1/17/21 Transforming Attitudes -
Complaining; the affliction of a Divided Heart
The story of the Hebrew’s journey from Egypt to the Promised Land is more than a mere travelogue of interesting places and environmental hardships. The journey is a story of transformation; explaining how God turned descendants of Abraham into faith-filled participants of God’s Kingdom work. A transformation from slaves into stewards. Having experienced the LORD’s hand of deliverance at the Red Sea, provision of water and bread in the desert, the people are yet again faced with a challenge of survival in a barren land called Rephidim. Once again the people are faced with a crisis, they grumble to Moses, and God provides for them. How can the people be so stubborn and hardhearted that they continue to doubt God’s provision? Perhaps the most difficult journey of faith lies in the 14 inches between a person's brain and their heart. Witnessing God’s faithfulness and believing God’s faithfulness are two different things and it requires the Spirit’s transforming work of replacing a hard heart of stone with a living - Holy Spirit animated - heart of faith. Join me in the desert in a desolate place called Rephidim
In his book The Land Between, Finding God in Difficult Transitions, pastor and author Jeff Manion writes, “while the Land Between is prime real estate for faith transformation, it is also the space where we can grow resentful, bitter, and caustic if our responses are unguarded. The wilderness where faith can thrive is the very desert where it can dry up and die if we are not watchful.” The Israelites journeying through the wilderness of transformation on their way to the Promised Land suffer from a recurring condition of complaint and grumbling. To read through Exodus and Numbers, their persistency in this toxic attitude would be comical if the outcome wasn’t so tragic. Complaining and grumbling can take root in our lives with such tenacity that we scarcely realize how it is overtaking us, choking out faithful godliness and blinding us to God’s transformative work in our lives. We, like the Israelites suffer from the toxic side effects of a divided heart. Complaining and grumbling hinder our spiritual growth. A spirit of complaint is contagious, it distorts our perception of the past as well as the present, and tragically steals away our hope for the future. While highly infectious, there is an antidote to combat the virus of complaint and grumbling and it too can be found in the Wilderness of Transformation
This week we continue our series in Numbers 11:1-9.