Tag Archive | flesh

HOLDING THE ANGER (guest post)

Anger is one form of expression of human emotions. Everyone can feel angry, including a child who has not been able to express the feelings through words. Many things can trigger our anger, from big things to trivial issues. Angry with the particular situation, people around us, ourselves, even against God. People can also feel angry though not know angry to no one or anything. Even some people can hide anger in their hearts although from the outside they look fine. And in the some situations, one can get angry for no reason then vent their anger on others just because of a bad mood. As a Christian, is it wrong to have anger in our hearts? The answer depends on what causes the anger and how we handle it.

 

ANGER KILLS

Anger has dangerous potential if not resolved soon. People who are ruled by anger will tend to vent their emotions in the wrong way and excessive. The Bible had written many stories about the adverse effects of anger, such as Cain and Haman.

In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. And Abel also brought an offering….. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So CAIN WAS VERY ANGRY, and his face was downcast. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, SIN IS CROUCHING AT YOUR DOOR…..; it desires to have you, but YOU MUST RULE OVER IT.” (Genesis 4:3-7)

At the time Cain became angry, God didn’t say that Cain had sinned at that moment, but God warned that “SIN IS CROUCHING AT THE DOOR” and Cain MUST RULE OVER IT. Unfortunately Cain didn’t obey God. He allowed the anger to manipulate and control himself. Then the first murder occurred in the history of mankind: Brother killed his brother! All started with an anger!

IN YOUR ANGER DO NOT SIN: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and DO NOT GIVE THE DEVIL A FOOTHOLD. (Ephesians 4:26-27)

Do not let the sun goes down while we are still angry. The anger that “momentarily arises in the heart” if not immediately resolved is the same with open up the opportunity for the devil to bring us into the sin: vilification, slander, hatred, resentment, bitterness, murder, and other evil acts. In his anger Cain killed one man, but Haman designed the massacre of one nation simply because he was angry with one man!

And all the king’s servants who were at the king’s gate bowed down and did reverence to Haman, for the king had so commanded concerning him. But Mordecai did not bow down or do him reverence……. And when Haman saw that Mordecai did not bow down or do him reverence, HE WAS VERY ANGRY. But he scorned laying hands only on Mordecai.……Haman sought to destroy all the Jews, the people of Mordecai, throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus. (Esther 3:2-6 AMP)

Furthermore, we knew that God thwart the evil design of Haman, even it turned destroy himself!!

Unresolved anger can be a snare to ourselves. Maybe we don’t physically kill others, but anger kills our own soul and spirituality, also destroys our relationship with God and our neighbor. Venting anger blindly will not solve the problem, it just makes the situation and communication worse.

There are many other examples in the Bible about the ravages and deaths caused by anger. Therefore the Lord said that we should stop anger immediately before the anger drags us into evil.

CEASE FROM ANGER, AND FORSAKE WRATH; Do not fret–it only causes harm. (Psalms 37:8 NKJV)

Then to what extent we are allowed to get angry? The answer is back to what is the motivation of our anger, and whether our anger leads to destruction or generates goodness and restoration.

 

THE RIGHT ANGER

The right anger is to be angry for the right reasons with the right sayings and actions, just as Jesus did: Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers doing business. When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables. And He said to those who sold doves, “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!” (John 2:13-16 NKJV)

Jesus was angry for the right reason: NOT COMPROMISING WITH SIN. Jesus immediately acted decisively by removing what was wrong. But notice that Jesus didn’t burst His anger blindly or cursed them. Instead, He told them what their fault is, and taught them what is the right so that they don’t continue to live in their sins.

And as HE TAUGHT THEM, he said, “Is it not written: “‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.'” The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him, because THE WHOLE CROWD WAS AMAZED AT HIS TEACHING. (Mark 11:17-18 NIV)

Right anger must be accompanied by a right guidance and action. The guidance and action must be delivered in love and in harmony with our authority. Wise communication is needed so as not to cause misunderstandings, although the risk is still possible. When Jesus was angry and declared what was their fault, some of them didn’t like it. But on the other hand, many people were amazed at His teaching. They must have experienced a paradigm shift in their lives, as long as they didn’t harden their hearts.

