Summary: Sermon reviews the Israelis in the desert, how they complained and wanted to go back to Egypt instead of the Promised Land. The message gives some practical ways to overcome complaining.
Breaking Free Series – July 6th
How to replace a complaining attitude – Numbers 11:1-10
Acknowledgement: James MacDonald ’Lord Change My Attitude Before It’s Too Late’
Man went to monastery – where he stayed for three years. They only allowed him to say 2 words a year – at the end of the first year he said “Beds Hard,” 2nd yr - Food Cold, 3ry yr - I Quit - to which the Father replied, well it’s no wonder--all you’ve done since you came here was to complain.
Good morning. We have been in a series called Breaking Free. The Holy Spirit is breaking us free from those strongholds in our lives. The Apostle Paul in writing to the Corinthian church says ‘we have divine power to bring down strongholds (2nd Co. 10:4).”
When Paul wrote about strongholds the Jews had in mind a fortress to protect their lives from the enemy
One fortress was Masada
If you go to Israel you can tour the ruins of Masada
In 67 AD the Romans ransacked Jerusalem – exactly what Jesus prophesied
Some of the Jews fled for their lives to Masada
It took the Romans three years to build a siege to get to the Jews within the stronghold of Masada
When they got to the top they found the whole community had committed suicide
So the Jews have this picture in mind (slide) when the Apostle Paul wrote we have divine power to bring down strongholds
But there are spiritual and satanic strongholds. A stronghold is impenetrable by human methods. Only the Holy Spirit and God’s word can break down the strongholds in our lives.
We have looked at the strongholds of pride, envy, anger, and today we will wind up this series with the stronghold of complaining.
First I want to acknowledge the work of James MacDonald’s book ‘Lord change my attitude before it’s too late.’
In regions of Mexico hot springs and cold springs are found side by side, and because of the convenience of this natural phenomenon the women often bring their laundry, boil their clothes in the hot springs, and then rinse them in the cold springs.
A tourist watching this procedure once commented to his Mexican guide, “They must think God is generous to provide so much free hot and could water!” The guide replied, “No, s˜enor, there is much grumbling because he does not supply the soap!”
The children of Israel were no different: they grumbled constantly. Today were looking at this passage from the Old Testament about the people of Israel.
They had seen the miraculous deliverance by God – about a million of them were set free from slavery in Egypt.
God assigned Moses to lead them to the Promised Land. But somewhere along the journey they lose heart – they start to complain.
They complain because they recall some of the good food from Egypt. They really doubt God and his call on their lives. They doubt his purpose for their lives. They doubt his provision in their lives. They doubt his promise for their lives.
But we can learn from this. The Bible says ‘These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come (1 Co. 10:6).
There are three lessons that we need to learn from this passage.
1. Wilderness attitude number one is complaining
God knows everything and sees everything
He knows whether your in the desert or on the mountaintop
He is your provider
He will meet your needs wherever you are, so don’t complain
Say it in sentence ‘complaining is an attitude choice that if left unchecked will kill my capacity to experience joy and genuine thankfulness’ (James MacDonald)
Complaining is contagious
Complaining is like a cancer, a wildfire, it spreads rapidly!
Cancer is dangerous, and so is complaining!
It often starts with one person and spreads around as is evidenced by our text this morning
Compare our way of life with the low quality of life people in other countries experience. Is it fair for us, with our rich infrastructure, our clean water, our incredible natural resources, to complain when poor Indians from India have to climb over sleeping beggars on their way to work? Who should be complaining here?"
We are warned over and over not to complain
Complaining is when I express resentment over circumstances that are beyond my control
God says the worst kind of complaining is ‘those who complain about adversity’
Why do I have to go through that?
Why do I have to go through this and others have it so easy?
Why can’t my life be normal?
Why do I live in Red Lake?
Why do I have this husband?
Now for sure life is tough