Numbers 11:1-5 "And when the people complained, it displeased the Lord: and the Lord heard it; and his anger was kindled; and the fire of the Lord burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts of the camp. And the people cried unto Moses; and when Moses prayed unto the Lord, the fire was quenched. And he called the name of the place Taberah: because the fire of the Lord burnt among them. And the mixt multitude that was among them fell a lusting: and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat? We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick:"
Throughout Exodus and Numbers, as well as various other parts in the Bible we see the Israelites complaining and at times punished for complaining. They tend to forget so quick all the good that God had done for them. We can’t look down on them though because we do the same thing in our lives today thousands of years later. All we can do is look at their lives and learn from their mistakes as well as their right decisions. The most important example though is Jesus Christ himself.
If you are happy with what you have, you will never be unhappy.
Exodus 20:17 says “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.”
When you are constantly wishing upon the better, newer item whether it’s a nicer, house, car, job, couch, whatever; you can’t think of what you have now. Try being greatful for what you have and not be so stuck on wanting more. Now I understand and realize that sometimes it’s not bad, for example, you have a care that is only faithful at breaking down on you, then yes, it’s not a bad thing to covet that new car. The thing is, try being thankful for what you do have. Some people pray for even a crappy run down vehicle as they walk or take the bus everywhere. You want a bigger, nicer house but there are many people out there that have no place to lay their heads at night living on the streets or if they are lucky, they can get into a mission for the night.
Yes, I also struggle with this, coveting is probably my biggest struggle. I’ll be honest and transparent with you. I’m not perfect, like no one else. I wish I had a bigger place to live, I wish I had a wife and children. My constant prayer is God, if it’s your will please give this to me, if not please take it from my heart. I still want it. My only guess is God says not yet. We can’t rush things if we want what is best. We have to wait on his timing for us.
The apostle Paul wrote, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit,
“I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.” in Philippians 4:12
He knew what it was like to want and what it was like to have lots, but just as he said in
Philippians 3:8 “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,”
and King Solomon said through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in
Ecclesiastes 2:11 “Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.”
We can work hard for what we have and strive for having bigger, better things and it’s all ashes and dust in the scheme of eternity. We were born with nothing and we will die taking nothing with us.
The world says that “he with the biggest toys wins.” As far as God is concerned though, life is not about what we have. As pastor says “God will always give more through us then to us.”
Everything we have is because of God. We can argue that we do the work to gain the money or belongings or following we have. The thing most people don’t think about is who gave them that power, that skill or talent? Everything we have is from God. He is the creator of owner of all. The world belongs to Him. He knew us before we were in the womb and knows the number of hairs on our heads and named all the stars. We’re talking about the God that said “let there be light” and sun and moon came into existence right then and there. Jesus created us and our existence if due to him and for Him.
If you want to be content in today, quit thinking about what you don’t have and be thankful for what you do have. When you do have an actual true need. Just talk to God about it. He knows what you need.
Philippians 4:6 says “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
James 1:17 “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”
God wants what is best for us. We need to just be thankful for what we have and wait on his timing for things we need or want. We may not be wanting things that are bad, but is it what is best for us? I can tell you from my own personal experience that I have wanted things that were good but waited and boom, next thing I know, God provided something that was much better, all because I chose to wait on God.
Growing close to him and learning to listen to that small quiet voice in walking in the Spirit will keep you in the center of God’s will for your life.
Don’t get discouraged in your waiting. It can be rough. I at times wonder why he hasn’t provided me the godly Proverbs 31 wife I desire. I cannot; however, rush it, because he will let us have what we want and then we will have to suffer the consequences of our choices.
Isaiah 41:10 says “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”
Deuteronomy 31:6 says “Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”
What are the points in this devotional, how do I be content in today?
Point one: Do not covet what you don’t have. It’s easier said than done. We all want to have a good life and sometimes that means having something more than what we currently have. Just be grateful for what you have and ask God if it’s his will for you to have something else. If you feel it’s his will, then be patient and obey while working towards your goal.
Point two: do not complain about your situation. In reality, who will listen anyway and God doesn’t like complainers. People don’t like to be around negative people and those that complain constantly. Complaining is not always verbal, but you can complain in your attitude, facial expressions and in your actions.
Point three: Pray and stay in his will while growing closer to Jesus. That is done as you read your Bible daily and be in constant prayer and believing and obeying His Word. Staying in the center of his will while growing close to him will keep his blessings flowing, but if you veer to the left or right, you can stop those blessings. He may never leave us but we can absolutely leave him. It is up to us to turn back to that narrow path when we do leave him and his will for our lives.
Point four: Don’t fear and be discouraged. Like I said, he will not leave us nor forsake us. If God is for us, who can be against us. The devil and the world may attack you and be against you. You may even go through lots of struggles, but remember, if you are saved, you have the blessed hope of heaven. Lost people without Jesus do not have that. Be thankful for your salvation every day and never get over what God has done in your life and will continue to do in your life.
As a note, God never promised a care free life. He says
In 2 Corinthians 12:9 “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
So, in conclusion, be thankful for today, trust and obey, and you will be able to be content in today, as tomorrow is not promised. Thousands of people every day wake up in heaven or hell, thinking they had plenty of time left in their lives, but only God knows the number of days we have to live.
That is all. Thank you.
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