But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Spread your protection over them, that all who love your name may be filled with joy. For you bless the godly, O Lord; you surround them with your shield of love.” Psalms 5:11-12 NLT
When we make the Lord our refuge in times of trouble, we can rest assured that He is with us, He will protect us, and He will provide for us. He is the All Sufficient One! Has life’s circumstances sucked out your joy like a vacuum? Look to God and place the situation in His hands. There is NOTHING that God can’t handle and NOTHING that God won’t walk with you through. His joy can be present in spite of the circumstances. The presence of Jesus in our lives can give us absolute satisfaction that everything is well.
Listen to the story of Horatio Spafford: Horatio G. Spafford was a successful lawyer and businessman in Chicago with a lovely family - a wife, Anna, and five children. However, they were not strangers to tears and tragedy. Their young son died with pneumonia in 1871, and in that same year, much of their business was lost in the great Chicago fire. Yet, God in His mercy and kindness allowed the business to flourish once again. His family had planned a trip. On Nov. 21, 1873, the French ocean liner, Ville du Havre was crossing the Atlantic from the U.S. to Europe with 313 passengers on board. Among the passengers were Mrs. Spafford and their four daughters. Although Mr. Spafford had planned to go with his family, he found it necessary to stay in Chicago to help solve an unexpected business problem. He told his wife he would join her and their children in Europe a few days later. His plan was to take another ship. About four days into the crossing of the Atlantic, the Ville du Harve collided with a powerful, iron-hulled Scottish ship, the Loch Earn. Suddenly, all of those on board were in grave danger. Anna hurriedly brought her four children to the deck. She knelt there with Annie, Margaret Lee, Bessie and Tanetta and prayed that God would spare them if that could be His will, or to make them willing to endure whatever awaited them. Within approximately 12 minutes, the Ville du Harve slipped beneath the dark waters of the Atlantic, carrying with it 226 of the passengers including the four Spafford children. A sailor, rowing a small boat over the spot where the ship went down, spotted a woman floating on a piece of the wreckage. It was Anna, still alive. He pulled her into the boat and they were picked up by another large vessel which, nine days later, landed them in Cardiff, Wales. From there she wired her husband a message which began, "Saved alone, what shall I do?" Mr. Spafford later framed the telegram and placed it in his office. Another of the ship's survivors, Pastor Weiss, later recalled Anna saying, "God gave me four daughters. Now they have been taken from me. Someday I will understand why." Mr. Spafford booked passage on the next available ship and left to join his grieving wife. With the ship about four days out, the captain called Spafford to his cabin and told him they were over the place where his children went down. According to Bertha Spafford Vester, a daughter born after the tragedy, Spafford wrote "It Is Well With My Soul" while on this journey. “When peace like a river attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll, Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, It is well, it is well with my soul.” Is it well with your soul today?
Prayer for today: Father, in Jesus name, I commend all that my life entails into Your Gracious and Merciful care. I love You Lord and I trust You! In Jesus name!!! Amen!
My enemies cannot speak a truthful word. Their deepest desire is to destroy others. Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave. Their tongues are filled with flattery. O God, declare them guilty. Let them be caught in their own traps. Drive them away because of their many sins, for they have rebelled against you.”
Psalms 5:9-10 NLT
David, the king, in dialogue with God, expressed his disgust about his enemies speaking lies. Their mouths were filled with filth. Their intent was the destruction of king David and he felt the sting of their actions. David knew that their actions were evil and deserved God's rebuke. David cried out to God for vindication. He knew that God was his refuge and that God was able to defeat his enemies. When we feel maligned and assaulted by the words of others, we too feel the sting that comes from their words and actions. In these moments, it is easy to resort to taking matters into our own hands to rectify the situation. The best thing we can do is cry out to God and let Him handle the matter. God is able to vindicate us and also put to silence the rhetoric of our enemies. If Satan attempts to topple you with the attacks of others, let God be your protector and promoter. Allowing the enemy to provoke you is the first step to defeat. Give it to God!!
Prayer for today: Father, in Jesus name, I come to You with adoration. You are mighty and merciful!!! Hear my cry today and grant deliverance from those who seek to harm me. Lift up Your standard against them! You are mighty to save!!! I trust in You!! Give me Your peace and comfort this day. In Jesus name! Amen!!
Lead me in the right path, O Lord, or my enemies will conquer me. Make your way plain for me to follow.”
