“Soon the people began to complain about their hardship, and the Lord heard everything they said. Then the Lord’s anger blazed against them, and he sent a fire to rage among them, and he destroyed some of the people in the outskirts of the camp.”
Complaining is so offensive to God. The Israelites had only been away from their camp at Sinai for three days and they were already complaining about their hardship. The Bible doesn’t say exactly what this first round of complaining was about, but could any truly significant complaint be made as the Spirit of the living God goes before you in a cloud or a pillar of fire? As you are being led by the Lord to the Promised Land flowing with milk and honey?
The complaining spirit of the Israelites evoked a terrifying response from the Lord and His anger “blazed against them.” When I read this story about the Israelites’ pilgrimage to the Promised Land my first response is to disassociate myself from them. I immediately decide that I wouldn’t have been complaining, but then I examine my life. I examine my thought patterns. I examine the content of my conversations.
I am an Israelite. I complain about manna, water, walking, and nothing at all! I complain about everything, so much so that I don’t know why people still talk to me. Then I remember, other people also need someone to complain to.
Why is the majority of my conversations about everything that’s wrong with my life rather than everything that is right in God? I live a self-centered life with self-centered thoughts.
Now that The Holy Spirit has made me aware of this aspect of my life that has yet to be sanctified I am hypersensitive to it. Now I need to learn how to stand being around myself as I wait for Christ’s return when I will see Him face to face and my sanctification will be complete.
My life is okay even though it’s filled with complaining, I can only imagine what life will be like when I live in the fullness of who God created me to be in Him!
So as I move forward I’m focused on submission to the Holy Spirit and His transforming work within me for the glory of God. I’m in the very beginning stages of forming new habits centered around gratitude and heaven-mindedness.
But man is it tough to overcome myself and become a living sacrifice. It’s a very good thing that I can depend on God to change me as I continue to press into Him.