“Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.” Philippians 2:14-16
One Monday morning I was riding to work with a sour look on life. Maybe this happens to a lot of people on their morning commute after a good but tiring weekend. That particular morning I was overwhelmed by what God was doing at Christ Fellowship. We had a large gathering of believers in worship the day before, the Word was rich, and I had been encouraged by people’s lives being changed. And then Monday came.
As a bi-vocational minister sometimes it can be frustrating to not be full-time doing ministry. And I was in the middle of a gripe-fest about how much I could be doing at the church but how I would be spending time at another job today. That is when the Lord rocked me by the truth found above in Philippians 2. In this passage, the Lord calls us to go through life without grumbling and complaining so that he might be glorified in the midst of this crooked generation.
When Paul uses the language of “grumbling and questioning” in this passage he is recalling a picture of the people of Israel wandering in the wilderness. They had been delivered by the mighty hand of God in Egypt and were now being led towards the Promised Land. However, the people of Israel forget the deliverance and can’t see what God is doing, instead they are focusing on their present circumstances. They start whining because they don’t think the Lord knows what he is doing.
God Hates It Because You Don’t Trust Him
Through his Word that morning in my car, the Lord said “All of your whining and complaining says you don’t trust me.” God revealed to me that I am a lot like the people of Israel in the wilderness. Everytime we whine about our jobs, empty bank accounts, classes we take, infertility, lack of a spouse or even little things like the weather, we are saying “God, you don’t know what you are doing.” Instead, God wants us to rest in Jesus Christ and know that he is bringing every circumstance into our lives to make us look like Him.
God Hates It Because It Tells The World Not to Trust Him
I was also humbled that morning in the car because I realised how I had failed to trust the Lord before my family, friends, and even in the workplace. When I complained about a task assigned to me at work or when our offices were busy than I was saying to the world that my Lord is not worth trusting in. My complaining and grumbling would never be any different from the unbelieving world around me. Think through your average day, do you bring God glory by trusting in his sovereignty or does your lack of trust tell the world around you to look elsewhere for their hope.
Let us strive to be people who are like Joseph when he was being wrongly accused by Potiphar’s wife and thrown in prison for 13 years, yet still trusted the good hand of the Lord in the midst of his circumstances. And may we also be blameless and innocent children of God before a watching world that is looking for something in which they can put their trust.