Psalms 5:8 NLT
David, the king of Israel, prays for God’s guidance so that he may not become a captive to his pursuing enemies. He knew that God was his refuge and strength, a strong tower into which he could retreat in the face of attack. In our day to day transactions we need to seek God’s specific guidance in everything. If we lose sight of the path that God has set before us, we will be lead down a path in the wrong direction and we will, ultimately, become a casualty to sin and sinful men. Today, simply apply the truth of this scripture:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT Are you facing a crossroads in your life today? Stop, look, and listen. Pray and ask God for His wisdom and guidance. Ask Him for specific direction. Ask Him to place your steps on the path of His leading. He will guide you if you will only let Him lead. Stop trying to fix things yourself. Haven’t you already made a mess of things? Give things to God and let Him handle them. Have you ever seen the warning on the side of a package that reads "handle with care”? If there was a statement that could be posted on the exterior of your life, I believe it could very well read “handle with prayer”!!
Prayer for today: Heavenly Father, I come to You in Jesus name! Please forgive the sin of trying to direct my own life. I turn to You and relinquish my life into Your gracious hands. Guide my steps and guard my heart for Your glory! In Jesus name I pray! Amen!!
Because of your unfailing love, I can enter your house; I will worship at your Temple with deepest awe.”
Psalms 5:7 NLT
Isn't it great to be able to come before God in worship? In the Old Testament, being able to go to the Temple was the highest honor. Having access into the presence of God is the grandest privilege granted to humanity. To be able to have access to the Creator is, literally, awesome!! We use this adjective so ordinarily that it has lost its true application. Because of God's steadfast love, we are allowed to come to Him. In His love, He has given us His Son! Through the Son, we have access to the Father! We can, now, come boldly into His throne room with confidence. “So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” Hebrews 4:16 NLT He desires for us to commune with Him. “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.” Revelation 3:20 NLT
Do you have time to stop long enough to spend vital time with your creator or are you too busy? Don't let the hustle of life disconnect you from the lifeline of worship and communion with God.
Prayer for today: Father, in Jesus name I come to You! Thank you for receiving me through Your Son, the Lord Jesus Christ! because of You I have natural life and eternal life! Use my life as an offering and a demonstration of worship. May I worship You all my days, in all my ways. In Jesus name, Amen!
O God, you take no pleasure in wickedness; you cannot tolerate the sins of the wicked. Therefore, the proud may not stand in your presence, for you hate all who do evil. You will destroy those who tell lies. The Lord detests murderers and deceivers.”
Psalms 5:4-6 NLT
God is Holy! He is perfect and pure! Sin has no place in His presence. His character cannot abide wickedness. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “God loves the sinner but hates the sin”. This is true, yet not correctly understood and applied. Yes, God loves people. I’m so glad He loves me. How about you? However, God is repulsed by sin and by sinful people. Have you ever loved someone and yet hated their wicked ways? In today’s scripture, we see in verse 5 that the Word of God says “...You hate all who do evil.”
The word “hate” is translated from the Hebrew word “sane” (pronounced “saw-nay”). This Hebrew word means “to be repulsed” or “odious”. Have you ever walked into a room and had the stench of something hit you in the face? If so, it was repulsive and disgusting. This is the idea that the word “sane” is communicating. God is disgusted with wickedness and wicked people. This doesn’t mean that He doesn’t love them. This simply means that He despises the dirty, rotten stench of the sin they are wallowing in. Because of His righteous, Holy character, He cannot accept wickedness or wicked people. We must be very clear in our proclamations concerning sin. God has never accepted sin and never will accept sin!! In fact, because of sin, the sons and daughters of Adam are under a curse and are under God’s angry judgment (wrath). Let me be specifically clear here: God doesn’t take pleasure in the death of the wicked. Ezekiel 33:11 says this: “As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of wicked people. I only want them to turn from their wicked ways so they can live. Turn! Turn from your wickedness, O people of Israel! Why should you die?” Ezekiel 33:11 NLT The reality is this: God is our creator and He is saddened by our sinful condition. His Holy character cannot accept sin. So what do we do? This is the good part! We come to God through the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus was God in a human body (see John 1:1-4; Colossians 1:15-20 and 2:9). God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself. “For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation.” 2 Corinthians 5:19 NLT God, Himself, became one of us (a human - this is called “the incarnation”) and died a substitutionary death in order to redeem us from our wickedness.
