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Monday, September 17, 2007

Mentality

We are busting out into some praise this afternoon to our God. Seriously, we just needed to turn off the sprout tv and listen to our praise mix. We are listening to the "Found" cd by Travis Cotrell right now. I caught Morgan lifting her hands at the table while she was eating. We are demonstrative (me and her) she learns it from her mother. She is already a d-r-a-m-a queen. I catch her making all of these expressions and sounds around the house and I think to myself...my do I wonder where she gets that! LOL! Anyway, I could not get the camera in time for her moment of praise. I am not sure if she was in to the song or if she was praising God for the fall little debbie! Either way give Him the Praise! She was trying to sing along to You fill up my senses. I was about to crack up because she still can't talk. The Lord was just ordaining some praise from her today. I have sooooooooo much to do today but I wanted to share a couple of things.
Yesterday I woke up and things just did not get off to a good start. I found myself about to lose it over the house and just being physically and mentally exhausted. So I did what most people do...I complained over it. I began to just lose energy if you know what I mean. Then, I went to work and out of like 15 customers that I greeted not one (NOT ONE) of them said hello back. It wasn't because they did not hear me. It is just the level of rudeness. Especially when you get in a higher end retail store you begin to deal with clients that are a little more snooty (not all of them are that way)...especially on Sunday. Anyway, I was shocked at the rudeness yesterday. So, I get off of work and go to the store to get diapers. Walmart was PACKED out. Well, I was tired so I just found a line and parked for a while and rested as I waited. I listened and heard people grumble and complain...and complain...and complain...and you get the picture. I listened as people counted the registers that were opened and complained that out of all of those registers only fourteen were in use...the horror of it all. I mean look out Walmart "so and so" was in the store and they must have not gotten the memo when making out the schedule. Anyway, I led the study Daniel by Beth Moore twice at our church and one of the biggest awarenesses that it created in me was the whole "Babylonian mentality." The mentality of have it your way now. You should not have to wait...you are...well, of course, you! Life is all about you! I saw this in myself a lot as well. The me first attitude. I want to be done with that!
So I turn open to the wonderful book of Exodus and guess what the Lord would have me read about this morning: the Israelites grumbling and complaining against Moses. I wish I had time to talk about Exodus 15-17 but I am afraid I would lose everyone reading this. Anyway, the Lord delivers the Israelites with a MIGHTY hand and OUTSTRETCHED arm. Go read the song of Moe and Miriam in Exodus 15 for yourself as a recap. I love these verses so much:
11 "Who among the gods is like you, O LORD ?
Who is like you—
majestic in holiness,
awesome in glory,
working wonders?
13 "In your unfailing love you will lead
the people you have redeemed.
In your strength you will guide them
to your holy dwelling.
In Exodus 15 you get the recap of what the LORD did for His chosen people. He is so stinking powerful it is not even funny. Just read the verses. I am ashamed at the limitations that I put on God. I love the word picture the following verses give us concerning the Awesomeness of Almighty God (esp. in verse 9 where I can picture the sea piling up like a congealed bowl of jello!...then God blows His breath and destroys the Egyptians who trusted in their horses and chariots to save them...yet the Israelites walk across the sea on dry ground...this REALLY happened...it's not some fairy tail!):
8 By the blast of your nostrils
the waters piled up.
The surging waters stood firm like a wall;
the deep waters congealed in the heart of the sea.

9 "The enemy boasted,
'I will pursue, I will overtake them.
I will divide the spoils;
I will gorge myself on them.
I will draw my sword
and my hand will destroy them.'

