Just another WordPress.com site

Archive for December, 2007

Grumbling and Complaining


Do all things without grumbling and faultfinding and complaining (against God) and questioning and doubting (among yourselves), Phillippians 2:14 (Amplified Bible)

A while ago a Pastor gave a teaching to our school students on doing everything without complaining. It did much to alter my thinking in many areas of my life. It is so easy to find fault with people, things, or circumstances in our life. Let’s face it. We all do it in one way or another whether we admit it or not. We find many things to grumble and complain about. We complain about the weather. We complain about the economy. We complain against our neighbours. We complain against our government. We complain against our parents, teachers, pastors and other authority figures. etc…. complain, complain, complain, grumble, grumble, grumble. Most of all when things don’t go our way or turn out the way we think they should, who do we blame the most? God. We must sound like a bunch of whiners to Him. I can’t stand whining and have never put up with it from my children. Whining is a turn-off to most of us.

"Dad, I don’t like these vegetables! I don’t like these clothes. I don’t want to go to bed early! Why can’t stay up? But Jimmy and Mary are allowed to! You never let me do anything! I don’t want to take that medicine. It tastes yucky. Do I really have to go to school today? I don’t want to do my chores. I want to go and play! I want this! I want that! Why won’t you let me have it? Waaah! Waaah! I want it and I want it now!" Waaah!" Annoying isn’t it? You have to realize that many of us sound that way to God. We are not content with the promises He has given us.

The children of Israel were chronic complainers. They had seen some of the greatest miracles in the Bible such as the parting of the Red Sea and the destruction of Egypt. God had put a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night to lead them. He provided food, water and made sure their clothes or sandals didn’t even wear out and yet they found reasons to complain. Keith Green wrote a amusing song called; "So You Want to Go Back to Egypt."

 

So you wanna go back to Egypt, where it’’s warm and secure.

Are you sorry you bought the one way ticket when you thought you were sure?

You wanted to live in the land of promise, but now it’s getting so hard.

Are you sorry you’re out here in the desert, instead of your own backyard?

Eating leeks and onions by the Nile.

Ooh what breath, but dining out in style.

Ooh, my life’s on the skids, give me the pyramids.

 

Well there’s nothing to do but travel, and we sure travel a lot.

Cause it’s hard to keep your feet from moving when the sand gets so hot.

And in the morning it’s manna hot cakes.

We snack on manna all day.

And they sure had a winner last night for dinner,

Flaming manna souffle,.

 

Well we once complained for something new to munch.

The ground opened up and had some of us for lunch.

Ooh, such fire and smoke.

Can’t God even take a joke huh? .(no!)

 

So you wanna go back to Egypt, where old friends wait for you.

You can throw a big party and tell the whole gang,

That what they said was all true.

And this Moses acts like a big-shot, who does he think he is?

It’s true that God works lots of miracles, but Moses thinks they’re all his.

Well I’m having so much trouble even now.

Why’d he get so mad about that cow, that golden cow.

Moses sits rather idle, he just sits around.

He just sits around and writes the bible.

Oh, Moses, put down your pen.What? oh no, manna again?

Oh, manna waffles. manna burgers,

Manna bagels, fillet of manna,

Manna patties, bamanna bread!

 

The song is amusing, but the reality was God was not pleased at all with their complaining and because of their grumbling and complaints a whole generation died in the desert and never saw the land that God had promised them. Only their children did. You can read their story and all about how God dealt with them in books of Exodus, Numbers, Leviticus and Deuteronomy.

We are much more blessed than the children of Israel ever were as they didn’t have the salvation available to us or have the Holy Spirit living in them the way we do and yet we continually find reasons to complain. Like any sin it will separate you from God and hinder your prayers. Complain loud enough and you may find a lack of blessing in your life. That the promises of God for you will be out of reach and you may even be in danger of missing them all together.

Paul said in Phillipians 4:11b-12 (NIV) "For I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want." And in 1Timothy 6:6-7 (NIV) "But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it." That’s the secret in learning not to complain. It is learning to be content no matter what your situation may be. Knowing that God knows what is best for you at all times even better than you know your self. Some situations may be tough to face but there is a peace that comes with surrender and letting God work. For as Romans 8:28 says, all things work together for our good.

A Shelter In the Midst Of a Storm – My Testimony – Part 3


1 Save me, O God!
         For the waters have come up to my neck.
2 I sink in deep mire,
         Where there is no standing;
         I have come into deep waters,
         Where the floods overflow me.
3 I am weary with my crying;
         My throat is dry;
         My eyes fail while I wait for my God.
4 Those who hate me without a cause
         Are more than the hairs of my head;
         They are mighty who would destroy me,
Being my enemies wrongfully;
         Though I have stolen nothing,
         I still must restore it.

