COMPLAINING: THE ENEMY’S WEAPON OF MASS DESTRUCTION

Stop Complaining by Stuart Miles

I am praying God’s blessing upon your life today in spite of any difficulties you may be facing. Jesus said in the world you will have tribulation. Paul said that he had learned how to be abased and how to abound. In other words, there will always be something going on in our lives to complain about. Take the Israelites in Numbers 21:46 for example. They complained about the water they didn’t have. They complained about the manna they did have. Like them, we complain about what we have and what we don’t have. Sometimes we even complain about situations we’ve created ourselves. Proverbs 19:3 says, “People ruin their lives by their own foolishness and then are angry at the LORD.” Sound familiar?

However, Philippians 2:14 tells us that we are to do EVERYTHING without complaining. Have you ever thought about why God would make such an absolute statement? If we look at I Corinthians 10:7-10, He points out examples for us to follow regarding the avoidance of evil. He lists Idolatry, sexual immorality and complaining in the same passage. Therefore, He sees complaining as being on the same level as idolatry and sexual immorality!  Furthermore, upon thinking deeply about what it means for us spiritually when we complain, you’ll find that it’s very destructive in nature. Let’s look at some reasons the enemy’s “spiritual weapon of mass destruction” should be banned from our lives:

  1. It destroys our perception of God. When we complain, it’s as if we are telling God that His timing and judgment are poor. We are effectively tearing God down without realizing it. Therefore the enemy is secretly eroding our perception of Him through the words that we speak, hear, and receive into our own hearts.
  2. It destroys our faith. Romans 10:17 says, “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” When we hear ourselves complain, we hear ourselves talk about what we have in the present and end up destroying our faith to believe for the situation to change in the future. We need to talk about what we want and not what we’ve got if we want to receive good things in our lives.
  3. It destroys our witness. Complaining, especially in front of unbelievers, can cause us to be a stumbling block. If we are negative, the unsaved will not want what we have as believers. Also, depending upon what you are complaining about in the moment, God’s reputation may be destroyed.  Philippians 2:14-16 says, “Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.”  Therefore we need to definitely curb the complaining in front of unbelievers.
  4. It destroys our future. Job 22:28 says, “Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee: and the light shall shine upon thy ways.”  When you complain, you may be prophesying negative things into your future.  For example, I Corinthians 10:8-10 relays how the the Israelites  were “destroyed by the destroyer” as a result of their complaining. Therefore, if you want your future to be bright, refuse to complain about your life in the now.

As you can see, complaining will open the door for the enemy to wreak havoc in your life.  In John 6:43 Jesus told the Jews, “Stop grumbling.” Could he be saying that to you today? We complain so often that it’s become automatic, and we don’t even recognize when we do it. Therefore, let’s repent and ask the Holy Spirit to convict us when we complain about ANYTHING. When we pray for Him to empower us to control our tongues and stay in a mode of thankfulness, only then will we get the victory over complaining in our lives.

Has the Holy Spirit convicted you about complaining lately? What is He saying to you? Leave a comment below. 

I’d love your help spreading the word about my books, Oasis for My Soul: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual and Personal Growth and The Exceptional Man: Love Poems and Inspirational Writings Celebrating Godly Men and Great RelationshipsClick here to find out ways you can help.

Would you like to receive your FREE e-chapbook entitled, Your Faith Has Made You Whole: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual Transformation, by Tracey L. Moore? Go to www.traceylmoore.com and subscribe to the email list.

Find me on Facebook:  www.facebook.com/TraceyLMoore2012

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Image courtesy of Stuart Miles via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

MUSINGS ABOUT MARRIAGE, SUBMISSION, AND HEADSHIP

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Lately I have been reading a excellent book by my friend, Dr. Christine Bacon, entitled The Super Couple: A Formula for Extreme Happiness in Marriage. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to improve their marriage or prepare for marriage. I have been reading it and gaining some great insight even as a single woman. My thinking is being adjusted so that I can be prepared in the event that God sends a “Boaz” my way in the future.  Therefore, today I would like to share with you some of the insights about submission and headship I have received while reading the book. I think this will encourage those who are married and help prepare singles for married life in the future.

