I’ve been murmuring and complaining…again. I thought I’d left this despicable behavior behind long ago. Unexpectedly an irritation tripped me, sending me back to toddler stage of my walk with the Lord.

Maybe I’d been feeling a little smug about my progress, handling disappointments and setbacks with surprising maturity. I kept my focus on the path ahead and my eyes locked on Jesus, confident he had a purpose.

A note on my desk reminded me daily of my goal to respond to challenging events the way Moses did. He “never flinched but held staunchly to his purpose and endured steadfastly as one who gazed on Him Who is invisible” (Hebrews 11:27 Amplified).

I was doing quite well…until that irritation distracted me. I lost my focus and launched into a silent rant, murmuring and complaining in my spirit like someone who didn’t even know God. The Enemy pounced on my sour mood and thrashed me around like a rag doll, unable to get my footing or offer any resistance.

This went on longer than I want to admit. I didn’t intend to stay in that loathsome place, but I wasn’t ready to confess the bitterness blocking my sweet fellowship with the Lord.

Of course I’d have to do it. But not yet. Not until I’d murmured and complained enough.

When the Israelites murmured and complained against Moses and his brother Aaron, the Lord said their rebellion was against him! And so is mine.

When the Israelites murmured and complained against Moses and his brother Aaron, the Lord said their rebellion was against him! And so is mine.. Click To Tweet

Frightening thoughts penetrated my darkness. What if I can’t find my way back? What if God has grown tired of my little temper tantrums? What if he has no use for me anymore?

My thinking began to clear and I remembered the words Jesus spoke to his disciple, Peter. “Satan has asked excessively that [all of] you be given up to him [out of the power and keeping of God], that he might sift [all of] you like grain. But I have prayed especially for you [Peter], that your [own] faith may not fail; and when you yourself have turned again, strengthen and establish your brethren” (Luke 22:31-32 Amplified).

More was going on here that just my bad response to a small irritation. The enemy had seized the moment for his favorite sport—sifting Christ-followers. I’d made a dangerous decision to murmur and complain, playing right into his hands.

Running to Jesus, I cried, “Lord, forgive me and cleanse me!”

He responded according to promise. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9 KJV).

Lord, let me never forget it’s a perilous thing to linger in the enemy’s playground. Help me respond to challenges without flinching, holding staunchly to my purpose, and enduring steadfastly as one who gazes on Him Who is invisible.

Lord, let me never forget it’s a perilous thing to linger in the enemy’s playground. Help me respond to challenges without flinching, holding staunchly to my purpose, and enduring steadfastly as one who gazes on Him Who is invisible. Click To Tweet

Has there been a time when you felt distanced from God and struggled to find your way back? Please tell me about it. And I’d be grateful if you’d share this article with your friends.

© Dianne Barker 2021

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