May 4, 2018

Numbers 11:1–2 (NLT) — 1 Soon the people began to complain about their hardship, and the Lord heard everything they said. Then the Lord’s anger blazed against them, and he sent a fire to rage among them, and he destroyed some of the people in the outskirts of the camp. 2 Then the people screamed to Moses for help, and when he prayed to the Lord, the fire stopped.

Can you name the seven deadly sins? Just is case you can’t here they are: wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony. I don’t see complaining on the list and yet it proved to be a sin just as deadly as the top 7. If there was a Top 10 list i doubt that complaining would make it. It has become just as much of a national past-time as baseball; maybe even more so because baseball only goes on for about half a year where as complaining never takes a day off.

I know that I am not wrong in stating this because everyday I hear complaints about the weather, stores closing, the pot holes in the streets, the lack of rain, or too much rain, the neighbor with his loud music, the mail man walking on my grass, people who miss church for any and every trivial reason etc. It truly is a national past-time.

Apparently God isn’t in favor of our national past-time. I wonder why not? Well I really don’t wonder since it is clearly stated in scripture:

1 Thessalonians 5:16–18 (NLT) — 16 Always be joyful. 17 Never stop praying. 18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

You see complaining is willfully disobeying God. How can I be joyful and complain at the same time? God’s word doesn’t say ‘never stop complaining’ instead it says ‘never stop praying’. If I am complaining it means that I am not praying. I don’t think complaining is being thankful in all circumstances do you? Complaining is sin and the wages of sin is death. Complaining kills my joy and more than likely the joy of those around me. Complaining kills my prayer life. Complaining kills my gratefulness and that of those who have the misfortune of having to listen to me.

Complaining kills my faith in God it makes Him out to be some little wimpy god who doesn’t have enough power, strength and resources to help me. It makes him out to be some ogre who doesn’t care. O my, do I really want to give that impression of God; do you? It makes God’s wisdom come across as foolish. What I mean by that is that God allows us to be in each situation in life so that our faith in him and our dependence on him will grow.

He put Joseph in a pit so that he couldn’t go left or right or forwards or backwards. All Joseph could do was look up and trust God. If he would have complained he wouldn’t have grown in his faith and he certainly wouldn’t have been mature enough to be elevated to the position of 2nd in command in Egypt. God knew what kind of person Joseph would need to be to bring Egypt through the good and bad times; so he used the pit, Potiphar and prison to shape Joseph. Those were all situations that if Joseph would have resorted to complaining it would have killed his usage to God and to a nation.

Men and women who join our military have to go through intense ‘boot camp’ training to prepare them for what might lie ahead. Boot camp is anything but fun. It is hard and demanding both on body and mind. But those who go through it know that this is what they need if they are going to survive in combat situations.

God is shaping all of us in his ‘spiritual boot camp’ for the days ahead. Life isn’t a playground it is a battlefield and we must be prepared to fight. We have an enemy who is tireless and relentless and he will do anything to take us out of the fight. Complaining takes us out of the fight. Complaining gives the win to the enemy. Complaining really is deadly.

So be like Moses. When the people complained Moses prayed and God honored his prayers.

Philippians 2:14 (NLT) — 14 Do everything without complaining and arguing,

Be Inspired Hilltop!