SUBMISSION EQUALS SELFLESSNESS

The first insight I received is that there are two types of submission going on in a marriage. Just like a coin has two sides, submission in a marriage has two sides.  The first type of submission is exemplified in Ephesians 5:21 which states that we should “submit ourselves to one another out of the fear of God.” In her book, Christine talks about “selflessness” as the first element of the formula for an extremely happy marriage.  When I read that passage, I got a new revelation of what the Bible means when it says  to “prefer one another” above yourselves. Each party’s personal needs must become secondary at all times to their partner’s needs for a marriage to become “Super.” I believe this is what Paul meant when he said in Romans 12:10, “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another.” Submission to one another is just another term for preferring one another and being selfless as Christine pointed out in The Super Couple.

HEADSHIP EQUALS LOVING LEADERSHIP

When it comes to the term “submission,” we usually focus on Ephesians 5:22-23 which says:

“Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”

Thus, this indicates that the husband has been designated by God to be the head of the household. However, I have often heard it said, “The husband is the “head,” but the wife is the “neck,” and the head can’t turn without the neck’s support.”  Therefore, I believe that headship involves a husband lovingly leading in a way that allows for decisions to be made together that are based upon God’s divine will for the household, takes into account the input of the wife, and ultimately works for the good of everyone involved.

SUBMISSION EQUALS THE RESPONSE TO PROPER LOVING

After reading Ephesians 5, I began to ponder about why I have no trouble submitting myself to Christ. My musings led me to identify ten ways He loves the church, and thus explains why I have no problem submitting myself to the Lord’s leadership. Christ loves the church in the following ways:

  1. On the cross, He sacrificed His life and ignored His own needs for ease and comfort.
  2. He is a servant (as exemplified when He washed the feet of the disciples in John 13:5-17).
  3. He protects and defends His bride.
  4. He meets her needs.
  5. He loves her unconditionally.
  6. He continuously tries to help her to fulfill her call and be her best.
  7. He totally has her best interests at heart at all times.
  8. He has no hidden personal agenda and can be completely trusted at all times.
  9. He never tries to promote His own self-interests at the expense of His bride.
  10. He allows I Corinthians 13, the love chapter, to be His guide in all his dealings with her.

Just think, if a husband loves a wife like that, there is nothing left but for a woman’s defenses to break down completely! She can totally relax in his love, lay herself bare emotionally, and there is absolutely no resistance to his leadership. Submission becomes an effortless byproduct of being loved extremely well. She can’t help but submit when she knows what He does for her is absolutely always in her best interest. When a husband is doing his job and loving her properly, submission is a “no brainer” for her under those conditions. There is no sense of a need for the “obedience card” to be played because she will simply respond to his love automatically and desire to please him. He will never have to give her “an order” because she will see and understand that because of his selfless love being poured out upon her, things can’t help but turn out well for her under his leadership, and she falls right in line. At least, that’s what an emotionally and spiritually mature woman would do.

THE MARRIAGE FORMULA EQUALS LOVE AND RESPECT

A husband might ask, “How can I love her like Christ loved the church?! I’m not Jesus!” True, but I don’t believe God is in the business of giving commands and not empowering us by His Holy Spirit to carry them out. God will enable you to do all things through Christ who strengthens you (Philippians 4:13). Dr. Bacon’s formula relayed in The Super Couple is a template for loving your wife as Christ loved the church. On the other hand, a wife may lament, “Respecting my husband is a tall order! I can’t do it. He doesn’t even deserve it.” However, the formula for an extremely happy marriage can also be used by a wife as a template for rendering respect to her husband as commanded in Ephesians 5:33.  According to the author, If both husband and wife apply the formula and there is mutual submission going on, the phrase “Happy wife, happy life” should become a household reality.