Anger based on true motivation that delivered in the right way with the right guidance and action in love, sooner or later will build people and become a blessing. On the contrary, we will be guilty before God if we don’t angry at the moment we should be angry, like Eli who did nothing and not rebuked his children even though he knew that they have sinned.

I’m bringing judgment on his family for good. He knew what was going on, that his sons were desecrating God’s name and God’s place, and HE DID NOTHING TO STOP THEM. (1 Samuel 3:13 MSG)

I’ve told him that I’m about to judge his family forever because of the iniquity that he knew about. His sons committed blasphemyg and HE DID NOT REBUKE THEM. (1 Samuel 3:13 ISV)

There is a moment we must be angry, that is when we see unrighteousness and various forms of sinful deeds. But again, the anger must be controlled and delivered with love.

 

SLOW TO BECOME ANGRY

Anger is a normal psychological reaction and doesn’t necessarily make us become sinners in the time we feel angry, but it doesn’t mean we free to be angry. Angry isn’t the same as irritability. Everyone has many reasons to get angry if always follow ego and feelings. It will form our personality and characters become irritable person if we don’t handle it.

My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and SLOW TO BECOME ANGRY, (James 1:19 NIV)

God not only asks us to slowly become angry, but also teaches us not to associate with one easily angry:

DO NOT MAKE FRIENDS WITH A HOT-TEMPERED MAN, DO NOT ASSOCIATE WITH ONE EASILY ANGERED, or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared. (Proverbs 22:24-25 NIV)

This shows how anger is so bad and harmful to our lives. Why? “for MAN’S ANGER does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.” (James 1:20 NIV)

Man’s anger is all anger that comes from human flesh: offended, feeling belittled, hurt, disappointed, dissatisfied, and everything from human ego. Man’s anger is always self-centered: what bothers me, what I don’t like, what I want, what I think is good, and everything that is centered on “me”. The benchmark is always “me”, regardless of the other person. Cain and Haman are examples. Cain was angry because envy of his brother and felt rejected by God. Haman was angry because he felt unappreciated. The Bible tells clearly how the bad consequences of man’s anger.

 

SILENT AND MEDITATE

As human beings who are still living in blood and flesh, we can’t escape completely from egocentricity because we all still proceed to perfection. Then how if our hearts hit by anger??

BE ANGRY, AND DO NOT SIN. MEDITATE WITHIN YOUR HEART on your bed, and be still. Selah (Psalms 4:4 NKJV)

Be angry  and sin not; COMMUNE WITH YOUR OWN HEARTS upon your beds and be silent (SORRY FOR THE THINGS YOU SAY IN YOUR HEARTS). Selah ! (Psalms 4:4 AMP)

If we angry, don’t hurry to vent! Silence for a moment and take time to meditate deeply: why are we angry, should we be angry, what is our motivation, right or wrong, and so on. When our anger subsides and our heart starts to calm down, we will be able to see the situation and problems more clearly so we can express our hearts wisely, take the right steps, and not fall into sin in our anger.

If we angry for the right reason, the Holy Spirit will anoint and guide us to do what we must do in love and according to His will. If we find ourselves angry for the wrong reasons, the best way is to straighten our hearts and learn to put our flesh under God’s will. What if the anger has brought us into sin? The forgiveness is always available to everyone who confesses sin: If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9 NKJV)

 

WALK AND LIVE IN THE SPIRIT

We can’t be a meek, patient, loving, and not grumpy person just by relying on our own strength. All it requires CHANGES FROM WITHIN. There is an ego that must be eroded, the flesh that must be subjugated to Christ’s will, the character to be processed, and the heart formed by God. We can indeed control anger with our own understanding and strength, but only God can do divine things with eternal fruits in our lives. The key is to live in communion with the Holy Spirit.

