Everyone enjoys a good complaining session when they’ve had a bad day, but what is it costing us? What is the cost to the Kingdom of God?
Do everything without grumbling and arguing, so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God who are faultless in a crooked and perverted generation, among whom you shine like stars in the world. (Philippians 2:14-15)
When I meditated on this part of my passage (see the last several posts), I asked God, “Lord, how does this apply to us? What should we take from this? What might I share with the body from this passage?” (By that I mean the body of believers I meet with.) The following is what I believe I heard from Him.
In My kingdom, grumbling and murmuring and arguing just don’t belong. You can’t expect to shine if you’re covering your mouth with filth.
At this point, I got a picture of a star. Not a sweet little twinkly star or the sort of star you put on your Christmas tree. No, I mean a STAR. The kind that’s a bazillion times bigger than the earth and you can’t get much closer than 93 million miles away and expect to survive. That kind of star. I got a picture of a bright, pure, burning star, unable to be contained or covered. Anything, any impurity that tries to cover or obscure it is instantly destroyed by its power. Its very nature keeps its purity undefiled. So, when we “work out” our salvation (again, see the last couple of posts), this is what we become. The more Christ matures in us, the more impervious we become to any contamination. This is the impression I got of what God wanted to communicate to me about the stars to which He (through Paul) likens His children.
So I asked, “Lord, ANYTHING put into the sun would be destroyed. What could survive?”
Spirit. Spirit is not affected by the incredible physical power of the sun. I have placed you by a friendly star; a nurturing star. But stars are things of incalculable power and purity. Their purity comes from their power and their power comes from their purity. Yet these are mere pictures of that which is real. The sons, the daughters of the Most High must be worthy of Him, don’t you think?
And yet you stifle your fire, your purity, your power when you do so small a thing as grumbling and complaining and especially arguing. Why is this? How can such an insignificant thing shut off the power of a star? Your reservoirs of power are finite. A physical star, when it runs out of fuel, becomes at first a dwarf and at last a black hole, not giving light, but rather sucking all the light and life and matter it can reach into itself. Yet it is not filled. All this because it ran out of fuel, as you will do if you cease to draw your light and life and power from Me.
In a world where power is finite, stars have an expiry date. In the real world, in which your limited senses cannot function fully, no star fails. You must learn, here in this practice world, to draw every breath from Me. This is your gestation period in a sense.
You will know when you have begun to draw life from Me alone. When you shine, then the purity of your presence will affect those around you. You will shine like stars in the world, giving life to good things and imposing death on evil things as the sun itself also does.
Me: “All this by not grumbling and arguing?”
Grumbling and arguing cuts you off from Me — all of this from abiding in the vine. When you grumble and argue, you are drawing on external things for your sustenance. When they fail you, as they must, you feel let down. Your needs are not met. You grumble against them because of this and thus you keep them, rather than My Son, as your focus. When you argue, you show that you are looking to one another as your source of power and being disappointed. It’s like the spokes looking to the other spokes rather than to the hub for their support. Yes, you need the other spokes, but the hub is your foundation.
So don’t argue and grumble. These things close your senses to Me. Instead rejoice, knowing that your source is infinite; you will never run out of fuel. You will shine like stars — pure and fair and, to a crooked and a perverse generation, terrifyingly bright and hot and magnificent in divine power.