Good Morning! Are you ready for the work week, or did you already complain in your heart (or out loud) that it is time to go back to work?
Thus far, in the first selection on murmuring, we have discussed how the Spirit leads us in dealing with complaining and its negative influences on our lives. Through faith we can use the positive plan, God promised us, to deal with dissension among our fellow brothers. We also looked at how God intends us to lead others who engage in murmuring. The second selection showed us that we need consultation and leading from God to overcome Satan and his strategies. The Lord leads us to what we shall and shall not do, according to His will. In this third and final selection, we will complete the remaining Spirit-led requirements, leaving us with a better understanding of what He would have us do when encountered with murmuring, whether it is from others or within ourselves.
Let us begin with the fourth requirement from God; “Thou shall not focus on the murmurers.” As we continue to look at the Israelites in the wilderness, God states in Exodus 16:6, “…You shall know that the Lord hath brought you out from the land of Egypt.” Here, Moses and Aaron could have scorned against the Jews, however they would have been taking on the Israelites’ negative characteristics. Leaders often become prey to the very issues that irritate them. They start complaining about the complainers. Moses never complained about the Jews, despite their continued grumbling. Often times, we complain and lose out on the blessings, contentment, and peace, which God intends for us.
Next, we are instructed that, “Thou shall talk truth to the murmurers.” In Exodus 16:7-8, the scripture states, “…then you shall see the glory of the Lord.” This was a positive statement about the future. Sometimes there is pressure to compromise the truth, due to the consequences, but we’ll never be good leaders if we fail to tell complainers the truth. Instruction six says, “Thou shall not bear the murmurers alone.” Exodus 16:9 states, “…Come near before the Lord.” Moses used Aaron to speak to the congregation. They were not only brothers, but a team. Aaron challenged the Jews to come near before the Lord, “…for He hath heard your murmurings.” If we are dissatisfied, hungry, or hurt, we are to come near before the Lord. This is where you can get real, lasting help.
We also see that, “Thou shall not point people to yourself.” In Exodus 16:10, the Bible says, “…They looked toward the wilderness, and the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud.” Moses told Aaron, “We are not their saviors.” The ego drives people to look to others; however the Spirit always directs people to look towards the Lord and not draw the focus on themselves. You’ll never be able to live up to the performance standard of God.
Finally, we see, “Thou shall persevere until death.” Dealing with those who complain, whether it is in ministry, family, or business, ranks high on the list of why leaders quit. For instance, statements are uttered like, “I’ve had it; I’m not putting up with this anymore!” This was not an option for Moses. Our success is not based on how many people we change from being negative, to being content. If you take that as the standard, even Moses was a flop. A leader is not here for the followers, but for Him.
In conclusion, throughout these selections on murmuring, we’ve seen how faith must be used to combat murmuring, both among others and within ourselves and how good leadership is a reliance on God. Our success is measured by our willingness to remain faithful to the call of God, with a good spirit, regardless of the situation. Every leader will be criticized. God called us here to persevere. It’s inevitable that people will perpetually murmur. Get over it and move on. Love God, serve the Lord, persevere, and enjoy a wonderful week!