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Be Careful What you Ask For

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Be Careful What you Ask For[1]

Numbers 11:1-6; 31-34

THESIS:  In all our prayers and all our request of God we must one ensure we are asking for something for the right reason and two asking for something that is in the will of God.  Ultimately we should never accept any gift that takes us out of the presence of the Lord!

            How much is enough?  I once heard this question asked of one of the world’s richest men and much to my surprise his reply was- nothing.  This answer although sad is a true reflection of the culture we live in here in a America.  We live in a world were no amount of money is enough, no house is big enough and no car is flashy enough.  It is not my intent to tell you not to shoot for the stars- you should set your goals high and go after them.  My problem is this fast pace, highly competitive, dog eat dog lifestyle has distorted reality.  There is no place where this is truer than in the lifestyles of many of our so called successful black Americans.  What you and I see is the cars the house and the bling bling but the real story is never revealed.  Many of our people are under the impression that “rags to riches” is not only true but it happens over night.  Yes we have some people who have gone from the projects to a mansion but I promise you the ones who are truly enjoying it did not do it over night.  When you stumble across a get rich quick scheme it always has strings attached.  I am a firm believer that true success arrives with its twin brother called peace and it is a process and the only way to achieve it is God’s way.  You see in between poverty and wealth is a season called provision.  The season of provision is time in your life when the ends are just meeting.  It’s a time when God is giving you all of what you need but no excess.  It’s a time when there may not be a Lexus in the driveway but you have a job and the means to get there.  I am convinced that every Christian goes through this season of provision at some point in their life.  And it is in this season when God is seeking to be close to you.  When God is seeking for you to rely only on him and not your cut buddies and downtown connections.  It’s a time when God wants prove Himself true in your life. You see when you over look the will of God and His presence in your life and focus on His power and what He can do for you reduce Him to a heavenly sugar daddy.  Yeah you call him when you need something but won’t allow Him to stay the night.  He has to pass through perform a service a leave before your neighbors wake up.  Because of what we can see, and what we can hold we want to skip this season called provision.  My brothers and sisters; be careful what you ask for. 

I.                   Setting

a.       Israel is in the wilderness on there way to the promise land

b.      They have been out of Egypt almost a year

c.       The Tabernacle had just been constructed

d.      They have just made a covenant with God

e.       They were just giving marching orders on how they will go to Cannan

II.                The initial cry

a.       The Bible does not say why they cried

b.      It does say God was angry

c.       God sent a message and destroyed those on the outskirts of the camp

d.      Moses prayed on behalf of the people and the fire stopped

III.             The “rabble” or mixed multitudes

a.       People who were not slaves while in Egypt and decided to leave with Israel or people who they picked up along the way

b.      Adopted people who had no right to God’s provision; they were lucky just to be there

c.       But they started the second complaint

d.      Rabble defined: a disorderly crowd; a tool used for stirring or mixing a charge; 

e.       Be careful who you associate with

                                                              i.      All they want is to stop your progress; Sis at 5th Street

                                                            ii.      Feed you a lot of negative energy by always complaining

                                                          iii.      All they do is gossip; stop letting them use your ear for a trash can

                                                          iv.      Instead of uplifting you when you are troubled they through gas on the fire

1.      Of course my pass seems better to you; but you did not go through the hell I went through to get here

f.       They are a distraction from the enemy

                                                              i.      If the devil can control how you think he can control how you act

1.      If he can make you think negative he can destroy your ability to walk in your gift

2.      If he can get you to believe the season will last forever he sidetrack you from your promise

3.      The real battle is in your mind

a.       That’s why when you are troubled and you go to bed with it on your mind all you do is toss and turn

                                                            ii.      If you whip the devil in your mind you can whip him in your life:

1.      Your family

2.      Your job

3.      Your marriage

4.      your church

5.      That’s why the Bible says Romans 12:2 “And be not fashioned according to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind”

6.      The battle is in your mind

IV.             The new complaint

a.       Manna was suddenly not enough

                                                              i.      Manna was bread from heaven that appeared after the dew every morning

                                                            ii.      It tasted like a pastry

                                                          iii.      Its nutritious value was sufficient

                                                          iv.      The Bible says when they would gather it he who had the most did not have excess and he who gathered least did not want

