Scripture: (Numbers 11:1 KJV) And when the people complained, it
displeased the LORD: and the LORD heard it; and his anger was kindled; and the
fire of the LORD burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost
parts of the camp.
In this message that I have been previewing throughout the week in the Daily Devotions there are three basic points that I want to get across, then we will let God take over and allow the Holy Spirit to develop some relevant truth that will change our lives forever. Sound good to you? Ok, let's get started.
The above scripture has been circling my mind for weeks now. I would find myself going back to it time and time again. I found myself referring to it while listening to other people give completely different messages. I read it to people I was ministering to. But mostly it ministered to me. there are three things that jumped out at me that I am going to share with you that the Spirit revealed to me through this passage. The first is the title of this message; stop complaining. Now remember I am talking to me as much as I am talking to you so please do not get defensive on me, but then again remember the Spirit of the LORD is talking to you not your spouse or your friend or someone else either. The second point is one that we need to remember is that our God is a consuming fire. We do not have some light weight sugar daddy god. There is only one true God of heaven and earth and He is Almighty and Powerful the Mighty God a consuming fire. Yes He may be our heavenly Father but He is also the Awesome Creator of heaven and earth and all that was and is and is to come. All power, majesty, honor and praise belong to Him. The third point is really two fold, no three fold, for it talks about relationships. The point is that we need to stay away from the outside of the camp. We need to get up close and personal with God. We need to not be caught on the fringes of our relationships but go deep into the camp where there is safety, comfort and provision. the three separations in this relationship is first our relationship with God, second our relationship with others and thirdly our relationship with ourselves.
So. Let's start with the complaining. Man, do I hate listening to people complain. Wait, was I just complaining about people complaining? I was, wasn't I? I hate that! It really is sad how much we complain. Here we are the richest, safest, most well educated, well, somewhat educated, nation in the world, and we spend more time complain about what we do not have then giving thanks for what we do have. I do not have to sit here and describe the problem, what I want to give us all is a solution to it. As I looked into the word of God I discovered that it was in the book of Job that the word complain was found most often. I do not think any of us have had to go through the hardship of Job, yet by listening to some, you would think that Job's problems were light in compare to their own. Do you remember how God answered Job? He basically told Him to stop complaining.
(Job 38:1-5 KJV) Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said, Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me. Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?
Now I am in no way diminishing your situation. Believe me If anyone understands tribulation it is I. I know sorrow. I know financial distress. I know death and despair. I know injustice and I know the consequences of sin. I also know that there is a better way. I know that complaining about something will not make it any better but when you call out to God and trust Him things begin to change. So then by trusting God, by having faith in Him you first must stop complaining and start giving Him praise for getting you out of the situation that you were complaining about in the first place. Let's go back to Job and see how God turns His situation around:
(Job 42:-51 KJV) Then Job answered the LORD, and said, I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee. Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not. Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee.
That is going to take us right to our second point. God is a consuming fire. Remember the scripture above where the Israelites were complaining and God had had enough so His anger was heated up against them and those on the outside of the camp were destroyed by the fire of His wrath? That is exactly what still happens today. And that is exactly what will happen to all those who refuse to come to the knowledge of the truth. I know it sounds harsh but God is for real. There is not much time left. Look around you. The world is going crazy. Do you think for a minute that things are getting any better? We are coming to the end of time and the only way to win this battle is to trust in the one who already overcame it all.
OK, Let me try to explain it this way. In the beginning God
created the heavens and the earth. You know that part, right? Ok, the earth was
without form and void. then the Spirit of the LORD moved over the waters of the
earth. Check this out. The Spirit of the LORD moved. It shook. It fluttered. it
brooded over the earth. Then God spoke and said let there be light! Bam!!! there
was light. No sun, no moon, no ,stars yet but there was light. Even the pagan
scientist agree that before there were stars formed in the universe there was a
great light from the intense energy that came from what they call the big bang.
