of at least 2 million people, was equivalent to providing food for about half the population size of Singapore, every single day!

And what about that super food called “manna” which literally means “what is it?” in Hebrew (Exo 16:15, 31). It looked like coriander seeds and tasted like wafers made with honey; equally agreeable to all palates and sustained the whole nation for 40 years. It came each morning, and couldn’t be kept overnight, except on the sixth day where a double portion could be collected and be miraculously preserved so that there was food on the seventh day – the Sabbath.

I want to draw two lessons from what I call the “Manna Test” in Num 11:4-6 (NLT): “And the people of Israel also began to complain. ‘Oh, for some meat!’ they exclaimed. ‘We remember the fish we used to eat for free in Egypt. And we had all the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic we wanted. But now our appetites are gone. All we ever see is this manna!’

1. Manna wasn’t the point.

The purpose of the manna was to test Israel’s faith and daily dependence on God. Manna wasn’t the focal point, but it’s on the One who provided the manna, much like the “exit” sign above the door of a building. Nobody walks to the “exit” sign and stops there. You’re supposed to go through the door and unto your destination. Manna was supposed to be a daily reminder of God to the Children of Israel. Instead of being grateful, they were so caught up by the lack of variety in their food menu that they complained incessantly.

And finally, Ps 106:14-15 summed it up this way. They lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, cared only about pleasing themselves in the desert, tested and provoked God with their insistent demands. And God gave them what they asked for, but sent leanness into their soul (spiritual decay).

At the slightest setback, they’d rather go back to Egypt (a type of the world) than to run toward God for help. Just one chapter before, they were eye witnesses to how God supernaturally parted the Red Sea and delivered them out of Egypt, and later drowned Pharaoh and his armies in that sea (Exo 15:19). Yet they even believed that God would rescue them out of Egypt only to kill them in the wilderness! Clearly, although they were physically out of Egypt, their love for the things in Egypt wasn’t out of their hearts. Likewise, going to church doesn’t really make you a Christian. It’s living out and bearing the fruit of a surrendered life that makes you one.

2. Sometimes, God offends your natural appetite to reveal your spiritual appetite.

We Singaporeans love our food so much that we even greet people with it. Instead of greeting with, “How are you?”, we ask, “Have you eaten?” I’m sure the Children of Israel loved their food as well, which is why they complained about the lack of variety in their food menu.

From 1 Cor 15:46, we know that “the natural comes first, then the spiritual”. Perhaps the “Manna Test” was to awaken their spiritual hunger and appetite. Could it be that God had wanted their dissatisfaction for natural food to cause a “holy dissatisfaction” within them for more of Him instead? However, that wasn’t the case. They were satisfied with knowing and hearing God from a distance, through Moses (Exo 20:18-20). What a tragedy it’d be if Pastor Yang was the only one in Cornerstone who desires to know God intimately, while the rest of us were contented with hearing from his experiences with God and not desiring for our own.

Let me turn the table around and ask – if the “Manna Test” falls on you, would you pass the test? Does your spiritual appetite for God match up to your natural appetite for food and material things? Are you satisfied with your 15 min devotion, but are constantly checking out new food stalls, exploring new places or cafes to chill out at?

This lesson about manna is but one of the many examples we learn at the expense of the Children of Israel. 1 Cor 10:11 (TPT) puts it this way, “All the tests they endured on their way through the wilderness are a symbolic picture, an example that provides us with a warning so that we can learn through what they experienced…”

This week marked a historical moment in history with Israel entering her 70th year of existence, against all odds, showing God’s faithfulness to His people, and the unprecedented move of the US embassy to Jerusalem that riled the world. Let’s continue to uphold Israel in prayer as we take another step closer towards the fulfilment of God’s prophetic calendar.

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. May they prosper who love you.” Ps 122:6

I love Israel. Shalom!

Pastor Kevin Koh

A Roaring Tribute to Mothers

With the many hats a mother wears, whether she’s a stay at home or a working mother, what’s the exacted price for all that she does? It’s quite impossible to put a value for wanting to take care of her family. It’s a round-the-clock job, from waking up in the middle of the night to a hungry baby until the moment all the little ones are fed, bathed, and sound asleep in bed; she’s on call every second of the day.

She starts off with the basics as a laundry operator, housekeeper, transport minister, cook, janitor, logistics co-ordinator, interior designer, day-care teacher, grounds keeper, plumber, event planner, retail purchaser, nutritionist, nurse. And adding on to her ever increasing portfolio, the modern mother includes – a photographer, recreation therapist, accountant, coach, tailor, computer operator, educator, academic advisor, analyst and psychologist. She’s read more…

A Prescribed Way to Love

One of the things that’s very concerning in the Church today is an attitude where one does whatever is right in his own eyes. Using the pretext of God’s love, His nature of long-suffering and grace – believers pursue whatever they please to do, expecting that a loving God will condone and celebrate His children notwithstanding. 

However, this is far from the truth. The fact that God left us 66 books for our study indicates that He’s very meticulous about what He approves of and what He doesn’t. A key misconception that we must deal with is that we can love God however way we want or choose to express that love for Him in whichever manner we desire. On the contrary, God is very particular about how we’re to express our love for Him.

In the Old Testament, the read more…

Antidotes to Stress

I’ve just returned from a personal retreat in Wales two weeks ago and it’s been a life-changing and mountain-top experience for me. As Singaporeans, our quality of life has never been better, yet stress has never been more epidemic.

When I refer to stress here, I’m talking about “bad stress”. Bad stress can also be termed as distress, and manifests itself in chronic or ongoing distress that begins to hinder your everyday life and stops you from completing tasks that you need to undertake. This particular type of stress, if not relieved, can be extremely detrimental to your physical and mental health. 