But I say, walk and live  in the  Spirit ; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God). For the desires of the flesh are opposed to the  Spirit, and the  Spirit are opposed to the flesh (godless human nature); for these are antagonistic to each other , so that you are not free but are prevented from doing what you desire to do. (Galatians 5:16-17 AMP)

If we always walk and live in the Holy Spirit then our lives will bear the fruit of the Spirit: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23a NKJV)

If we have love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, then we will not be easily angry. Let’s depend on and obey the Holy Spirit so that we mature in spirituality and character and become wise person who can control our emotions, even able to assuage the anger of others.

A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control. (Proverbs 29:11 NIV)

Amen.

 

By: Sella Irene – Beautiful Words

Photo Credit: Google Images  (edited with pixlr app)

 

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Between Two Choices

between two choices- Karina's thought

This post was inspired by my blog friend from Indonesia. Few days ago she shared her problem in choosing. She was in the intersection and had to choose which one is best for her future. The point is she was confronted by two choices. Keep doing her current job with the consequences of the assured financial condition or doing another job which according from her heart calling but with the consequences of uncertain future and financial condition. She was very anxious about it.

Life is full of choice? Yes! That is right. Every day and every moment in this life, we are always faced with a choice. This is a problem because sometimes run into difficulties when it comes to choosing from the many offered. Make a choice between two things would be easier if both options are available equally well. But if we had to choose two things which contain the risks, it would be very difficult.

The Lord said to Abram after Lot had parted from him, “Look around from where you are, to the north and south, to the east and west. Genesis 13:14

At first glance, this verse does not seem related to the choosing, but this paragraph is a precept by which we accept God’s answer in choosing and deciding something. “After Lot separated from Abram, the Lord …” This means that before Abram parting with Lot, the Lord has not spoken to him. Why is that? Whereas before the Lord himself who called Abram to leave his country and promised a better country. Abram took a right decision, which is more closely to follow what the Lord says. But when Abram leaves his country and follow the commandments of the LORD, he brought Lot (Lot is a picture of the flesh or lust).

We are called to be followers of Christ and respond with the right decision to follow Him. However, there are few people who follow Christ still bring their flesh and lust. So when faced with the choices in this life, we are forcing the Lord so that He answer what we ask to Him. Whereas the position is still in our flesh, the Lord will not answer what we ask to Him. Why? The above verse clearly says that after Abram parted with Lot, then the Lord spoke, and gave His instructions. So, before asking the Lord for to take a decision, have we left a life of our flesh and lust?

Heart calls or God’s calls? I don’t know exactly what kind of my friend’s heart calls. Follow our heart call is good. But we should consider and think whether it calls according with God’s will or there are elements of the flesh and lust in our hearts calls. Because making a choice which based on lust with choices based on the will of the Lord is the opposite. Because if every time the Lord answered and provide the best choice, if we are still alive within our flesh and lust, surely we would follow the flesh and not on what the Lord says. Calls of the heart which does not in accordance with God’s will would become calls in accordance with our selfishness. The important thing is not which one should we choose, but the most important is when determining a choice, have we actually parted with our flesh?

In determining a choice, we should not be selfish. For the Lord said to wherever or whatever we choose, it’s all going to be given to us and our descendants. “This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.”Deuteronomy 30:19. So in choosing, we should also remember our abilities. Appropriate or not with our own existing capabilities. The other thing to remember when making decisions is after looking around (not selfish), we should ask for blessings sufficiently. However, this is often forgotten.

What if we’ve made ​​the choice, apparently God has a better choice than what we have chosen?  Let we take a look a while to Paul’s story.  In the decision making process Paul can still be missed (not in the context of good or evil). In taking the decision, Paul has looked around and makes a choice to go preach the gospel to Asia. But there he was rejected, and then go to Galatia, Phrygia, and Misia, but even there he was rejected. The decisions taken by Paul is correct (because he went to preach), but Lord knows there is a right place for Paul, which is in Macedonia. That is why the Lord directs Paul to Macedonia. (Acts 16: 6-10)

We need to know that the Lord will never make us regret, because God has many ways to change or improve things, including our decision that not appropriate for us. So do not be afraid to make decisions when we are already separated by “Lot”. Even if one day we make decisions that were not appropriate, the Lord will lead us to the better choice.

