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Be Careful What you Ask For2

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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?  When have you accumulated enough money?  When have you accumulated enough material possession?  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- no amount and never.  This answer although sad is a true reflection of the culture we live in here in America.  We live in a world were no amount of money is enough, no house is big enough and no car is flashy enough because I’ve got to one up the Jones’.  Part of the tragedy is the rich makes its money of those that are less fortunate.  So while you and I are getting poorer they are getting richer.  The more we put in their bank account the less we have in our pocket.  The more money we give them to buy land the less amount of land available for you and I to purchase.  That’s why there’s an old saying “the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.”  It is not my intent to tell you not to shoot for the stars- you should set your goals high and go after them.  Oh no, I’m not a poverty preacher that suggest we should survive off of the love of God and humility.  No go get yours as long as it’s done the right way.  But I’m not a prosperity preacher who suggests God’s primary purpose is for us to have money (I’ll explain that in a minute). 

My problem is this fast pace, highly competitive, dog eat dog lifestyle has distorted reality.  What happens is among the lower class, and middle class (those folk who are only one generation removed from poverty- don’t act like you been living good your whole life) we become envious of the rich based on what we see and begin to make decision out of our flesh.  But what many of us have failed to realize is what we are seeing is what they are allowing us to see and is far from reality.  We never know what it is really like when they go home at night.  We never see the hell they are going through.  We don’t see the pain that they are experiencing when the camera is not rolling. 

There is no place where this is truer than in the lives 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 these “rags to riches” stories happened over night.  Yes we have some people who have gone from the projects to a mansion; yes we have some successful black folk.  But you need to know there are two types of success.  There is worldly success and true success. 

Worldly success is based on the world’s perception of what you have accumulated and what you have accomplished.  You see worldly success loves stuff but uses God.  It’s when you focus on what God’s power can do for you to impress the world.  By doing this you reduce Him to a heavenly sugar daddy in your life.  Yeah you call him when you need something so He can pass through perform a service a leave before your neighbors wake up.  You won’t even allow Him the satisfaction of staying the night. That’s why worldly success is unfulfilling and lonely.   Yeah you think you have some friends but let the money run out watch them flunkies run out on you and leave you for dead. 

But true success is based on your relationship with God.  True success is when you love God and use stuff!  That’s why it never shows up alone.  True success arrives with a companion called peace!  I don’t know about you but I like to have stuff but I don’t want it w/o peace.  That way when the money stop looking good, the $1000 DOLLAR SUITS ARE WORN OUT, THE CAR BREAKS DOWN, THE HOUSE NEEDS REPAIR, I’VE LOST ALL MY JEWLRY, THE FLUNKIES I TRHOUGHT WERE FRIENDs RUN OUT- I STILL GOT PEACE! 

That’s why so many of these people we see in the lime light are acting like they loss their minds.  There success did not show up with peace.  Just ask Dave Chappell.  Here’s this creatively gifted brother who was catapulted to the top of his industry almost over night (well from our perspective).  But he did so through a means that did not glorify God.  And if you don’t glorify God in your vehicle to success peace will not show up with your success.  So because of all the success the TV industry gave him $50 million to continue doing what he was doing.  But they said since we are giving you more I’m going to expect more.  And he cracked under the pressure.  Suddenly he could not handle the pressure of the fame and the fortune and the high expectations.  When you stumble across a get rich quick scheme and step out of the will of God there are strings attached.  But don’t you know if you do it God’s way when the pressure increase you call out and Psalms 121:1 I will lift up my eyes to the hills — From whence comes my help?  When you think you can not produce at the same level as you once did you can say

 Nehemiah 8:10 The Joy of the Lord is my strength.   When you think you are all along you can Psalm 23:1 The Lord is my Shepherd

When a bunch of haters begin to surround me I can say Psalms 3:1-3

LORD, how they have increased who trouble me!

Many are they who rise up against me. 

3 But You, O LORD, are a shield for me,

My glory and the One who lifts up my head.

The problem is rising to success God’s way takes time and many of us don’t have the patience and do not want to endure the process.  The reason is between poverty and success is a season called provision.  Between where you are at now and the promise God has given you is a season of 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.  It’s a time when God wants prove Himself true in your life.  Because of what we can see, and what we can hold and what the flesh craves for 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 (KJV displeased)

                                                              i.      Translated to the Hebrew two words

                                                            ii.      Evil

                                                          iii.      God’s ear

                                                          iv.      When you complain about the manner in which God is delivering you to the promise you don’t deserve its evil in his ear

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 mixed multitudes complain

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

                                                            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

                                                            v.      Remind you of how good you had it back when

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 can sidetrack you from your promise

3.      The real battle is in your mind

                                                            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.      This is why I believe they were in a season of provision:

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

                                                          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

b.      Why did God give them only what they needed?

                                                              i.      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 content

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 content with a little extra

                                                            ii.      But He gives you just enough so you’ll know there has got to be more!

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

c.       They complained about what they use to have

                                                              i.      All of the food they cried about was what they ate freely 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.      They were saying 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

                                                          iv.      They also complained because they did not know there worth

1.      While in Egypt they new they would be fed because they were needed

2.      As long as there was work for the slaves the master would sustain them

3.      But if you know your worth to God; if you know you have a purpose

4.      Explain purpose as an anti drug

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 and things are not moving fast enough

                                                          vi.       God is in the process of elevating you;

                                                        vii.      The Bible says those that wait on the Lord will renew their strength; they shall mount up on wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary they shall walk and not faint

                                                      viii.      Just wait on the Lord

                                                          ix.      That phrase “But those that wait upon”

1.      translates to “bind together by twisting”

2.      IAW your so close to Him when people see you they see Jesus

a.       So close when he moves you move

b.      When he takes a step you take a step

c.       When he runs you run

d.      When he sits you sit

e.       When he reigns you reign

f.       SHOUT GLORY!

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


VIII.       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] Miles Chapel Oct 12, 2005; different version at Steeple Chase

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