We are so blessed, we have so many gifts. Do praise and thankfulness fill our lips? Or do we complain about the mundane?
At our home, we have a list of house rules.
Let's have a look at #3.
The Amplified bible says it this way: Do all things without grumbling and faultfinding and complaining and questioning and doubting, that you may show yourselves to be blameless, innocent, uncontaminated, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and wicked generation, among whom you are seen as bright lights in the dark world. Phil 2:14-15
This post today, however, is not about one of our kids breaking the rule. I broke the rule.
Oh Lord, forgive me, help me.
When I broke the rule, none of my privileges were taken away (which is what happens when our kids break a rule), but if it were to continue, I know the Lord would have to deal with me. I probably would have gotten a little spank'n so to speak. Gentle conviction of the Holy Spirit is where it starts. Complaining can be habit forming if not dealt with and stopped. I realize this and the fear of the Lord has me in arms. It is a good fear, a reverence for the Lord, not negative.
The Lord's correction is never to condemn but to curve. To curve us to be more like Christ. To curve us to the center of His will and what is best for us.
The last part of the verse says that when we do things with the right attitude and a thankful heart, that we will be "Seen as bright lights in the dark world." Oh, how my heart desires to be seen as a bright light.
However, I know there are times when my light is flickering, struggling to shine. Light can only be bright if completely plugged into the Power Source. Complaining must be a indication that we have a faulty connection somewhere. When we complain, our light is dimmed. To complain is a step out of the spirit and into the flesh. Oh, how we need to stay plugged in, and keep our connection to the Lord strong.
The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Gal 5:22
Hmmm. I don't see "complaining" in the list. No wonder it implies in the Phillipians 2 that we won't be bright lights when we are complaining, we are not walking according to the Spirit.
Why is a healthy fear of the Lord vital? Why do we need to stand against complaining?
1. When we complain, we are complaining against God, proclaiming that we don't trust Him. (Go to Exodus to see how that worked out for the Isrealites, not good)
2. We are forgetting all the blessings He has given us, and focusing on the negative. (opposite of Phil 4:8)
3. We are expressing unbelief in His ability to fix the situation (unbelief is a big sin--ouch!).
4. We are allowing the enemy to get a foothold into our life (dangerous).
5. We let our light go dim.
What have we to complain about when the God of the Universe is on our side? He is our Power Source. Our Supply. Our Provision. Our Everything. His Grace is enough. When we are weak, He is strong.
My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness. 2 Cor 12:9 (love this verse....O, how much His grace covers)
I am ministering to myself right now. The Holy Spirit's conviction is all over me. Before a couple weeks ago, I saw my work situation as hard. Perspective is an eye opener. Tragedy struck at a heart of a friend, a dear sister in Christ. Everything that seemed big seems so small now. We serve a BIG GOD, He is able to handle the big and the small.
I now have the amplified version of the rule #3 verse on a post-it note on my work binder as a constant reminder.
I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul shall make its boast in the Lord; The humble shall hear of it and be glad.
Oh, Magnify the Lord with me, And let us exalt His name together. Psalms 34:1-3
Let's stay plugged in and praising, and not let our light be dimmed by complaining. Let us magnify the Lord with praising, not diminish our witness by complaining.
Oh Father, I have been so wrong. Please forgive me. You have given me so much, thank you for all the blessings you have given me. Forgive me for focusing on what is so small, and making it bigger in my mind. Forgive my unbelief. I know You will help me with anything and that Your grace is sufficient for me. Forgive me for ways I have let a complaining attitude block my light to the world. I pray you would help me shine, that Jesus would shine in me. I pray for a positive mental attitude in all situations and that I would be a light in a dark world. I pray to see the best in every situation and in every person. I pray that Your peace would rule in my heart and that your Word would give me wisdom, that I would sing praises unto You with grace in my heart, and that whatever I do, that I would do it all as unto You. Help me see through your eyes. In Jesus' Holy Name.