If you ask anyone about the emotional state of Iranians today, you will hear words like depression, suicide, abuse, and loneliness…
In a society that has been socially and economically suffocated, it’s people turn to various things in order to fill the void in their lives. Some turn to drugs, others to sexual relationships, but many Iranians have been turning to the one thing that can truly fill the void that they have lived with for so long—Jesus Christ.
For Iranians who have accepted Christ, living in Iran is like living in a spiritual wilderness. Bibles are difficult to find, and good Biblical teaching is also very scarce. Christians in Iran feel estranged and are hungry for God’s Word and a strong Christian community—things that many of us here in the states take for granted.
It is during this state of spiritual thirst, however, that the people of Iran are tapping into something that many have yet to discover…
Manna is first introduced in Exodus 16 as the children of Israel enter the wilderness of Sin, between Elim and Sinai.
The Lord, after hearing the murmurings of the Israelites, reveals His plan to rain special bread from heaven that is later referred to as manna.
In verse 4 God SPECIFICALLY tells the children of Israel that they must go out and gather a certain amount of this manna every day as a demonstration of their trust in God’s provision.
Manna had many distinct characteristics, but I just want to focus on two:
It was satisfying (like wafers made with honey) v. 31
It was SUFFICIENT (God gave the exact amount needed for each day, including double portions on the sixth day to last through the seventh—no more, no less.) v. 16-18
So, what does this have to do with believers in Iran?
Today we have a Manna that rains down on us every single day—it is God Himself. His presence, His Word, and His Spirit are sweet like wafers made with honey, and are ENOUGH to satisfy our souls each and every day. Those who live in countries where they can freely access God’s Word, however, may sometimes fall prey to overlooking this beautiful truth, because they have so much that is distracting them from their spiritual thirst.
Because of the lack of religious freedom in Iran in combination with escalating social and economic pressure, those who follow Jesus Christ are acutely aware of their spiritual thirst and their need for God’s presence.
When Jesus is all you have, you realize that Jesus is all you need.
Because Jesus has become all they have, most Christians in Iran are more dependent on Him. They see Him as their Manna, the One who satisfies and sustains them in the midst of a spiritual wilderness.
Maybe some of you are experiencing a “wilderness” period in your spiritual life. Maybe some of you have been starving yourselves spiritually without even knowing it. Let’s take this beautiful truth in Exodus 16 as a reminder that no matter what we are going through, and no matter what we may have used to try and fill that void in our lives, God is ready to rain down His presence, His Word, and His Spirit so that we can receive it and be satisfied in Him.
Are you ready?