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We think about profanity being unwholesome talk and surely, it is, but did you know murmuring and complaining is unwholesome talk. Unwholesome talk will stop you from experiencing the life God has planned for you. We all know it is wrong to murmur and complain, but I am not sure we know how dangerous doing it actually is.
Scriptures: Proverbs 18:20-21, Ephesians 4:29, Psalms 34:1, Numbers 11:4, 10, 18-19, Deuteronomy 1:2-3, Proverbs 30:32, Isaiah 53:7, Isaiah 61:7, Numbers 21:5-6, 1 Corinthians 10:9-10, Proverbs 17:22, Philippians 2:14-15
We are talking about the Power of Words. Words are so very powerful. Words accuse or encourage. Words make us laugh or make us cry. Words bring healing or hurt. Words teach truth or teach lies. Words bless or curse. Words create gossip or stop gossip. Your words will bring you victory in life or defeat.
The enemy works diligently in the area of words. If he can keep us speaking negative and destructive words then we will destroy our futures. The opposite is also true. If we will speak positive and creative words, we create great futures. The Bible gives much instruction about our words.
(Amplified) Proverbs 18:20 A man's self shall be filled with the fruit of his mouth; and with the consequence of his words he must be satisfied [whether good or evil].
Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it.
We talked last time about creating our worlds with our words. Today I want to focus on an area that gets us into more trouble than we can imagine. I want to talk about the dangers of murmuring and complaining. I know that none of us have this problem. I know that this lesson is for someone else. So, maybe if you listen, you can help them.
Ephesians 4:29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
The Bible says that we should not allow any unwholesome talk to come out of our mouths. Usually we think about this only as in talking about people and surely that is included. We think about profanity being unwholesome talk and surely it is, but did you know that murmuring and complaining is unwholesome talk. Unwholesome talk will stop you from experiencing the life that God has planned for you.
We all know that it is wrong to murmur and complain, but I am not sure that we know how dangerous doing it actually is.
WE HAVE ALL BEEN GUILTY OF MURMURING AND COMPLAINING. Sometimes it is comical about what we complain. We ask God to give us a promotion at work. He does and we complain that we have too much responsibility. We ask for more business then we complain that we are "covered up." We ask God to give us children. Then we complain when they misbehave. We ask God for a new car. We get one and then complain about how far we have to drive to church. Women pray for a husband. Then complain because he does those dumb men things. We men ask God to give us a wife. Then we complain because they spend money.
Let me tell you a joke. A credit card company called a man and said, "Sir, someone has stolen your wife's credit card." He said, "I know. Let them keep it and leave them alone. The thief spends less money than my wife."
THERE WILL ALWAYS BE SOMETHING TO COMPLAIN ABOUT because we live in an imperfect world with imperfect people. The enemy will always make certain that you have plenty of opportunities to grumble and find fault with something.
Even at church – we say, that service was too long. The music was too loud. I do not care what anyone says, that preacher cannot tell me anything. I did not like the way the preacher's wife dressed. Some new person was in my seat. The parking lot was crowded. The Baptist beat us to Don Lolo's. We can always find something to complain about, but we do not realize what it is doing to us when we do.
The children of Israel were in bondage. The Egyptians treated them terribly. They were working as slaves. They were being beaten and abused. It was an incredibly unfair situation. God said that he had heard the cry of his people and that he was coming down to deliver them. He sent Moses as their deliverer. You know the story. With miracle after miracle God supernaturally brought them out of that bondage. In a moment, they were free and God was taking them to their Promised Land. One would think that they would be happy and grateful. God miraculously delivered them. Every single person saw God's mighty hand working in his or her lives. Were they thankful? No. The first thing they began to do was murmur and complain.
A COMPLAINER WILL ALWAYS COMPLAIN ABOUT SOMETHING. God can do miracle after miracle for us. Yet, if we allow the enemy to have his way, we will only see the negative what is wrong instead of seeing all that is right. We can always find something to complain about even in the midst of continual miracles.
THE MAIN REASON FOR MURMURING AND COMPLAINING IS THAT WE ARE SIMPLY NOT GRATEFUL. I think about my life. When I complain and murmur, I am focusing on a negative. A complainer always focuses on the negative. Instead of thanking God for what they do have they complain about what they don't have. Instead of focusing on how far they have come in life and all that God has done for them, they focus on how far they have to go. You may not be where you want to be right now, but at least you are not where you once were. You may not have the best job in the world right now, but thank God that you are employed. You may not have the house of your dreams now, but you can thank God that you have a roof over your head.
Here is what the Lord wants you to see. Just as you can always find something to complain about, you can always find something for which to be grateful. If we are honest and stack it all up to compare, each of us would say, "LOOK WHAT THE LORD HAS DONE."
Psalms 34:1 I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
At all times means in the good times and in the tough times. It means when things are going great and when the bottom falls out, I will be grateful.
The children of Israel complained about having no food and drink. So, God supernaturally gave them all the food and drink they could want. Surely, they would begin to thank and praise God, but no. They began to complain about something else.
