Inspirational Thought of the Day:
The same God who parted the red sea will deliver us through the torrent waves of this life.
Scripture of the Day:
“I have heard the grumbling of the people of Israel. Say to them, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread. Then you shall know that I am the LORD your God.’”
Grumble, grumble. It’s Monday again. What a fitting Scripture for today, huh? Our weary flesh rises for another work week and perhaps something goes awry (not that this ever happens on a Monday), but what then? What should our response be when things are challenging?
The Israelites were just rescued with the most amazing deliverance the world ever saw. A cloud separated them and Egypt. A sea parted. Their God fought for them. Wow. Just three days later, their hearts were tested, though. The water was bitter. Uh, so were their hearts when they did not have perfect provision. Then there was not sufficient food. Why would God test them so?
Our great God cares for us too much to let our relationship with Him be merely His provision and our satisfaction. He wants us to know Him. We are tested to bring us out of the lull our flesh enjoys. When things are perfectly comfortable, though, even then our flesh can find something to complain about. We were made for so much more than satisfying our flesh.
Boy, I bet Moses was worn out by all that grumbling. Ever felt that way? Leading people is not easy, especially when they don’t get their way or become offended. And the truth is, we are all prone to grumbling from time to time. But what causes grumbling?
All about Me.
The carnal mind is fixated on self. We lose perspective when all we become focused on is meeting the needs and dictates of what WE want. It is hard not to be focused on our needs because our flesh is LOUD. But the discerning heart recognizes the difference between flesh and spirit and learns to deny the flesh so we can hear the spirit more clearly.
The irony in serving self is that self will never fully be satisfied. Our greatest joy actually comes in dying to self and elevating Christ. When our lives are all about Him, our fleshly concerns are minimized and we have greater joy.
I can hear someone say, but what about when life is unfair or people are accusing us falsely? The life hidden in Christ learns to see that we no longer live – it is Christ who lives in us. New challenges will continue to rise like the waves of the sea, but they do not have to move the heart steady in Christ. Let people say or do what they will. Delighting in God and His Word is a refuge and helps us to see the reality of such times. Simple tests of our hearts. Are we all about us or all about God and His glory?
God wants us to deeply trust Him. When people speak against us, when the car breaks down, when sickness visits our home, when we wonder where our next meal is coming from, when times are hard. Instead of resenting the difficulty of the moment, God help us to see it as a beautiful opportunity to know our God more. Life is not about avoiding challenges, but embracing them and seeing our Creator in those divine moments. He is our Provider, our Savior, the Lover of our souls. No one loves us more. Why do we so easily doubt His goodness and turn to our own devices? Each test of our faith, God is drawing us nearer to Himself. He is not unkind in allowing these burdens in. It is the greatest kindness to wake us up from temporary fleshly gain to an eternal perspective that enables us to know our great, loving God.
Every detail of our lives can bring us to gratitude or grumbling. We can look on the surface and just consider our circumstances, or dive deeper and see the One Who holds all of our moments. He knows every aspect of who we are. Completely. And He wants us to know Him! The God of this universe wants us to know Him! He created us for this relationship and our greatest satisfaction comes from worshiping Him.
Well, I hope I have helped Monday’s grumblings, at least. But tomorrow another problem will arise and we might be tempted to grumble. We have a choice in that moment. Will we be attentive to our grumbling heart and silence it with His word? Or will we give air to our grievances and displease our God to Whom we are accountable? Just like He provided for the Israelites all those years ago, He has what we need each day.
As much as I can want to judge the hearts of the Israelites who so quickly doubted God, I have three fingers pointing back at me accusing me of the same grumbling heart. We all can become carnally minded apart from the grace of God. It is what we do with the grumbling that can make way for a mighty discipline or provision from our God. The greatest moments of turmoil in our lives can become our greatest deliverance. The same God who parted the red sea will deliver us through the torrent waves of this life.
Oh God, You are great! Help us to turn a deaf ear to the grumblings of our flesh and to stir our hearts toward praise and thankfulness instead. May we trust You as our Deliverer and be content with the lot You have for us.