We all know that life is not perfect, and when things don’t go our way and we encounter a hardship of some kind, it’s so natural to complain about it. In fact, complaining is the default mode for mankind. However, God is not pleased when we go into “default mode” and cater to our flesh through complaining about the circumstances in which we find ourselves. God sent His Holy Spirit so that we can have the power to refrain from complaining and refuse to give voice to the flesh. Therefore, if we want to give voice to the Spirit, we will express GRATITUDE.
In Numbers 11:1 we read the account of the Israelites complaining about what the Lord had provided for them:
And when the people complained, it displeased the Lord: and the Lord heard it; and his anger was kindled; and the fire of the Lord burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts of the camp.
There are a few lessons we can take away from this passage:
- When we complain, the Lord HEARS us. “…The Lord heard it.” Isaiah 59:1 says, “The Lord’s ear is not heavy that He cannot hear.” God has good hearing. In fact, His hearing is so good He can hear complaining thoughts. Thoughts and spoken words are one and the same to God. He hears even if no one else does. For example, when your parent heard you grumble under your breath in disrespect, they would ask, “What did you say!?” You would quickly respond, “Nothing!” and it was over. You can’t do that with God. He hears everything.
- God gets angry when we complain. “And when the people complained, it displeased the Lord.” How do you feel when people complain about what you have provided for them? When you have given your best, and they are still not satisfied, doesn’t indignation set in? When they fail to appreciate what you have done, anger is the natural response. Therefore, we need to empathize with God more. Put yourself in His place when you are tempted to complain.
- There are consequences to complaining. “The fire of the Lord burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts of the camp.” Fire was a physical manifestation of God’s anger. God set that wildfire that swept through the camp. When you complain you open the door for the forces of Hell to set your life on fire. Complaining is a glorification of the enemy and what he is doing. Therefore, refuse to complain and engage in “devil worship.”
So you see, Child of God, when you want to complain, the Lord wants you to remember to submit praise and thanksgiving instead. I Thessalonians 5:18 says, “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” Conversely, the devil would say, “In everything complain: for this is the will of the enemy concerning you.” The consequences of following the lead of the enemy can be devastating.
God is always listening. He never sleeps or slumbers (Psalm 121:4). He feels unappreciated when you complain, especially when He always has your best interests at heart. Furthermore, complaining attracts the enemy to your life and sets you up for destruction. Therefore, if you want to repel the devil and attract the presence of God (Psalm 22:3), try praise and thanksgiving as your alternative. If you make them your “default mode,” when things go south, you can expect the situation to turn around much more quickly. As Joyce Meyer once said, “You can complain and remain, or praise and be raised.”
What has God taught you about complaining? What are your thoughts? Please leave a comment below.
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