Man was simply not fashioned to carry pressures, stress, anxieties, and worries; which is why the body breaks down when it undergoes these negative influ­ences for too long. We may be able to manage it for read more…

A Holy Spirit Alliance

Over the past five years, both Pastor Dominic Yeo, Senior Pastor of Trinity Christian Centre, and myself, have been in conversation, on and off, about forming an alliance of churches where pastors are able to connect with one another, seek assistance and support, and find a network of other pastors who will truly care. We saw lots of pastors struggling, in need of assistance, in need of fellowship and we knew we had to do something about it.

This crystallised in 2015, when both the AG Churches and the FOP Churches collaborated on a conference called “FRESH FIRE”, with Rev. Samuel Rodriguez as our keynote speaker. It was at that conference where a prophetic word was released over both Ps. Dominic and myself, and over the alliance, that this is something birthed of God. From that read more…

Remember the Egg

Before I draw a parallel between humility and the humble egg, here are some fun facts especially for egg lovers. Unlike most cereals and yogurts, eggs contain only one ingredient – “eggs.” They don’t contain any sugar nor carbohydrates. And at only 15 to 25 cents each, they’re the least expensive source of high quality protein that’s also low in calorie and rich in nutrients. Okay, now for the analogy:

“If an egg is broken by an outside force, life ends. If an egg is broken by an inside force, life begins. Great things happen from the inside.”

Being broken before the Lord is the first step towards greatness. Jesus said, “The Kingdom is within you” (Luke 17:21) and one manifestation of the Kingdom is humility. Here are some thoughts on humility.

1. Without Humility, there’s no Progression.
The read more…

My Peace I Give To You!

In the last week, Christians all over the world celebrated the Passover and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Greetings of “peace be with you” were exchanged. What does His death on the Cross for our sins and His resurrection to life mean?

In the Bible, peace is expressed as a fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:22). It’s also one of the many titles of God (Isa 9:6); a manifestation of the Kingdom of God (Rom 14:17); a position which we’re to continually exercise and maintain (Rom 12:18); and peace shall be evident in the latter glory of the temple (Hag 2:9).This list is by no means exhaustive. The KJV Bible has 429 Scriptures with the word “peace”. It’s found 397 times in the NKJV, 360 times in the NASU and 275 times in the Complete Jewish Bible.

What is read more…

A Living Hope

On 24 March 2018, the Singapore Church was rocked by the shocking news of Ps. Rick Seaward’s sudden passing. He had met with a fatal car accident while he was in Brazil for a regional missions conference. For those of you who might not know him, Ps. Rick was the founder of Victory Family Centre (then known as Calvary Charismatic Centre) in 1977. Under his leadership, Victory Family Centre was raised to become a missions-sending force, which to date, has planted over 10,000 churches in over 90 nations.

Ps. Seaward was renowned for his revolutionary strategies in planting churches. He was a spiritual father to many, and dedicated his life to raising disciples and leaders who would have the same heart and vision for missions. While we take heart that he has entered into his glorious inheritance in heaven, we read more…

Kingdom Invasion 2018

One of the highlights on our annual calendar has to be the Kingdom Invasion Conference. We just concluded what was one of our most eventful conferences and here’s a brief recap of what we saw this year:

This is the 6th year of the conference, and in total, we had almost 4,000 day registrants; and close to 900 overseas delegates hailing from 47 countries – the highest count in a single KI Conference! Over four nights, we prayed for 1,465 people during the “Prayer for Healing” segment and recorded 207 healings. We also witnessed 229 individuals responding to the calls for salvation and re-dedication during the final two night meetings. 

But these are not just numbers. They represent individual lives that were impacted. Here are a few testimonies from the hundreds we received:

A young lady, who was born with read more…

Liquid Prayer

The setting of the recent funeral service of Rev. Billy Graham held on 2 March 2018 on the grounds of the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, North Carolina, typified a “Billy Graham Crusade” back in 1949. The crusade made the news headlines and from that time forward, Billy Graham became known as “America’s Pastor” and “Pastor to Presidents”. Diverse crowd of thousands gathered under a massive tent; with a grand choir of voices; and the preaching of the Gospel. The many famous faces in attendance at his funeral testified that Rev. Graham could seamlessly “toggle between the rich and powerful and the poor and downtrodden.”

This reminded me of another person whose life had also impacted me. When he died, 150,000 people lined up the streets when his casket passed by. About 40,000 people, including Queen Mary read more…

For Such A Time As This

It’s been an eventful week where the Jewish people celebrated the Feast of Purim from Feb 28 – Mar 1. The Feast commemorates the salvation of the Jews in ancient Persia when Haman plotted to annihilate all Jews consisting of young and old in a single day, as recorded in the Megillah (book of Esther). In addition to the miracle of Jewish survival, Purim denotes God’s intimate involvement in all aspects of this world.

Even though there were no overt miracles recorded in the Megillah, God was actively behind the scene — though His name was never mentioned, we gain great comfort in knowing that God is in control of His creation. To read the book of Esther as a historical account of a long-dead king and his queens is to miss a wonderful truth. In fact, there are present truths read more…

The Companions Of Our Life

Life’s journey would be impossible without the people that God sends into our lives. As I look back at almost 17 years in full-time ministry and 31 years as a Christian, I’m who I am today because of all the people whom God placed in my life. By this, I mean ALL – including those I’d rather not have around me. To make sense of all the jumble of thoughts running through my head, let me boil it down to a few pointers.

1. Don’t overestimate yourself

A few weeks ago, I felt the Lord show me clearly that the grace over my life is there because of my connection to Pastor Yang and various other people God had placed around me.

It’d be a fallacy to think that I read more…

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