5 O God, You know my foolishness;
         And my sins are not hidden from You.
6 Let not those who wait for You, O Lord GOD of hosts, be ashamed because of me;
         Let not those who seek You be confounded because of me, O God of Israel.
7 Because for Your sake I have borne reproach;
         Shame has covered my face.
8 I have become a stranger to my brothers,
         And an alien to my mother’s children;
9 Because zeal for Your house has eaten me up,
         And the reproaches of those who reproach You have fallen on me.
10 When I wept and chastened my soul with fasting,
         That became my reproach.
11 I also made sackcloth my garment;
         I became a byword to them.
12 Those who sit in the gate speak against me,
         And I am the song of the drunkards.
13 But as for me, my prayer is to You,
         O LORD, in the acceptable time;
         O God, in the multitude of Your mercy,
         Hear me in the truth of Your salvation.
14 Deliver me out of the mire,
         And let me not sink;
         Let me be delivered from those who hate me,
         And out of the deep waters.
15 Let not the floodwater overflow me,
         Nor let the deep swallow me up;
         And let not the pit shut its mouth on me.
16 Hear me, O LORD, for Your lovingkindness is good;
         Turn to me according to the multitude of Your tender mercies.
17 And do not hide Your face from Your servant,
         For I am in trouble;
         Hear me speedily.
18 Draw near to my soul, and redeem it;
         Deliver me because of my enemies. Psalm 69:1-18 (NKJV)

 

The new pastor at my church started bringing in changes quickly. The first was that he took over the married couples group started was teaching psychology. Speaking in tongues or prophesying in the morning service became a no no because it was feared we may scare off a potential new convert and yet in the early church the people didn’t care who was watching them. Even at Azuza Street it was the manifestation of the Spirit and His various gifts that won many to Christ. There were many other changes that were brought in that disturbed my spirit. At the same time Elaine and I started having marital problems and turned to him for counselling. Again there was very little in the way of biblical counselling instead we were given a battery of compatibility and psychological tests. We were given tapes to listen to at night with new age music mixed with scripture readings.

During this time Elaine met a girl from the Caribbean who was being kicked out of her apartment and needed a place to stay. She seemed like a nice enough girl so Elaine and I took her into our home.  Within a few days we began to notice what a big mistake that was. She wouldn’t eat with us. She would eat only food that she prepared. (We found out the reason was that she feared us poisoning her.) She also wouldn’t drink the water in our house because she believed there was something in it that was changing her skin colour. She began saying some very strange things around Elaine and the children. One night I woke up with a start and felt like an electrical crackle in the air. The hair on my arms was standing on it’s end. I knew it was a demonic presence. I then noticed that it was around 3 AM and aside from our bedroom, all the lights in the apartment were on. I found the woman sitting in the living room with the TV on talking to herself. She had a wild look in her eyes and I began to rebuke her and the demonic presence. I told her that this was my house and that she had no right to do what she wanted. She argued with me and I feared she would become violent. The next day we asked her to leave. She refused. We even had some friends come over and try and convince her to go but still she refused. Eventually we had to call the police and have her removed from our home and even then she tried to force her way back in. There is no doubt in my mind that this woman was possessed by a demon or demons. I thank God that she didn’t have any effect on my children, but the effect on Elaine would show up later. 

One night after we had made this woman leave, Melodie woke up in the middle of the night. She kept crying over and over, "Jesus please help me!" We couldn’t seem to consol her at first and it took us quite a while before we get her to calm down. I often wonder if at that young age she had seen in her spirit what was ahead for us as a family.

We began to feel isolated in the church. More so Elaine than I. I know that it wasn’t her imagination because many people that used to talk to us acted as if we weren’t there. I had become the scapegoat for the church’s problems they were taking it out on my family as well.

One evening we had a board meeting scheduled with many important things that needed to be discussed. It was the first official meeting with the new pastor since his election. His first statement when he walked in the room was that we only had about 30 to 45 minutes for the meetings as he wanted to get home so  he could watch the hockey playoffs. This disturbed me. There was so much business that needed to be covered and yet his concern was that he be home in time to watch hockey. I went home and prayed and then decided that I couldn’t consciously support this man as pastor. I wrote a lengthy letter of resignation as a deacon pointing out my reasons for resigning. Within a few days I received a photocopy of my letter in the mail with a one sentence comment at the bottom. It said; "Sorry to see you go, Hope we can work with us again one day."  No phone call, no trying to talk me out of it, just a one sentence note on a photocopy of my letter. Elaine and I decided it was time to leave. I was broken hearted. This was the only church I had ever known. I had received Christ as my my Lord at 8 years old when it was located in Verdun. I had been baptized, married and dedicated my children there. I had learned to sing and worship and had been taught by 2 of the best pastors that Canada has ever known. It was a huge part of my life. I was leaving home and I had felt so alone.