In summary, those who are married should submit themselves one to another as instructed by the Apostle Paul. My mom, who was married 49 years to my dad before he passed away, wisely stated, “If each spouse prioritizes meeting the other’s needs, then everyone’s needs will be met in the marriage.” Husbands should love their wives using Christ’s model. Wives should submit to their husbands and give them respect in response to their mate’s lavish love. Those singles who want to be a part of a happy marriage should take heed and prepare themselves by recognizing beforehand what will be required of them if and when they actually get married. Consequently, with much prayer and conscious, deliberate application of the Word, Christian marriages will be better able to serve as a positive example for the world at large.

If a husband does NOT love his wife like Christ loved the church, should she still submit?  Or if a wife does NOT respect her husband, should he love her like Christ loved the church anyway? What do you think? Leave a comment below.

GOD’S ANTIDOTES FOR FEAR

Fear Anxiety arrows on sign post by Stuart Miles
Today I want to encourage you to address and overcome all fear in your life. David said in Psalm 34:4, “I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.”  Therefore, God has given us the ability to walk free of annoying fears, phobias, and panic attacks.

I like to think of fear like a coin that has two sides. Some fear is good and motivates you to do your best and be your best. Some fear will keep you safe (e.g., the fear that keeps you from walking out in front of a  moving car). But on the other hand, fear can also torment you, terrorize you and paralyze you. That is the fear we have to deal with if we ever want to reach our destiny in Christ.

II Timothy 1:7 says, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” These are “antidotes,” if you will, for the poison of fear. So let’s take a look at how power, love, and a sound mind operate in tandem to enable us to triumph over fear.

THE ANTIDOTE OF POWER
The first antidote for fear is the recognition of the power we have been given in Christ Jesus. Jesus said in Luke 10:18-19, “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” When fear overtakes us, we have simply forgotten the authority that has been bestowed upon us by God.  When we know that we have power over Satan and his onslaughts, fear has no choice but to bow it’s knee.

THE ANTIDOTE OF LOVE
The second antidote for fear is love. I John 4:16-18 says, “Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” Therefore, we can look at the antidote of love from two angles.  First, we must walk in love. When we walk in love with our fellow man, we have no fear of torment or concerns about reaping a bad harvest because we have sown bad seed. Our conscience is clear. Second, when we believe God loves us, we are confident that He will protect us, provide for us, and has our best interests at heart. Therefore, if we want to overcome fear, we must be firmly rooted and grounded in God’s love, and be committed to walking in love as well.

THE ANTIDOTE OF A SOUND MIND
The third antidote for fear is having a sound mind. What is a sound mind? One definition of the word sound is “undisturbed.” Therefore, a sound mind is one that is stable and peaceful. Isaiah 26:3 says, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.”  Therefore, if you want to have a sound mind and avoid fear, keep your mind on God’s Word. When you do, that’s when you definitely can say you have “the mind of Christ” mentioned in I Corinthians 2:16.

Beloved, if you want to overcome fear, embrace the power that God has given you. Walk in love. Be rooted in grounded in God’s love for you. Pursue staying peaceful in all circumstances so that your mind will be sound. Let power, love and a soundness of mind operate together within you to act as antidotes that will counteract the devil’s poisonous darts of fear.

How do you deal with fear in your life? Leave a comment below. 

I’d love your help spreading the word about my books, Oasis for My Soul: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual and Personal Growth and The Exceptional Man: Love Poems and Inspirational Writings Celebrating Godly Men and Great RelationshipsClick here to find out ways you can help.

Would you like to receive your FREE e-chapbook entitled, Your Faith Has Made You Whole: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual Transformation, by Tracey L. Moore? Go to www.traceylmoore.com and subscribe to the email list.

Find me on Facebook:  www.facebook.com/TraceyLMoore2012

Follow me on Twitter:  @TraceyLMoore1

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles via FreeDigitalPhotos.net