10 But you blew with your breath,
and the sea covered them.
They sank like lead
in the mighty waters.

So, the Israelites have this MIGHTY deliverance and what do they do? They forget obviously and go back to their complaining skills. I say skills because complaining is something that we are mighty skilled at. In the same passage of scripture they start complainin'! The water is bitter. I am not saying that we don't have circumstances that are worth complaining over...life is plain hard. I was teaching a lesson a few years ago about worry and as I was researching the words in the passage of 1 peter 5:7 about casting our anxiety on Him because He cares for us...I learned that the greek word for cast meant to throw off...to get rid of. Picture a bug or something landing on your face and you picking that thing off and casting it away as far as you can (and screaming like a girl). That is what we are to do with our anxiety. Not having water for three days is a problem that the Israelites had but complaining was not the answer, and complaining was going to get them nowhere in a hurry...yet complaining was what they defaulted to. Plus the Lord had used their circumstances over and over to test them. He does the same for you and me and unfortunately we won't be free from that in this skin. When I saw over and over that the Israelites complained and they grumbled against each other and to Moses and Aaron and they even went as far as to say that they wished they were back in Egypt and had died there (I am paraphrasing Exo 16) because at least they weren't going to starve to death. I think we can be the same way. We may be delivered from much and our walk with Christ gets hard and we wish we were back in our own personal lands of slavery. Sin in its deceitfulness makes us think it was better when the Lord is trying to get us to a better place but we are missing it for all of our griping and complaining. When I looked up the word grumble in the Hebrew in the context of these several chapters and the word means what you think to grumble and complain, but get this it means to blame!!!! Did you hear that?!?! TO BLAME! So much of our complaining comes from a lack of trust and lack of prayer and refusal to cast our anxieties at the feet of Jesus. I am NOT saying I have mastered this. I have certainly gotten into patterns of complaining to others as if they could do something and it just became a cycle of frustration because yes they could pray for me but until I took the anxiety to Jesus there was nothing they could really do. Go back to the garden with me for a second. Adam was given the command not to eat of the fruit and he did...and what did he do when God asked him about it? He blamed Eve. He said the woman He gave him made him eat of the fruit. I have been in a situation with someone who just constantly complains to me and I feel stuck like I can't do anything right. Well, as I have been studying these passages the Lord has been getting in my business and I have been trying to see what I need to learn. First, I need to stop all forms of complaining by turning my grumbling into prayers. When I feel myself going there I need to pray about it and acknowledge what I don't have control over and cast things off to God. Back to my situation. This person that has been complaining is not a person that God is calling me to cut out of my life...but I can't control whether they ever own up to their own responsibilities or not or whether this person quits blaming me for everything. What I have done is gotten sucked into the trap of well this person is complaining so it justifies my complaining. The Lord has told me clearly today to stop it. Whether this person does or not...STOP IT! Also, as a woman I take on too much responsibility. I am working with the Lord on not taking responsibility where I am clearly not responsible. We need to look at the amount of stress on our lives and see if we are carrying responsibility that the Lord has not called us to carry and unload those burdens. The world will not fall apart if we quit managing a few things. It is taking some renewing of the mind when this person wants to cast blame on me and responsibility on me that is not mine. It is a freeing thing to say you know what God you are in control of this and this is what you have called me to...this is what you are not calling me to....and I am going to have to let go of some things even when others are trying to condemn and control me...and rest in You and listen for Your voice. Even when things are hard and you don't know how you are going to make it...you and I would be wise to learn from the Israelites mistakes. We need to praise God for the things He has done. The times where He came through and it had nothing to do with our faithfulness. The times where He provided for us. They forgot constantly. He rained manna from heaven...they complained. He made the bitter water sweet...they complained. Long story short...I looked at the woman at the checkout last night and I said, "Ma'am I am so sorry for all of the whining and complaining that you are having to hear tonight. For whatever reason we think that life is all about us and it is not! We all need to have to wait a little more and complain a little less. I am so guilty." I got some news last night about a woman who just lost her only son in a car accident...he was 25. Then another lady was telling me about a tumor in her brain, another with leukemia, and another with lung cancer. There are people I know with marriages in turmoil and on the verge of breaking up. I guess it is good for me to get out and not be so stuck in my own problems that I can't differentiate between a real problem and something that is petty. The enemy wants us to be petty people who are not affective and people who waste our lives. Let's prove him wrong.

8 comments:

connorcolesmom said...

Jenny,
We went to a church on Sunday that had a video about a "me" church. A church where people only go when their needs are being met. It was really a funny video but touch a nerve with me b/c I think I sometimes look at life and wants things a certain way -easy.
Thank you for reminding me that it is not about me and I need to praise God through good and bad!
Love,
Kim

He Knows My Name said...

Ya baby! i have not done daniel yet, babylonian mentality? i got a new phrase. dealing with people in the workplace can be exhausting, taxing to say the least. what a sweet comment to that lady. i'm sure she didn't expect that and probably really appreciated your support.

i don't know if you visited ed young ministries today or not. they just made a change to their website and they now show last weeks sermon on video. it was on marriage today and well worth a peek.

yes, little debbies are praise worthy!

Janel

Jackie said...

Prove him wrong we will. That was a good post today.

And I was LAUGHING at your daughter praising Jesus...Sara is 2 1/2 and she loves to lift her hands and say "YEAH JESUS" she sees me praising Him and copies me...it's precious.

Hope you have a good week.

Emily said...

Wow Jenny, thanks for sharing! You make me want to know God more, thankyou for your willingness to follow Him! The enemy does want us to live wasted lives, so true. If you think about life as a whole, like, eternally speaking, it is easier to let go of petty things . What will it matter if someone was rude to me or cut me off driving or...the list could go on and on! In light of eternity, it fades away. Don't you just love God?! What He has given us is mind-boggling. I am so thankful.

Tam said...

When I read this in your post..."I am ashamed at the limitations that I put on God" - conviction set in fast! Who am I to even assume what He can or cannot do. And am I learning THAT lately! I agree with Emily, it makes things seem real petty when we look at the big picture. Or when I think about my health compared to all those you spoke of in your post who have it much worse. God is so much bigger than any of this! How we easily forget who He is!

Again, impacting post Jenny! I believe you have a special gift of sharing Gods word...you connect.

Blessings!

jean stockdale said...

Thanks for praying for me as I prepare to come and speak at Hunter Street. I am so excited to come and I simply must meet you in person. So please make a point to introduce yourself! I read your blog and it is precious. What a heart for the Lord you have! Sister, may your tribe increase! We need more young women like you working for the Kingdom of God. God bless you as you continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of God. Blessings. Jean Stockdale

Jackie said...

You can bet I will be taking good notes at Esther tonight!!! I am HOPING to not miss a week. I am getting there EARLY this time to see if I can actually get a seat and not have to hang out on the stairs!!!

Take care!!

Jean Stockdale said...

I was so sorry to hear the conference was being rescheduled, but trust God has a better timing in mind for all of us. Thank you again for praying for me. I hope to be with you and the ladies of your church soon!I look forward to meeting you. Blessins.