Thursday, November 26th, 2015
The Enemy's Game (Part 25)
Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.
Philippians 2:14-15 (NKJV)
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Ephesians 4:29 (NIV)
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Today is a day of Thanksgiving, as each day should be for a Christian. But some of us forget God's game plan.
If I confessed my own sins to you, complaint is one I've yet to master.** I still hurl the devil's fiery darts. I could could lie and call them constructive: criticisms that need to hit home. But no matter how I dress them up, they put me on the enemy's team.
Consider some words from wise Christians:
'Read the Bible. Work hard and honestly. And don't complain' (Billy Graham).
'As long as a man is alive and out of hell, he cannot have any cause to complain' (Charles Spurgeon).
'Those who complain most are most to be complained of' (Matthew Henry).
'Circumstances which we have resented, situations which we have found desperately difficult, have all been the means in the Hands of God of driving the nails into the self-life which so easily complains' (Alan Redpath).
'Let us beware of rebellion against the Lord. Circumstances are of his choosing, because He wants to bless us, to lead us (even through the wilderness) out of Egypt, that is, out of ourselves. Settle the complaint with God, and it will settle other things. Be offended with God, and you will be offended with everyone who crosses your path' (Elisabeth Elliot).
'It is only imperfection that complains of what is imperfect. The more perfect we are, the more gentle and quiet we become toward the defects of others' (Francois Fenelon).
'Ultimately, all our complaints are directed against God' (Woodrow Kroll).***
Actors, models and talent for Christ: King David had plenty of complaints. So let's consider his example. He took his concerns to God, not men.**** God didn't seem to mind hearing them. Even when David pitied himself, God turned his heartaches into triumphs. He will do the same for you and me.
To Be Continued...
* Previous AMTC Devotion Series on complaining: http://amtcdevotions.org/complaining-part-1-the-deal-breaker
** With God's help and His Word, I intend to master complaint and kick it to the curb. It will happen!
*** These quotes and short bios on their authors can be found here: http://christian-quotes.ochristian.com/christian-quotes_ochristian.cgi?query=complain&action=Search&x=0&y=0
**** Short article: God Wants You to Complain: http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/god-wants-you-to-complain
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the The Enemy's Game series.