Our God is a loving and generous God. He has provisions and blessings aligned for you that will absolutely blow your mind. You cannot begin to fathom his good plans for your life. Promises you haven’t even dared to believe yet, already set into motion just for you.

But there’s one thing you need to know about, that will block the generosity of our God. One thing that will lock away his blessings and delay his good plans.

That one thing is your complaining. Yes, complaining. Expressing dissatisfaction or annoyance about something. And the truth is, we do it far more than we realize. We complain about the weather. We complain about our bodies. We complain about our families. We complain about our job. We complain about our leaders. And every time we complain, we insult God.

God is at work in every detail of our lives. He sees things you do not see. He knows things you cannot possibly know. He never asked you to understand it, but he has asked you to trust him without complaint. Philippians 2: 14, “Do everything without complaining and arguing.”

For some of us, the habit of complaining runs so deep, that we couldn’t go through an entire day without complaining if our life depended on it. Well, Sis, I think God is asking us to get serious about this bad habit, because the truth is, his good plans for our lives do depend on it!

Your complaining has delayed God’s goodness in your life! And today’s complaints will delay it even more.

The Israelites give us a step by step account of promises and good plans being delayed because of a complaining spirit. They were rescued from slavery in Egypt by the mighty hand of God. He did miraculous things to set them free. He didn’t only show up for them, he showed off for them. There was no doubt it was God saving and guiding them. Everyone knew it.

When they saw the Red Sea parted and standing on it’s edge, they knew it was God for them.

When they saw the cloud by day and the fire at night to guide them, they knew it was God for them.

When they saw the quail just fall on the ground 3 feet deep at their camp in the wilderness providing miraculous dinner, they knew it was God for them.

When they woke up every morning to a dewy substance covering the ground like they had never seen before, and realized this substance could be worked into a dough for bread, they knew it was God for them.

Evidence of God working in the details absolutely surrounded them. But, the journey was still hard. Still the Israelites were traveling through the wilderness. Still they were tired. Still they were afraid. And all of that is fair. All of that is acceptable. But what became unacceptable to God was their complaining.

Soon, the Israelites complained about everything. They didn’t like how bitter the water was. They didn’t like how uncomfortable their camp was. The didn’t like how barren the desert was. They didn’t like the men who were leading them. And they really didn’t like eating the same thing every day. Oh it was impressive the first few days to find this dew on the ground and work it into a dough, but it grew old quick. The Israelites had been rescued, guided, and miraculously provided for, yet they complained.

Scripture gives account of them complaining over 14 different things. And finally, at 14, God had enough.

Maybe God has had enough of our complaining too. Maybe some of the problems we find ourselves in the middle of today were created by our own complaints.

Numbers 21: 4-9, “But the people grew impatient on the way; they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!”
Then the Lord sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died. The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take the snakes away from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.
The Lord said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.” So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived.

This is the last account of the Israelites complaining. They remained stuck in their wilderness for 40 years, but the complaining stopped. It stopped with this bronze snake.

Have you ever wondered why God would have Moses make this bronze snake? Why would he give this statue the power to heal his people from a poisonous snake bite?

Poison was killing them. The poison of a complaining spirit. Their joy and happiness had been poisoned. Even God’s promise of a land flowing with milk and honey had been poisoned. Now, they were stuck. Stuck where they didn’t have to be stuck. Stuck where they didn’t want to be. Stuck in a wilderness short of God’s promise for them. And it was the poison of their complaining that was responsible.

Now, their lives were threatened by the poison of snakes. These snakes were not sent by the enemy. Oh, how we often give the enemy credit for things he was never even crafty enough to design. These snakes were sent by God.

Why would God do that?

To change their hearts. To change their minds. To show them the poison of their complaints.

That makes sense. But why the bronze snake on a pole to save people from the poison? It’s really quite simple … it was a repentance. When they looked at the bronze snake, they were healed from the poison they had spreading themselves. They took responsibility for their bitterness. They remembered they had brought this punishment upon themselves by complaining about the miraculous ways God was providing and guiding. Then, they were healed.

There’s never an account of the Israelites complaining again. They saw their own poison. They repented. God continued to provide and guide.

May we see the own poison we bring into our lives with our complaining. May we recognize the delays we create when we insult God with our dissatisfaction and our annoyance.

My sister, God knows what he is doing. He has a good plan for your life and a path to get you there. It may not easy, but it will be worth it. His promises are true.

Is there a bronze snake in your life that serves as a reminder of the mess you’ve made in the past and God saving you from that mess? Be grateful for that reminder today. That’s God’s grace and mercy covering you. Now continue on your journey with the lessons you’ve learned, without complaint.

If you decide to first count your blessings, there simply won’t be enough minutes left in the day to complain.

What have you been complaining about?

The weather? What you suddenly know what the Earth needs more than God does? You feel after all these years of winter always following fall, and spring always following winter, the world would be better to just skip winter? You have no idea what the winter season does for you! Stop complaining about it and trust God knows what you do not know.

Have you been complaining about God not speaking to you? Honey, if your bible is closed and you’re complaining about God being silent, that’s the same thing as complaining your not getting any texts while your phone is turned off.

Have you been complaining about things being hard? I bet if you put all your hardships in a pile, someone would gladly trade piles with you. Just yesterday, I laid on the pavement with a woman who had fallen down cement stairs and ran head first into the bumper of a car. She had lost all feeling and control of her arms and legs. We waited for what seemed like forever for the ambulance to come as I held her head in my hands to keep her neck stable. It’s uncertain if she will ever be the same. Suddenly my problems were put into perspective and I really have nothing to complain about.

Your complaining is a poison that has delayed God’s goodness in your life! And today’s complaints will delay it even more. Today, let’s seek God’s power to help us overcome the bad habit of complaining. We have so much to be grateful for, so this shouldn’t be that hard!

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