Last week we talked about, complaining, the first culprit of a "deadly trio" that could potentially keep you from reaching your dreams and goals.
Using the Israelites, we learned what not to do when in a wilderness season. And we discussed how this was one of the reasons why they never reached their promised land.
Today I want to talk about the second culprit in this deadly trio that can keep you stuck in a holding pattern. What is the second thing you shouldn't do when life seems unfair...?
I want to approach comparing in two different ways.
The first way is what you most likely thought of as soon as you read the word comparing. Because it has become so hard not to compare our lives in the age of social media.
We literally have access into the lives of hundreds, and even thousands of people at our fingertips. And let me tell ya' everybody ain't posting the real details of their life (excuse the incorrect English 😊).
To be clear, I'm a big fan of social media. There are so many positive connections and things I've been able to do through this platform. But if we're not careful, social media can bring about a lot of not so positive emotions. And the enemy can really use it as an tool to steal your happiness and even kill your purpose.
Because comparison really is the thief of joy.
Comparison kills your confidence and clarity.
Comparison is robbing so many gifted and creative individuals of their uniqueness. I can see the enemy and his little demon friends rejoicing and celebrating over the fact that so many gifted men and women are forfeiting their God-given destinies to be a carbon copy of someone they admire from up close or afar.
So, knowing this . . . are you confused about your purpose?
Have you been guilty of looking at the gifts of other people, and then somehow becoming dissatisfied with your gifts?
Have you ever been content with your portion, until you saw someone with more, and slowly started to become discontent with the current season you were in?
If so, you are not alone. So many bible believing Christians are falling into this trap. I'm here to tell you that this is a direct assassination attempt on your purpose. I say this because God will never help you to become who you want to be. He is only obligated to help you become who He created you to be.
I love how this scripture in the message version puts it…
Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don't be impressed with yourself. Don't compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life. (Galatians 6: 4-5, MSG)
So, the next time you're tempted to stare and compare…Don't do it! Sink yourself into YOUR work.
Ask God to show you who you are and to reveal His divine plan for you.
Trust me, you want God's plan. It will be better than anything you could ever dream up.
The second way I want to approach this is by continuing our example of the Israelites. Not only do we compare our lives to each other, but we also compare our right now, to our past.
Especially when our present-day reality is disappointing and not what we expected. We often go back and make an idol of our past.
"The good ole days."
We begin to have unhealthy nostalgia where we long to go back to a time when life may have been more predictable, more stable, and more enjoyable.
The Israelites did this often. They questioned why God freed them from bondage only to lead them to die. In Exodus chapter 16 they are complaining AGAIN and longing for the past.
The Israelites said to them [Moses and Aaron], "If only we had died by the Lord's hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death." (Exodus 16: 3, New International Version)
Man, Moses had a time with these here people (lol)! Have you ever met someone who was never satisfied?
Well before we start shaking our heads at them, we must examine our own hearts. The Israelites must have gotten a severe case of amnesia, because although they had plenty to eat in Egypt, they must have forgotten that they were slaves, under harsh treatment. To the point where they begged and cried out to God to save them.
And now that they are free and on the way to the promise, they are wishing to go back to a time and a place that made them miserable. All because they had to go through a process to get to the promise.
Friend, I pray we all can all learn from their folly and grasp this concept… life isn't going to be easy. The road to increasing will often look like you're declining. But this is not the time to compare your today with yesterday.
Their complaining and comparing were two obstacles the enemy used to abort their destiny.
You also have an enemy who wants to abort your destiny. An enemy who wants you to stay small, stuck, and fixated on the past. But you also have the Lord on your side who wants to see you grow, stretch, and go where He is calling you.
Friend, no matter how hard it seems . . . put your hand to the plow, and don't look back.
Next week we will talk about the last culprit of this deadly trio.
Until then I would love to hear your thoughts on this series. Has the Lord spoken to you through this series? I'd love to know. Leave a comment and let me know!