We are left with two options:
1. Accept the gift of salvation through Jesus, be forgiven, and live forever. (see John 3:16-17; Romans 6:23; 10:8-10, 13; I John 1:9).
2. Reject this offer of salvation and perish eternally. (see John 3:18; 3:36; Romans 1:18; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10; Hebrews 2:3).
The only hope of reconciliation with God is Jesus Christ!!! (see John 14:6) There is no other way to be made free from wickedness. “And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God’s angry judgment.”” John 3:36 NLT
One last thing. We must not preach and teach that we are now given a license to sin because we are under grace. God’s grace sets us free from sin, not free to sin!! “Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.” Romans 6:14 NLT Wickedness is still abhorred by God! Now that we are forgiven, let us strive to live in honor of our Lord and Master, not in honor of that wicked one called the devil! If we are Christ’s, let’s act like it!! Why shouldn’t we? After all, didn’t he excruciatingly suffer for our sins? Why would we want to flaunt that? “For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.” Galatians 5:13 NLT
Prayer for today: Father, in Jesus name, search me and know my heart. Try me and know my thoughts. See if there is any wickedness in me. Purge me and purity me through the blood of Your only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. By the power of Your Holy Spirit within me, help me live a life of holiness and keep me from the wickedness of this world. In Jesus name, Amen!!
O Lord, hear me as I pray; pay attention to my groaning. Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for I pray to no one but you. Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.” Psalms 5:1-3 NLT
Once again David, the king of Israel, expresses himself to God. He cries out to God in anguish. He groans over the weight of the struggle. His prayer is only to God. He knows that no one else can deliver him from this situation. Not only does he pray to God, he prays to God every morning! David knows that God is listening and that He responds to those who diligently seek Him. Following his prayer he waits expectantly for the answer because he knows that God will respond.
We see several things here:
1. The anguish of David's struggle.
2. The One David prays to.
3. The time of day and how often he prays.
4. The patient expectation of David as he waits on God to respond.
David's anguish drove him to God in prayer. His situational desperation brought him before God.
Many of us wait until despair to turn to God when we should be looking to Him each and every moment of every day. In His mercy, He so often responds to our cries for deliverance. Lamentations 3:22 and 23 speak very clearly about this. “The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.” Lamentations 3:22-23 NLT How often we have used God like a snack vending machine to satisfy our cravings and yet He so mercifully comes to our aid. Deep within, we know that there is no one but God that we can turn to for help. Instinctively, we turn to Him in our most desperate times. There is a problem here. We shouldn't be calling on God only when we think we need Him. In reality, we need Him every moment of our day. We need to ask God to forgive us for using Him like a spare tire to to get us out of our moment of breakdown. Yes, it's good to know that He is patient and loving, but there must be a recognition of our selfish motives and a realignment of our priorities. Each and every morning we should take the time to cry out to God in praise, confession of sin, thanksgiving for His benevolent provision, and the trust of our daily concerns into His hands. There is a prayer outline that goes like this:
A - Adoration
C - Confession
T - Thanksgiving
S - Supplications
When we pray, we must wait on the Lord to answer. We cannot place something in God's hands and then yank it back because He was "too slow" to respond. We are impatient people, especially here in America. We are so used to having our way that we expect God to respond to our prayers like the wave of a magic wand. We must wait on God to respond in His infinite, omniscient way. He knows what is right and best.
“The Lord is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him. So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the Lord. And it is good for people to submit at an early age to the yoke of his discipline:”
Lamentations 3:25-27 NLT “Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.” Psalms 27:14 NLT In your day to day transactions, try a simple, yet profound practice. Before making a move on something that you need wisdom and direction concerning, simply pray! Once you pray, wait until you hear from God before acting. This will save a lot of unnecessary anguish in your life. Let me give an example: How many of you have gone to the dealership to purchase a new car? Perhaps you needed more reliable transportation. Perhaps you just wanted the latest and greatest. Perhaps you like the thrill of new stuff! In that situation, did you ever stop to pray over your consideration before you signed on the dotted line? When you bought that new car, did you ever have buyers remorse once the payments started? It's so easy to get ourselves into something and so hard to get out. How many issues have we created for ourselves all because we didn't have a regular prayer life that lifted us up out of the mire and muck of the culture to help us see things from God's perspective. Today, no matter where you are or what mistakes you've made, start praying to God over everything in every day. Watch the transformation that will occur. God is mercifully and patiently waiting for you to come dine with Him. After all, He is your Father! He desires your fellowship and He longs to help you and deliver you from the anguish of the struggle.
