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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Turning My Complaints Into Prayers

In review of Exodus 17:2 it says, "So once more the people complained against Moses. “Give us water to drink!” they demanded.“Quiet!” Moses replied. “Why are you complaining against me? And why are you testing the lord?”

Bottom Line:
Complaining and demanding is not a way to get anything from your leader, in doing so you pur undue pressure on them and also put the God to a test.

What this means to me:
Once again the people complained bitterly and demanded of Moses their leader to, “Give them water to drink!” Moses squelch's them and asks what they are complaining to him, and furthermore why are they putting the Lord to the test?

At this time in the story of Exodus, God has graciously saved the people from the tyranny of Egypt, and has supplied the people with water once before and unending food (bread in the morning and meat at night.) How quickly they forget! In this circumstance the people complained and demanded resolution to their problems to their leader instead of praying and asking God. In my own life, many of my problems can be solved by careful thought or by a simple rearranging my priorities. Others can be solved by discussion and good counsel from others. However, there are some problems that can be solved only by prayer. I need to make sure that I make a determined effort to pray when I feel like complaining. Complaining will only raise my level of stress, whereas prayer can quiet my thoughts and emotions, and prepares me to listen.

It’s easy to complain to a leader who’s in charge instead of looking for alternatives or praying. I’m guilty of this, and the stress to others in my realm.

Scripture tells me how God has promised to take care of me as long as I keep my priority straight,  “ first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33, NIV). When I’m in need I am to concentrate on putting his kingdom first. When I do, he will take care of everything else.

As a leader myself, it’s not pleasant to have your team come to you and complain, especially bitterly. In a secular environment, it’s tough for me to say to them, stop and pray!  I need to do my best to take care of those I lead such that they don’t have issues such that they would complain. But if it does happen, I need to not be defensive, but listen to what they are saying and earnestly see what I can do to help the situation; which could very well be for me to pray on their behalf.

Personally, I am to resist the temptation to complain, and pray instead. Prayer has the calming effect of putting things into proper perspective and leaving it in his hands. It allows me to take it off of my conscience thoughts.  

The book of Exodus is full of examples of how the people see the miraculous ways that God takes care of them. It happens time after time, but even with this, they still fail!  They complain, they sin, they easily forget. I used to think how could they possible do this, especially after what God has done for them? But, as I read the account, I see more similarities to my own life and my own natural tendencies. I’m glad that this book has been included as it points out inadequacies in my own life and things to be grateful for.

Father, today I pray that you will help remind me when I start to get off track or I’m tempted to complain. It is better for me to seek your assistance then for me to complain or put you to a test of you providing for me. I will hold onto the truth from Matthew 6:33. Father you are a God of compassion and mercy! Slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness. I am grateful for your loving presence in my life.