Murmur: An expression of discontent by grumbling.
So, how do we resist the temptation to join others already on the slippery slope toward being the enemy’s mouthpiece? The third chapter of James pretty much covers it. It’s called self-discipline. It’s called wisdom. In other words, think about what you say before you open your mouth. Ouch!
The problem is that the flesh loves to murmur and complain. The carnal nature of man likes to exalt himself while pointing out others’ errors or shortcomings. He likes to prove himself superior by stomping underfoot those who challenge him or think differently than him. It’s so easy to fall into the trap! But we’re told to use wisdom, not that of flesh but wisdom from above:
Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. (James 3:13-18)
As someone who has been known to lodge a few of my own complaints and done my share of murmuring (I guarantee I’m not the only one), it has been important to me to understand the implications of falling into the traps set for me by the enemy. Although I cannot speak for you, the longer I walk with the Lord, the more opportunities present themselves to fall into the trap. The minefield of gotcha’s seems to grow as time goes on. Or, maybe it’s perhaps I’m just learning to recognize a bomb just waiting for me to trigger it. Here’s what I’m learning:
- The more we murmur and complain, the more the enemy is empowered. In other words, when we begin to voice our dissatisfaction in others or circumstances or things around us, the more doors we open to the enemy to interject his negative and unrighteous thoughts. Once those thoughts have taken root, they begin to grow into some major pitfalls. We can cut off the opportunity to be caught in the enemy’s traps by refusing to murmur and complain.
- We have two choices each time something doesn’t go the way we think it should or if someone or something doesn’t respond the way we believe they should:
- Pray until circumstances or our hearts change and we find contentment with God; or
- Complain and spread our dissatisfaction until everyone around us is murmuring and complaining along with us.
- When we have allowed ourselves the privilege to murmur and complain about things (regardless of what they are or who they involve), we become a tool in the enemy’s hands to breed distrust and faithlessness in God. We have literally become unprofitable and unfruitful for Kingdom purposes while becoming an asset to the enemy of our soul.
The lesson for us all in this is simple: If things don’t go your way, take your displeasure to the Lord. Drop it at His feet. Deposit it at the foot of the Throne. And, leave it with Him. Don’t pick it up again. Don’t allow yourself to wallow in self-righteousness. Don’t let the enemy stir your emotions into reliving your displeasure or disapproval. Drop it and trust God that He can handle any situation far better than you (or I) ever could. He promises that for those who love God, all things work together for god, for those who are called according to His purpose (Rom 8:28).
Thomas Watson said, “Our Murmuring is the Devil’s Music!”
Let’s be careful not to join the band making music that invites the devil’s dance!
© Jan Ross
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