Prayer for today: Father, in Jesus name, I humbly bow before You! You are the One and only Lord! There is no one like You! Forgive my selfish motives and cleanse me from sin. Help me develop a relationship with You that is constant and devoted. Give me Your heart on each and every matter of my life. I trust in You. I love You! In Jesus Holy Name, Amen!
“In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe.”
Psalms 4:8 NLT
A troubled mind can be distressing. Worries can disrupt our ability to simply be at peace. Trusting God with our lives is the key to peace. David, the king of Israel, placed all of his troubles into the hands of God. David was able to lie down and sleep because he knew that God was watching over him. He gave all of his burdens to God! Is something keeping you up at night? Are you troubled and burdened about things in your life? Place all of your troubles into the hands of God. Take a moment today to quiet yourself in the presence of God and pray. Accept His rest and experience His peace. Worry has caused many of us to loose a good nights sleep and it has taken its toll on our lives. God has given us the benefit of sleep for our own good health. Sleep is the body's best friend. When we sleep our bodies heal from infirmities, rejuvenate from the exactions of the day, and it allows us to face a new day with fresh vigor. Are you trying to fix your problems? Are you perplexed about circumstances that seem out of control? Are you so captured by the worries of life that you can't sleep good at night? Tribulations are a natural part of this fallen state of life. Some troubles come that we have no control over. Some troubles come because of decisions regretfully made. Regardless of the reason, troubles weigh us down and try to bury us beneath them. Don't allow your problems to bury you. Turn to Jesus and let His Resurrection power raise you up from the grave of worry. Jesus told us this in John 16:33: “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”” John 16:33 NLT Give your burdens to the Lord and leave them there. He is able to handle them. He is able to do what we cannot do. Stop letting the devil defeat you. You are a victor, not a victim. He is your Lord and He cares for you. Ask Him to take your troubles and worries and put the pieces back together. He can take your situation and work a miracle. Let him!! Do you remember the nursery rhyme called "Humpty Dumpty"? It goes something like this: Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall. Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. All the kings horsemen and all the kings men couldn't put Humpty Dumpty back together again". Apparently, Humpty Dumpty was an egg or shell of some kind. When he fell, he shattered in many pieces. No one could pick him up and put him back together again. Even if they tried, they couldn't heal the cracks and the abnormalities. I like to use this nursery rhyme in my sermons from time to time. I like to introduce a Christian version of the story. Here it is: "Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall. Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. All the kings horsemen and all the kings men couldn't put Humpty Dumpty back together again. Humpty Dumpty cried out to God in his moment of despair and along came Jesus. Jesus picked up Humpty Dumpty's pieces and mercifully put them back together again. He healed him of his hurts and sat him back up on the wall". I am delighted to proclaim that God can pick up all of Humpty Dumpty's (your) pieces and put them back together again. He can heal the cracks and make you new. He can restore you to your place on top of the wall. Bring all of your cares to God. He cares for you. "Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” 1 Peter 5:7 NLT Rest in Him today and everyday from now on. “Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28 NLT Prayer for today: Father, I come to You in the name of Jesus! I bring all of my troubles and worries. I lay them at Your feet. Take them and make me whole again. I receive Your peace and I receive Your rest. In Jesus name! Amen!
Many people say, “Who will show us better times?” Let your face smile on us, Lord. You have given me greater joy than those who have abundant harvests of grain and new wine.”
