Feb 13, 2010

Complaining is easy - Trusting God is a learned behaviour.

Phil. 2:14 & 15 "Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation"

It is quite human to complain about our lack or about our present circumstances. For some it's a greater problem, possibly because of the environment they grew up in.  If the parents were complainers, you can be almost certain the kids will grow up with this learned behavior.

Often complaining is a bad habit.  We can train ourselves to complain about everything, from the food we eat, to the clothes we wear to the job we work at, to the people we mix socially with.  Or we can train ourselves not to give into every temptation to complain.  I have found I can consciously and purposely make a decision not to complain. It's my decision and I can do it or not. 

It comes down to this, I have to trust God for everything and not allow myself to become negative.  Negativity will lead to complaining and eventually a critical heart or attitude.

Even though we say with our mouths that we are trusting God. The thought processes that can rage in our minds, are really powerful, and if we allow our minds free reign, our thoughts will take us in the opposite direction that God intends for us.

It takes an ongoing effort to learn how to "cast all our care on Him" It's easier to give into the care than to cast it on Him. Even though we are exhorted to "forget the things that are behind us" it is hard if we allow a negative thought to loop endlessly in our heads.   Eventually it will manifest from our mouth in the form of complaining.

After God liberated the Hebrews from slavery to the Egyptians, it did not take them long to begin to complain.   They complained about everything and even began to say it would be better to return to Egypt and slavery rather than continue in the wilderness. 

The human brain was designed by God to think and one thought can lead to another. So it is my responsibility not to let one negative thought lead to another. I have to look at the thought in the light of God's word. What does He say about me and what does He want for my life. I have to diligently and fervently guard my mind from wrong thinking.

God says "forget the things that are behind" Phil 3:13  Why? Because He knows that no matter how badly we mess things up, He always has a way of escape for us and complaining is not the way out but the way further into the mess.    His ability to "make a way in the wilderness" and "rivers in the desert" (Isa 43:18) is hindered by the way we think and ultimately act.   All the complaining in the world does not move the heart of God.  God responds to the simple faith of the heart.  

The Apostle Paul made this statement.   "....  for I have learned how to be content (satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or disquieted) in whatever state I am."  Phil. 4:11 Amp.   This was a key which made Paul victorious throughout his entire ministry.    

2 Cor. 11:22-28 "Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.  v 24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.  v 25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;   v 26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;   v 27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.   v 28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches."
This says it all.  Paul certainly had opportunity to test the grace and mercy of God.  You see, nothing is too hard for the Lord and "All things are possible". So I have to take His advice and "forget" But that is easier to say than do, because the forgetting has to take place in my memory. So I have to build positive, God inspired memories so that the nature of my thinking changes. I begin to think like He does. I begin to have the "mind of Christ"

Just like the muscles of the body can become weak from lack of exercise, so my mind can become weak from lack of positive input. I make my mind think on other things. Philippians 4:8 "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things." That's what God wants us to do. It's a commandment and I have to make my mind obey.

He has laid a table before us in the presence of our enemies. (PS 23) He anoints our heads (mind and thoughts) with oil so that our cup runs over and goodness and mercy follow us ALL the days of our life. All the days means that His blessings never run out. He is always ready to bring change in our lives and perform miracles for us.

I have to learn to "cast all my care on Him because He cares for me." 1 Peter 5:6-7 This is a learned behavior. Immediately when I get the urge to complain, I must change the focus of my desire towards the ONE who can make a difference in my life. The words that come out of my mouth are what God says about me, not what my flesh tries to give into. We are more than conquerors. Greater is He that is in us than He that is in the world."

God bless greatly

Gil Howard-Browne ( http://www.revivaltimes.com/ )

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