In the first selection from this series on murmuring, we discussed how, through faith, God intends that we use the Spirit to correctly deal with complaining and the influences it has on our lives. We looked at how, like Moses, we need consultation and leading from God to overcome Satan’s strategy for us to assign blame and speak using scornful complaints. In this, the second installment, we will analyze what God dictates we shall and shall not do, with respect to murmuring. Here, we will see that there is a plan, which is positive and promised by God.
First, as we continue in Exodus, we see the Jews still murmuring in the wilderness. The Lord told Moses, “Thou shall consult with the Lord.” He won’t just take away the murmuring problem, for God is trying to do something in our lives. When we find ourselves in a negative situation, we need positive consultation from the Lord. However, with it, we also get a promise and a plan. God’s positive plan for Moses and the Jews, in their time of hunger, was to rain bread from heaven. He required that the Jews exercise faith, in his promise to deliver. We may be content with our faith, however God is not.
Next, let’s look at the requirement, “Thou shall not leave God out of the solution.” Here, Moses did not need to solve the problem, as he was not a problem solver. (This is something we ALL need to remember!) If he were, the Jews would have looked to him, instead of God. He did do something, however. He stood back and let God work. We don’t need another natural solution, but one that is “Supernatural.” Along with God, people also have a responsibility. We see the Lord’s requirement and plan for the Israelites in Exodus16, 4-5. He says, “I will rain bread from heaven for you, and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day…they shall prepare that which they bring in.” The blend of the natural and the Supernatural is lost when we fail to see our part in solving our own problems. Sometimes good leadership requires us to stand back and let God and people work it out. However, this can be difficult for some to implement.
Third, the Lord says, “Thou shall focus on God’s purposes.” We ask ourselves, “Why is this happening? What are You trying to show me?” A leader must ask the question and look at it the way in which God told Moses, in Exodus 16:4, “…that I may prove (to test or try) them, whether they walk in my law or no.” When we have faith and focus on a Spirit-led solution, God’s purpose can be fulfilled in our lives. The Jews were required to take only a certain amount of food. Through opportunity and specific instruction, God could prove (to test or try) the Israelites. Consequently, if they took too much bread, the Bible says, it grew worms resulting in a foul odor, which exposed those who were disobedient. God knows what we will do. He uses this strategy to indicate to us how far we have come in our relationship with Him.
God’s will is that we obey and trust in Him, regardless of the situation or compelling desire to rely on ourselves for provision. As we focus on this purpose for us, we can better understand what He means in Exodus 16:12, which states, “You shall know that I am the Lord your God.” God’s will for our lives is not to simply murmur when problems arise, but have faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ…through which all things are possible.