So I’m reading the Bible in a year, like I’m sure most of us try to start doing in January. Well I used to have this Bible in a Year Bible that split the whole Bible into daily readings for the year. Somewhere along the way I lost track of it and I don’t have it anymore. But good news, I discovered that YouVersion has a digital version of this as a Bible reading plan! When you choose this plan, it takes you through the whole Bible each day for the year and it checks it off automatically as you complete the readings. If you want to join with me, you can get the plan on the Bible app on your phone or check it out online HERE.
Anyway, one of the recent readings was about Moses and the Israelites in the desert in Numbers 11. It all started when the people were complaining about the manna that God was giving them. God was providing for them and they were complaining! What God had given them was not enough, they wanted meat. And their complaining was contagious apparently because when Moses heard the people complaining, he starts complaining too! He starts griping to God, saying things like, why have you given this burden to me? Did I give birth to these people? What did I do to deserve this? How can I give all these people meat in the desert? Where can I ever find enough?
That struck me as funny. Because, first of all, God had already done all these miracles and Moses was a firsthand witness to everything God had already done! Moses was right there, front and center to see it all! Why would he suddenly think it was his responsibility to get meat for the people? It shows me his human nature. How quickly we forget the miracles God has already done when things get a little uncomfortable. How easily we get our focus off of God leading us and onto our trivial issues. Secondly, it certainly wasn’t right of the people to complain about what God had given them. He was miraculously providing food for them every day. How could they start thinking it was better when they were slaves in Egypt? Why would such a thought ever be acceptable? It’s ridiculous. But it also shows how fragile our humanity is. The minute we think we’re doing okay in the world, and the next minute it can all get turned upside down as quick as a thought. That’s why it’s so important to guard our thoughts.
Proverbs 4:23, one of my favorite verses says, Guard your heart above all else for it determines the course of your life. Another translation says, Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.
So we can see in this verse that what is in our heart (will eventually come out and) will either cause us trouble or give us peace. What is in your heart can determine the course of your life because it leads you to action and those actions have good or bad consequences that must follow through. So a complaining heart leads to consequences as we see in Numbers 11 when God said, you want meat? You’ll get meat until it’s coming out of your nostrils! Do you think God would have wanted to give them meat as a good thing, a reward, for them being satisfied with God’s provision? If they had grateful hearts? Instead they got what they wanted but it was not a good thing to them.
If we recognize the attitude of our heart, and learn to live in contentment, God will give us peace beyond our comprehension that helps us guard our hearts!
Philippians 4:7 says, and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
It’s not all on us! We are just humans. We are fighting against our human nature every day. And just as we saw how easy it was for Moses to turn away from contentment and start griping about what he was called to do, how much more easy do you think it is for us? We who live in the lap of luxury and never had to trust God to physically remove us from a foreign slave labor camp. But the good news is that God knows our humanness and makes a way to help us be better humans if we let him. Philippians 4:7 is just one verse. There are many more. Here are a few you can look up on your own:
- 2 Peter 1:3
- 1 John 4:13
- 2 Corinthians 4:1
- 1 Corinthians 2:12
- 2 Corinthians 1:4
- Romans 5:5
- Hebrews 6:18
- 2 Peter 1:4
God has given us everything we need. If we just trust Him and learn to be content with where we are and what we have, He will continue to lead us. Just like the verse last week, He will lead us until we die!
Paul said in Philippians 4:11-13, Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
No matter what you’re facing right now, I know God is closer than you think. Just waiting for you to turn your focus to Him. James said when we draw near to God He will draw near to us (James 4:8). So God never leaves us, it’s us who lose sight and start focusing on the wrong things. As long as you’re breathing, it’s never too late to shift that focus back to God. God has already given us everything we need. We just need to realize it and rest in Him knowing He has everything under control and our only job is to trust. Just like the picture I chose for today’s post — we can’t always see where we’re going, where the road leads, but that’s not our job. We don’t have to know what the future holds, we just have to trust the One who holds the future.
Take a few moments to journal about this today. Read Numbers 11 and the verses listed above and journal your thoughts.
- What is God speaking to you through His word?
- Are there areas in your life where you have not been content? What can you do to surrender and find contentment in these areas?
- What is one thing you can do today to start moving toward more contentment in your life?