Summary: Whining,grumbling and complaining are signs of inconsistent faithfulness or consistent unfaithfulness.
January 30 2003
Central Christian Church
St. Petersburg, Florida
Our Commitment to God Must Be Consistent
Our scripture tonight that Brian read comes from the mouth of Joshua, Joshua was the young man God had chosen and Moses mentored to lead the Jews into the promise land after the whiners and grumblers and disobedient types had died off.
I ask you tonight! What type of person are you? are you consistently faithful or faithfully inconsistent? Do you find yourself often dissatisfied? Are you a whiner or a grumbler?
I ask you this because the Scriptures teach us that the whiners and grumblers, those who complained were not faithful people.Their faith and commitment to God at its very best was inconsistent.
Whining, grumbling, gossip and complaining are symptoms of a deeper spiritual problem called inconsistent faithfulness or consistent unfaithfulness. Call it what you want it’s a spiritual problem. Now don’t misunderstand me, its not a problem for God, it’s a problem for unfaithful people and they need to deal with it.
Joshua’s audience knew the mighty hand of God as he poured plagues down on Egypt, as He killed the Egyptian’s firstborn and as He parted the Red Sea and destroyed Pharaoh’s army.
They knew how their people acted 3 days after the Red Sea had been parted and they were out of slavery and bondage and on their way to the promise land and they encountered their first problem-water suitable to drink.
What do they do?
They grumbled! (Ex. 15:25)
They wanted to go back to Egypt.
They grumbled-You know what I am talking about when I say grumbling. Speaking under your breath like you are not complaining but loud enough so whoever is around you can hear and know exactly that you are dissatisfied.
My kids do it-just before I give them a little attitude adjustment.
I heard Cathi Bedy tell one of them the other day, if you are going to speak in that muffled undertone, then I am going to assume you are grumbling and you can spend time in your room until you change your attitude.
What she was saying is your attitude, your grumbling, whining and complaining is going to stop you from seeing the good things, like Dutch apple pie.
Whenever we complain about what we have or don’t have, what we thought we should get or didn’t get we are grumbling. What we are saying to God is what you have given me, the situation I am in is not good enough for me, I deserve more and better and we are grumbling to God.
If we are grumblers, whiners or complainers we lack faith our commitment to God is inconsistent, because the only time we are consistent is when it’s going our way.
These unfaithful Jews who were freed from slavery and bondage, were just like many Christian’s today who although they have been set free from sin, guilt and shame that came into their lives from living in the world only partially follow God and they go in and out of church life and the worldly life without giving it a second thought.
To me it seems as if they have a huge bungee cord tied to their belt that keeps pulling them back to Egypt where they had leaks, garlic and onions with fresh water to drink.
They never see real holiness, or sanctification, or consecration and for their entire lives the benefit of consistently following God remains an illusion never to be realized and yet they are religious people.
The Jews that left Egypt never saw the promise land simply because their commitment to God was inconsistent.
I ask you tonight are you in the promise land of Christianity or do you move in and out based on your own desires and needs?
I like Joshua, I admire Joshua, he reminds me a lot of Stan, but holier.
Listen to what Joshua tells God’s people in his farewell address. He is now very old and well advanced in years the Bible says. He tells them in (23:16) if you violate the covenant of the LORD your God, which he commanded you, and go and serve other gods and bow down to them, the Lord’s anger will burn against you, and you will quickly perish from the good land he has given you."
translated: if your commitment to me is inconsistent and you let the things of this world get between you and me, you will experience my anger and you will not receive the promised and good things I have planned for you.
Joshua knows the tendencies of these people so his last official act as the Lord’s servant is to call God’s people back into a covenantal relationship with their God.
That is what REVIVAL is all about. It’s about calling the church back to their first love and back into relationship with Christ.