                                                            v.      God did not give them excess because they would have been content right where they were- In the Wilderness

1.      God will give you all you need but no excess because when you are in between captivity and promise excess will make you stay in the wilderness

a.       You won’t go back to school

b.      You won’t go after that promotion

c.       You won’t open your own business because you are contend with a little bit extra

                                                          vi.      It is a tragic day when God’s gift becomes insufficient in your life

b.      They complained about what they use to have

                                                              i.      All of the food they cried about was what they had while they were slaves;

                                                            ii.      They looked at there current situation and looked back at there pass tribulation and said “we had things so good back then”

1.      If you are saved and walking with the Lord how can you ever look back at your life and say last year was better than this one

a.       No baby every day with the Lord is sweeter than the one before

b.      Every day with the Lord is like receiving a fresh anointing

                                                          iii.      Excess in Hell is better than provision in Peace

1.      I do not care what’s going on around me if I can fill my belly

2.      I don’t care if you treat me like less than a man just satisfy my flesh

a.       This is why so many of our children fall by the wayside

b.      We have taught them that sacrificing your mind, body and soul is worth fleshly satisfaction!

c.       So many people are sacrificing:

                                                                                                                                      i.      drugs for peace

                                                                                                                                    ii.      Sex for self respect

                                                                                                                                  iii.      Money for God

d.      You need to know the flesh is never satisfied!  It always wants more.  That’s why the dope man says the first one is always free.  If I get you hooked I have a costumer for life.

e.       The devil knows if you fall once he can manipulate your feelings of guilt and you may never get up

f.       But I’m so glad that Donnie McClurkin reminded us that if you fall seven times you can get back up.  God can and will always redeem you

V.                Patience during your season of provision

                                                              i.      Yes God has great things in store for you

                                                            ii.      Yes He is taking you from one mountain top to another

                                                          iii.      But between the mountains are valleys and the some parts of the valley is lower than others

                                                          iv.      It may seem like things are bad but don’t you know the climb up is longer than the fall down.  So when things seem to be only alright

                                                            v.      When it seems like you only have just enough: God is in the process of elevating you

VI.             The complaint Answered

a.       God sent a wind that blew the quail a days journey on either side of the camp

b.      They traveled to get the quail

c.       They spent all day and all night and all the next day catching the quail

d.      The man who gathered least gathered 10 Homers or the equivalent of 8 bushels; In Exodus 16 when the manna first fell the man who gathered most gathered 1 Omer or the equivalent of a handful

                                                              i.      They had so much they could not make it back to the camp so they made camp where they were at

                                                            ii.      Their excess stopped them from moving on

e.       It also says they spread out around themselves

VII.          The problem

a.       The quail was earthly but the manna was heavenly

                                                              i.      Quail came from the sea

                                                            ii.      Manna could only be made by the hand of God

1.      Don’t get hung up on what the world offers; keep your mind on things above

b.      They left the presence of God

                                                              i.      When they left the camp they left the tabernacle

                                                            ii.      And in the mist of the tabernacle was the Shakinah Glory of God!

                                                          iii.      In all that they did they never noticed God was not in it!

                                                          iv.      The presence of God is the most important thing in your life

1.      No car, house, money, friend or family member can substitute for the presence of God in your life

                                                            v.      I don’t want anything that will take me from the presence of God; you can keep

1.      The caviar

2.      The Don Perry on

3.      The yachts

4.      The Sean John

5.      The Tommy Hilfiger

                                                          vi.      I don’t have to have all those earthly things that will pass away:

1.      Wrap me in the prescience of the Lord and I’m alright

a.       He is the:

                                                                                                                                      i.      Bread of Heaven and that’s alright

                                                                                                                                    ii.      The Prince of Peace and that’s alright

                                                                                                                                  iii.      He is the Lamb of God and that’s alright

                                                                                                                                  iv.      He is my shelter and that’s alright

                                                                                                                                    v.      He is my strong tower and that’s alright

                                                                                                                                  vi.      He is my strength and that’s alright


[1] April 17, 2005 Steeple Chase

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