Monday, September 2, 2013
A dangerous Obsession
This message was preached by Pete Harwood at Word of Grace Church Pune, on the 1st of September 2013.
Be careful what you crave for- it can ruin your life.Your whole life can be dominated by what you don’t have and this is a recipe for misery.
Accenture did a study and found that 72% of Indian men are dissatisfied with their jobs. This is the second highest score in the world. The number 1 reason was salary. However, it’s not only jobs. 33% are dissatisfied with their love lives. For you maybe it’s your home, your family, the in-laws, etc. There is always something that we are unhappy about and want to change.
Dissatisfaction can ruin our lives. In the Old Testament the Israelites were always dissatisfied in something. Numbers 11:4 (3000 years ago) says- “the rabble with them began to crave other food, and again the Israelites started wailing and said, ‘If only we had meat to eat!’”Here “rabble” in Greek means “mixed” so maybe some foreigners joined the Israelites. They had a strong craving and it affected the people of Israel. In verse 1-3 Israel complains about their misfortune and God sent fire to consume them. They cry out to Moses for it to stop. You would have thought that they have learned their lesson.
In Verse 4, they start grumbling again about eating meat. Living in the desert is challenging- hot at day and cold at night. God was sending them manna. After sometime, they were contemptuous of it and wanted something else. We may think surely, they had a right to complain. They wondered, where was the land filled with milk and honey? They wondered why they had left Egypt.
All they can think about it food. They forgot that they were slaves in Egypt under such cruel circumstances that all their baby boys were murdered. This is what happens when you get dissatisfied- you crave for something you can’t have and get dissatisfied and lose perspective.
The more you want money, the more you notice it, the more you crave for it, it’s all that you can see and it dominates your thinking. It becomes your obsession and you don’t notice the other good things happening.
The Israelites- all they could see was the problem with their food. They had this beautiful planet to live on, pleasure in family and special blessing from God. God did so many wondrous things for them. God had appeared to them in fire and cloud and even heard the audible voice of God. God made a covenant for them. He provided miraculously. God had blessed them amazingly and yet their minds were fixated on food. It was a terrible rejection of God.
In verse 18, it talks about how God responded. God gave them what they craved for but it led to their destruction. Be careful what you crave for.
1 Corinthians 10:11 says, “These things happened to them as examples and were written down a warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come.” We should not make the same mistakes. Whether we acknowledge it or not, we have received amazing blessings from God. The creation God has made is amazing- full of life, color and vibrancy. Just watch the rising and the setting sun and the amazing array of colors.
In food, there is so much variety that is so tasteful! What about family?
Many of us have been specially blessed. We were slaves to sin and God took us out of it enabling us to enjoy a good relationship with God and we have the Holy Spirit. We have wonderful promises as well. And we will enjoy an eternity of bliss with God.
However, inspite of all of this it is possible for us to grow dissatisfied often, over the smallest things- the traffic, potholes, hot, cold- Grumble! Grumble! Grumble!
Sometimes we face genuine difficulties. Someone gets seriously ill, we lose our job, someone steals our bike, etc. We can get fed up or discouraged. We lose perspective and think everything is going wrong.
Our problem is that we are focusing on the negative and forgetting everything else. We can grumble and complain or give thanks for what we have. Many people say that they want to be happy but can’t because they are focusing on the little things that go wrong.
What about marriage? When you have been married for some time you notice that your husband or wife is not that perfect. You then tend to not look at all the good qualities.
What about your job? Maybe your boss is grumpy and lazy and you don’t get paid enough. At least you have a job. Things could be worse. Sometimes it’s your house- we are never satisfied. Advertising is designed to make you dissatisfied. Your whole life can be dominated by what you don’t have and this is a recipe for misery.
Wherever you are, thank God for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. What can we do to guard against them?
“Count your blessings, name them one by one;
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.”
-Johnson Oatman, Jr.
Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again), Spirit filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking church in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that have people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the Great Commission into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service. To know more about us please log ontowww.wordofgracechurch.org.
English Language Service Sundays at 10am. Please check google maps for directions!