Bang! God spoke and there was light, life and everything else that is.
Our God is a consuming fire. He goes before us in battle and he watches our back in the darkness of night. He give us light to guide our path and He warms our very soul. I know we do not have much more time today but I want to share with you the three places in the Bible where it speaks about God being a consuming fire.
(Deuteronomy 4:23&24 KJV) Take heed unto yourselves, lest ye forget the covenant of the LORD your God, which he made with you, and make you a graven image, or the likeness of any thing, which the LORD thy God hath forbidden thee. For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.
(Deuteronomy 9:3&4 KJV) Understand therefore this day, that the LORD thy God is he which goeth over before thee; as a consuming fire he shall destroy them, and he shall bring them down before thy face: so shalt thou drive them out, and destroy them quickly, as the LORD hath said unto thee. Speak not thou in thine heart, after that the LORD thy God hath cast them out from before thee, saying, For my righteousness the LORD hath brought me in to possess this land: but for the wickedness of these nations the LORD doth drive them out from before thee.
(Hebrews 12:28&29 KJV) Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire.
I think you get the point; it is not about you. It is about God. Let me say that again again! It is not about you, or me or anyone else, it is about the Most High God. It is about Jesus. It is about the relationship that he made available to us with Him. Now that is something. Someone told me this past week that there has to be more then just being born again. OH, there is, there is being really born again. There is really having a true relationship with the God of all creation. There is once being lost and then being found. There is once being blind then being able to see. There is once being dead in your trespasses and sins and then being given life. There is deliverance, there is peace, there is joy, there is love, there is the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit. There is The way the truth and the life!!!!! There is more my friend, open your eyes and see for there is more.
What is your relationship with the LORD like right now? Why? Do you want a closer walk with Him. Well do not be offended but you can not walk if you are sitting on your butt. (Can I say that being a pastor?) Too late. Think about it. You have got to get up, put on your armor and face the world head on, knowing that greater is He who is within you then He who is in the world. I will close with this. There are three ways you can have a relationship with someone. You can have a face to face relationship where you greet someone and say how-de-do. Then you can have a shoulder to shoulder relationship where you stand side by side with someone filling in the gap and making a stand for the kingdom. Then you can have a back to back relationship where you watch each others back, because we all know an attack is coming from somewhere. The problem is when you are on the outside of the camp you are usually all alone with no one to stand by your side let alone to say how-de to, and definitely no one to watch your back. It starts with getting back that right relationship with God. Trusting Him again or maybe for the first time. It starts by turning your life over to Him and turning your life around. If there is sin in your life then cut it out. Jesus might have sounded rough when He said it would be better that you pluck out your eye or cut off your hand then not enter into heaven, but what He was saying was that it might hurt to give up the sin in your life, but it will benefit you greatly in the long run.
Start by having that face to face conversation with God. Invite Jesus into your heart. Trust Him and let Him guide your decisions. Then stand shoulder to shoulder with Him and stand by those decisions. Right is right. Sin is sin and God's will, will be done. Thirdly if you will not be ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ, it will indeed be the power unto your salvation for it is. You watch God's back and stand up for Him when someone starts talking down Jesus. If you watch His back He will watch yours. But if you deny Him He will deny you to the Father who is in heaven. And the same principals goes with your friends. Stop avoiding people. learn to enjoy them. trust them. Yes you may have been hurt in the past but this is a new day. Let God be that consuming fire that goes before you and guide you to new relationships. And again the same is true for how you treat yourself. Look at yourself in the mirror and know that you are a child of the king. You were bought with a great price. You are the elect. You are so special. You are the temple of the Holy Spirit. You are favored of the LORD.
So stop complaining, God is a consuming fire and stay away from
the uttermost parts of the camp. Let's get back to the heart of worship. It is
all about Jesus. It is all about Him and His love for us all. Know His love,
experience His love and be a vessel of His love. Make the change today. and let
that change change you for all eternity in Jesus Name Amen!!!