(TLB) Numbers 11:4 . . ."Oh, for a few bites of meat! Oh, that we had some of the delicious fish we enjoyed so much in Egypt, and the wonderful cucumbers and melons, leeks, onions, and garlic!
They were saying, "Moses, what else is on the menu? We are tired of this stinking manna." They were turning their noses up at what God had given them. They were extremely ungrateful and wanted Moses to tell God they were tired of his provisions.
MANNA WAS NOT GOD'S FINAL DESTINATION FOR THEM. It was only his provision for them as he took them to where he had planned for them to go. Where you are today is not your final destination. It is manna. It is God's provisions for you today. We should be grateful, but instead, we complain. Well, that person that you will talk to about this lesson complains. I know that you never have complained.
Numbers 11:10 Moses heard the people of every family wailing, each at the entrance to his tent. The LORD became exceedingly angry, and Moses was troubled.
God was not upset because the people complained. He was upset because they were not grateful. What troubled Moses was not that the people complained, but the results of their complaining. Nothing good will ever come of murmuring and complaining.
When people murmur and complain after God has been good to them, it disappoints and upsets the Lord. Look what the Lord said and note the sarcasm.
(TLB) Numbers 11:18 "And tell the people to purify themselves, for tomorrow they shall have meat to eat. Tell them, 'The Lord has heard your tearful complaints about all you left behind in Egypt, and he is going to give you meat. You shall eat it,
Numbers 11:19 not for just a day or two, or five or ten or even twenty! For one whole month you will have meat until you vomit it from your noses; for you have rejected the Lord who is here among you, and you have wept for Egypt.'"
MURMURING AND COMPLAINING TURNS THE FAVOR OF GOD AWAY FROM US. The Lord sees our complaining as rejecting him and it is. He sees it as our being ungrateful for all he has done for us. He takes murmuring and complaining very personal.
God loves us and wants to do for us. He wants to work miracles for us, but it disappoints and upsets the Lord when we complain and murmur. He wants to take each of us into our Promised Land. A thing, if not the main thing, that will totally stop us from entering is complaining. But, turn that around and be thankful and grateful and positive and he will get you to your Promised Land quickly.
THE LONGER YOU COMPLAIN, THE LONGER YOU WILL REMAIN IN THAT SITUATION. The children of Israel complained about having to eat manna. Do you know how long they had to eat it? They ended up eating it for forty years!
(TLT) Deuteronomy 1:2-3 Normally it takes only eleven days to travel from Mount Sinai to Kadesh-barnea, going by way of Mount Seir… But forty years after the Israelites left Mount Sinai, on a day in midwinter, Moses gave these speeches
They could have been done with manna in eleven days after leaving Sinai. Instead, they continued murmuring and complaining and that kept them eating manna for the rest of their lives… THE REST OF THEIR LIVES!
You may complain about your debt. You say you give in the offering, but cannot get out of the rut. Why does God not do what he said he would do? If you keep complaining about it, you will never get out of debt. Instead, thank God for what you do have. Thank him that you are able to make money to pay off your debt. Find the high ground and bless the Lord. Then watch him do something for you in that area.
You may be complaining about your spouse. They do this or they do that. As long as you murmur and complain, nothing will change. However, if you will find something good to say about your spouse, God will begin to change the situation. Talk about what he or she does well and be thankful about that.
Let me tell you a joke. One Sunday morning, everyone in a small town got up and went to the local church. Suddenly, Satan appeared at the front of the church. Everyone began screaming and running for the exit trampling each other in a frantic effort to get away. Soon, everyone was gone from the church except for one elderly gentleman who sat calmly in his pew, not moving and seemingly oblivious to Satan. This confused Satan, so he walked up to the man and said, "Don't you know who I am?' The man replied, "Yep, sure do." Satan asked, "Aren't you afraid of me?" "Nope, sure ain't," said the man. Satan asked, "Why aren't you afraid of me?" The man calmly replied, "Been married to your sister for over 48 years."
There is something good in every situation. Even Satan himself could not frighten that man. Find the high ground. Do not let the devil run you away from your blessing. The enemy wants us to speak and verbalize how bad things are and how afraid we are. He wants us to talk about the terrible time we are having. If we make that mistake, the devil will trap us in our wilderness until we stop complaining, or until we die.
SOME OF YOU HAVE BEEN DEALT WHAT SEEMS TO BE AN UNFAIR HAND IN LIFE. Maybe you had a mate that walked out on you. Maybe someone is treating you very wrong right now. Maybe you have a diagnosis of a life threatening disease. Maybe you have recently lost a loved one and the pain is great.
You may have every reason in the natural to murmur and complain. But, don't do it. Let me encourage you. As difficult as it may be, bite your tongue! Do not allow any unwholesome talk to come out of your mouth. Unwholesome talk will keep you in that very wilderness.