If the choices we make are not based on flesh, aim to glorify God, are not rely on our own strength and wisdom, and according to God’s will, then what we choose or decide it will give you satisfaction. And if it is not a perfect choice, Our Lord will make it perfect for us, as He did to Paul. Amen.

Karina

I dedicate this post to my sister in Christ Sella Irene. http://sellairene.wordpress.com

Related article: Never A Blind Fate by KrizSummer

Photo credit: empowernetwork.com

Enduring Within Temptation

Matthew 26 41

There are so many things that could be my inspiration to write an article or a short devotional. This evening my post was inspired by one of my friend who asked me to pray his problem.  He has a problem with temptation.  But perhaps for some reason he did not tells the details of what kind of temptation that he faced. Now I would like to write a bit of my thought about this matter.

 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are temptedhe will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

As a human we are born with a sinful nature from the fall of Adam. In our daily lives we will be faced with any temptation which could bring us into the sin. One important thing that we have to realize is temptation not come from God.  It comes from Satan! Satan brought it into our life. As we know Satan always works hard, continuing to try with many ways to make our fait fall. Moreover, temptation came from the flesh (Old sinful nature) and from the world who would like nothing more than to see a Christian be disobedient.

God really know that we will be tempted. For example, in the garden of Gethsemane shortly before Jesus was arrested, we are witnessing picture of how human are so susceptible controlled by fleshly. Many times Jesus found His disciples so hard to still be awake even for only one hour. Then Jesus said:  “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”(Matthew 26:41) But, what a blessing! Not only know, but God also provides us a means of escape. He will not allow the devil to put any more temptation on us than we can handle. The spirit within us can help us from falling into sin. We need to use caution in what we allow in our lives that could be a source of temptation. So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. (Galatians 5:16-17)

It is important for us to be on guard in our lives for our own protection. Sin is disobedience and God hates sin. We have to choice of whether to take the means of escape or to allow the sin to enter into our life. When we find that we are tempted by something immediately consider our means to run away from the temptation. For simple examples, if it is something we are watching on television, we can turn of the television off or we can change to the other channel which couldn’t bring us to be tempted.  If we have problem with gambling, don’t go to places that provides a means of gambling. For those that are tempted by alcohol, please do not spend time in a club or bar.  I said to my friend the point is not only how many friends who praying for him but the truly point is we should take measures to protect us and keep our distance from everything that could bring temptation. This is about how we endure to face any kind of temptation. We need to remain accountable to God for our actions.

My dear lovely readers, I am totally realized that it is not as easy as turning the palm of our hand. But God gave us the advice to be able to overcome our flesh: “But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life” (Jude 1:20-21) Establish ourselves with a solid foundation, on the basis of faith, praying in the Holy Spirit and continue to diligently maintain ourselves. God knows our primarily problem. Even though our spirits are born again, but our fleshly desires is also not less powerful and trained to always tend to return us to the passions and desires which would dropped us back into sin. We are awarded a Counselor; the Holy Spirit can guide our spirits to be in power within us than our flesh.

Let the spirit ruling in our lives. Pray in the Spirit. It was a powerful weapon to overcome the desires of the flesh. Pray in the Spirit will always be able to strengthen our spirits, continue to establish ourselves until we are able to overcome our weaknesses and conquer all flesh. Even the prayer in the Spirit also able to convey so many things that an unspoken.  In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. (Romans 8:26)

Is there a sin that seems to have a strong hold in our life? Think about the ways in which we could make changes to reduce the possibility of being tempted by that sin. Go to God in prayer today asking forgiveness for any sin we have committed while asking him to help us to keep from all temptation. Also ask to God to us to build a firm foundation. Spend time with Him and with His word. A good Spiritual foundation can give us the tools to keep us from temptation and sin. Amen.

 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41)

Karina

Photo credit: Mount of Temptation at Jericho.palestinephilgrimage.org.uk

Many thanks to sister in Christ Shelly  http://sssorem.wordpress.com for your lovely sugestion on my post.