I will do to you the very things I heard you say (Numbers 14:28).
If I asked the question, “Does God hear our prayers?” I bet almost all of you would say, “Yes!” But what about this question: Does God hear our complaints?
I believe he does. In fact, I would say, grumbling is a very popular form of prayer. The Israelites prayed daily, but their prayers were idle words and bitter complaints.
“Our soul is dried away (Numbers 11:6).”If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this desert! (Numbers 14:2) Why is the LORD bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? (Number 14:3).
Have you ever muttered prayers like that? I was better off back there! Why God, why?
God had heard enough of the Israelites complaints and he said this to Moses: “How long will this wicked community grumble against me? I have heard the complaints of these grumbling Israelites. So tell them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the LORD, I will do to you the very things I heard you say (Numbers 14:28).
I think my father had read this story in the Bible. When I was little he used to tell me, “Christine, you’d better be quiet or I’m gonna give you what you’re asking for!” Dad had had enough! So had God. Except for Joshua and Caleb, everyone of the Israelites that crossed the Red Sea died in the desert. Their prayers were answered. They got what they asked for.
Your tongue has the power of life and death. Your confessions cause circumstances to manifest. Your words are powerful so make them count. When you go to a restaurant and the waiter comes to take your order, you wouldn’t say: “I’ll have a piece of crap, well done. Cook it so long that anyone who tries to chew it will choke and die.”
That would be absurd. But how many times have you heard a similar comment after the food arrives. “Oh my gosh, this steak is a piece of crap! It’s so tough, if anyone could chew it they would choke and keel over.”
If only you could see God’s angels standing there. They are, you know.
The Bible says that angels are ministering spirits. The Greek word for minister means a servant or a waiter, one who executes the commands of another. I’m not making this up. It’s straight out of the Greek concordance. Angels are ministering servants, waiting to take an order. Angels are responsible to take your words and deliver them to God so that your request can be honored. Literally your words are orders, prayers that are delivered to the throne of God so be careful what you declare.
Now, don’t go feeling all guilty about occasional comments and jokes. God’s not waiting to chop you down. As soon as you recognize that you’ve allowed idle words to come out of your mouth, repent and retract your words. I only used the example about ordering a steak as an illustration, a visual shocker to remind you about how important your words are, but here’s what happens when we repeatedly fail to control our tongue.
Our thoughts become our words.
Our words become our feelings.
Our feelings become our attitudes.
By the time our words change our attitudes, it can get scary. Frequent complaints can turn our hearts bitter. It’s a gradual process that leads to death.
Your words change your world so make them count. What happened to the Israelites is a powerful reminder to us. Be careful not to let idle complaints come out of your mouth. God is listening so choose your declarations wisely. He will accomplish what you ask. He will do the very things he hears you say.