(Amplified) Proverbs 30:32 If you have done foolishly in exalting yourself, or if you have thought evil, lay your hand upon your mouth.
In other words, if you cannot say anything good then do not say anything at all. People say, "Well, I thought it, so I may as well say it." No. No. No. It is best to not think it, but it is horrible to say it. Cover your mouth. Do not say it. As bad as doing something foolish and thinking something evil may be, they are not nearly as bad as saying it.
No matter how bad things get, do not murmur and complain. We know how bad things got for Jesus.
Isaiah 53:7 He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.
Jesus went through more than any of us can imagine. Yet, he never complained. Imagine the beating, the crown of thorns, the whipping, and the nails. He could have said this is not fair. No one should be treated like this. He had feelings and emotions just as we do. Jesus knows what it feels like to be mistreated and rejected. He knows what it feels like to be lied about and falsely accused. Jesus knows what it feels like to have the world come against him. He could have questioned God, but he knew it was better to not open his mouth. In the time of his greatest trial and greatest need, when he was the most tempted to murmur and complain, he DID NOT OPEN HIS MOUTH.
We need to learn to do the same thing. In our difficult times, we must learn to stay silent. Rather than murmuring and complaining, we must learn to cover our mouths. You will have circumstances in life that do not seem fair. You may not understand why something bad happened. If we want to be raised up, we must trust God. In our bad times, if we cannot say anything good we must learn not say anything at all. God will raise you from your tomb of despair. He will roll away the stone and bring you out of every adversity if we will not open our mouths – murmur and complain.
God has promised that he would take crazy things – shameful things and humiliating things – that happen, turn them into good, and then bless us double.
(TLB) Isaiah 61:7 Instead of shame and dishonor, you shall have a double portion of prosperity and everlasting joy.
If we will do what is right when we go through bad times, even if it was shameful and disgraceful, God promised that he would bring us out with a double portion of prosperity and a double portion of joy.
I CHALLENGE YOU TODAY. Murmuring and complaining is destructive. Every time you are tempted to complain, allow that to be a reminder to you to thank God instead. Thank God for something good he has done for you. Give someone the right to help you with this. Tell them, "If you hear me complaining, please tell me." God will bless you double if we will not murmur and complain.
BAD THINGS HAPPEN IF WE MURMUR. That generation of the children of Israel never learned this principle. Most Christ followers never learn it either. That generation always found fault with something. If it was not about the food, it was about the water. If it was not the food or water, it was Moses. If it was not Moses, it was Moses' wife. If it was not one of those, it was God.
(TLB) Numbers 21:5-6 they began to murmur against God and to complain against Moses. "Why have you brought us out of Egypt to die here in the wilderness?" they whined. "There is nothing to eat here, and nothing to drink, and we hate this insipid manna." So the Lord sent poisonous snakes among them to punish them, and many of them were bitten and died.
They were always complaining. God became so tired of that attitude that he pulled back his hand of protection. He allowed poisonous snakes to come into their camp and thousands of them died.
The apostle Paul referred back to this incident.
(Amplified) 1 Corinthians 10:9 We should not tempt the Lord as some of them did--and were killed by poisonous serpents;
1 Corinthians 10:10 Nor discontentedly complain as some of them did--and were put out of the way entirely by the destroyer.
When we murmur and complain the Lord backs off. His presence will not remain around murmuring and complaining people. We open the door to poisonous snakes. We poison our own futures. When you are constantly negative and constantly finding fault, you are opening the door for some bad things to come into your camp – life and family. We release poisons into our homes, bodies, work, business, everything, etc.
The opposite is true. If we remain positive and keep our hearts cheerful and thankful, it is like good medicine.
Proverbs 17:22 A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.
THE MORE WE THANK GOD FOR WHAT WE DO HAVE, THE MORE GOD WILL GIVE US WHAT WE DON'T HAVE.
It should have taken the children of Israel eleven days to reach their higher level of life. Instead, most of them never entered it at all. Most of those died in the wilderness. Why? The problem was their mouths. They were constantly murmuring and complaining.
God says come follow me. It is just a short journey down the road and I will bless your life so you shine like a star. Just do not complain and murmur.
Philippians 2:14-15 Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe
How many things does the Bible say do without complaining? Everything! Stop complaining about working overtime. Stop complaining about having to go to the grocery store. Stop grumbling about having to mow the lawn. Instead, thank God that you are healthy and able to mow the lawn. Stop grumbling about the price of gasoline and thank God that you have a car in which you can pump gas.
If you will stop murmuring and complaining, God will bless your life so much that you will appear as a star in the heaven. You will elevate to a higher dimension of life than you have ever experienced.
I want to challenge you to do all things without murmuring and complaining. If you cannot say anything good, zip it! Make a decision today that you will not complain about anything. Realize that the longer you complain, the longer you will remain in your wilderness. If you refuse to murmur and complain, God will roll the stone away and raise you up every time. Be a grateful person and enter your Promised Land. Thank God for all he does in your life. God will bless you and give you the bright life that you deserve.