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How To Receive What You Lack

"And the people spoke against God and against Moses: 'Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and our soul loathes this worthless bread.'” Numbers 21:5 By the time you get to this passage in the Bible, you've seen the children of Israel complaining to Moses over and over again, and each time they express regret that they followed him out of Egypt, and accuse him of bringing them into the wilderness to die. If you found yourselves in a barren land without food and water, would you complain? Of course you would, anyone would. EXCEPT - these complaints need to be looked at in context. From the beginning of the story of their deliverance from Egypt, the children of Israel saw God do signs and wonders that astounded them, wonders they had never, ever seen before! Beginning in Egypt, they saw the plagues that came upon the land every time Pharaoh refused to let them leave the land with Moses. In the last of the ten plagues, they saw the firstborn in every household in Egypt die, while the plague did not come near them, and not one Israeli died. Can you imagine such a scene? Death everywhere, EXCEPT in the camps of the children of Israel! How that must have impressed upon them the protection of their God while the false gods were judged. Then Moses led them out of Egypt and they journeyed toward the promised land, but the armies of Pharaoh followed after them intending to destroy them. Just when the Israelites had their backs to the sea and saw the approaching Egyptian armies, the Lord parted that sea and they went over it ON DRY LAND! When the last of them reached the other side and Pharaoh's army was closing in on the chase, the waters returned and the entire Egyptian army drowned. Now ...can you imagine having witnessed that? What an impression that must have made on them? This is a people who by now have seen the supernatural power of God to deliver them in every situation. God provided them with manna daily. Every day they got up to find this manna that had fallen during the night. They collected it and made all kinds of things with it, breads, cakes, all that one could think to make with it. Can you imagine getting up every morning and finding your sustenance from heaven and all you had to do was collect it? But no, they got tired of it and wanted what they had in Egypt. They missed the meat they had there, and they complained. So God sends them innumerable flocks of quail, quail everywhere. But that wasn't enough, they started complaining that there wasn't enough water in the wilderness, so God told Moses to strike a rock and when he did, rivers of water came out of that rock. Incredibly after all this, they once again complained to Moses, "Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness?" By this time, God was just totally fed up with this ungrateful and unbelieving people, and instead of doing another supernatural sign for them, God sent serpents into the land showing them his wrath at their stubborn ungratefulness and constant demand for this, that, and the other. vs 6: "So the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and many of the people of Israel died." That shook them up. They confessed their sin and cried to him to stop the judgment. What is the point of this story? The point is this - be very careful when you think to complain against God. The Lord had no intention of letting them die in the wilderness when he brought them out of Egypt. He did sign after sign after sign for them in order to solidify their faith in him. But they weren't moved by what God did, they had only one thing in mind and that was their needs and desires. Take a notebook and look back over your walk with the Lord. Write down every incident in your life in which he manifested to you his love for you, his provision, his intervention. After you've spent a good deal of time bringing to mind all of those incidents, then turn the page and make another list of things for which to be thankful - eyes that see, ears that hear, legs that walk, hands that serve, a roof over your head, enough to eat, plenty to wear ...and go on from there. You probably could fill pages if you spent enough time at it. Now - if you lack any of the above, here is the way to receive God's provision: first, do NOT bring your need to God as a complaint. Recognize him for who he is, the creator of the universe who has condescended to show little you the way of salvation, and who has sustained your life thus far. Instead of bringing him a complaint, bow before him in thanksgiving for all he has shown you about himself. Ask the Lord to show you how your lack fits into his plan for your life, but start with thanking him even for that plan. He could have left you to yourself, but he loved you and called you and started you on the path he has ordained for your life, and has included NECESSARY trials in that plan in order to mature you and bring about his great purpose for you. Your right response in a situation of lack is to simply ask him to show you how this lack fits into his plan. Once you turn your complaining voice into a voice of surrender and praise, things will change. And not only will situations change, but you will receive that peace that passes all understanding. From a heart of thanksgiving and surrender you will taste of the goodness of the Lord, and you will see for yourself that the Lord is good. "Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in him!" Psalm 34:8


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