Psalms 4:6-7 NLT
Have you ever been at a place in your life when you felt like goodness was a mirage that only disappeared when you thought you had reached it? The psalmist seems to express that very sentiment about some of the people of his time. It is easy to be become pessimistic about life but we must resist that temptation. The way to do this is to look to the Lord and allow His joy to fill our soul. Joy and happiness are not the same. Happiness is directly linked to things that are "happening". When circumstances are good it is easy to be "happy". When circumstances are not good it is easy to be sad and discouraged. "Joy", on the other hand, is not dependent upon circumstances. Joy is an inward characteristic that comes from having the presence of God in our lives. In Galatians 5:22, Paul refers to nine fruit that are borne forth in our lives when the Holy Spirit is in us. "Joy" is second on the list. Joy has to do with our relationship with God, not the circumstances of life. Joy is an inner contentment that gives us absolute assurance and confidence that God is with us and that He is able to raise us up out of the despair of this world. James admonishes us to consider our difficulties as opportunities for joy. “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” James 1:2-4 NLT Impossibilities with man are opportunities to God. I once read a statement in a room where a board meeting was being held by a Christian organization I serve. The statement, in essence, read: "The key to a happy life is a surrendered will". This isn't the exact quote, but it is the precise point it was making. The statement struck me and I have not forgotten it. There are many circumstances in life that challenge us. Our perception of these circumstances and our reaction to them is vital to our ability to maintain the proper view of the goodness of God. God is good!!! He always has been!!! He always will be!!! Sure, life isn't fair at times. We must remember that we are in a fallen world and battling Satan and his minions. We are green card carrying citizens of another country called "The New Jerusalem" (Heaven - see Revelation 21-22). Regardless of the situation in this life, God is our refuge of goodness. Without Him, life is hopelessly lost in despair, but with Him, life is hopeful and the best is yet to come. I must take a moment here and testify. I am so blessed that God has helped me bear up beneath the load of life's circumstances that I have faced. Because of His Holy presence, I have been able to see beyond the present. He is my source of absolute contentment. His joy floods my soul. His love comforts me. His peace settles me. Can I get a witness?? Somebody go ahead and testify? Do I hear some Amens? Go ahead and verbalize your praise. Stomp on the devils head in Jesus name! Put on the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. “To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory.” Isaiah 61:3 NLT Lift up your head, child of God.
He is with you and He is Good!
One last thing: Joy is best experienced in this way:
J - Jesus
O - Others
Y - Yourself
Prayer for today: Heavenly Father, in Jesus name , I come to you today. Help me see life through Your good eyes. Help me not get caught in the trap of pessimism that Satan has laid before me. By Your Holy Spirit, help me see through the temporary circumstances of life to the eternal things You have promised! I thank You for Your lovingkindness that is better than life itself. In the Most Holy Name of Jesus I pray! Amen!
Offer sacrifices in the right spirit, and trust the Lord.”
Psalms 4:5 NLT
Whatever we do in our lives, we must do it with a righteous spirit. Anything we do with the wrong motive is unacceptable to God. God looks into the depths of our spirit and sees our motivations. We can appear to men as religious and devoted but God knows our true intent. Simply going through the motions doesn’t mean that we are righteous. Religious ritual and ceremony are empty and void without a heart that is right toward God. So many in churches of our time are going through their traditional, religious motions thinking that they have fulfilled their duty before God simply because they have attended a service, given an offering of some kind, sang along with a song, or recited a prayer. Brothers and sisters, let me be so bold as to say that it’s all meaningless if Jesus isn’t truly Lord of our hearts. Everything we do must be motivated out of our desire to please God. I’m not referring to trying to be good enough. We are not good enough. Let me be abundantly clear about one thing. Only Jesus can atone for our sins. We cannot please God with our attempts to save ourselves. We are inadequate to accomplish that. Jesus has accomplished salvation for those who come to God through Him (see John 14:6; Acts 4:12; Ephesians 2:8-10; I Timothy 2:5; Titus 3:5). What I am referring to is a conscientiousness in all that we do, practically. Positionally, we are made right with God through His Son, Jesus Christ. Practically, we must strive to please our Lord and Master. In everything we do, let us strive to honor and exalt Him. Serving God is an act of worship. Somehow, we have become confused about worship and serving. We have classified these two in separate categories. May I submit to you that they are in the same category. Worship isn’t a certain place and time at a building we call church. Yes, we gather corporately to worship as the local body of the church. We should be in this practice regularly. I believe in the assembly of the church. (see Hebrews 10:25 and Acts 2:42-47; 4:32-37). However, I believe we cannot separate worship from anything we do. Everything we do in life is a act of worship. In all that we do, we should be doing it for the glory of God. “And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.” Colossians 3:17 NLT
Worship is truly on display when we are mowing the lawn, doing the dishes, working on our jobs, going to church, serving in positions within the church, loving our spouse, rearing our children, etc.. If we only “worship” when we go to a religious gathering, we have missed the boat. We should be worshiping all through the week. Then, when we gather corporately to worship, we will experience the genuine presence of God among us. God will be pleased! Let’s break out of our molds of canned religious format, ritual, and ceremony. Let’s truly lavish our love upon Christ Jesus our Lord each and every day! Let’s offer righteous sacrifices to God. “Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name.” Hebrews 13:15 NLT “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.” Romans 12:1 NLT
Prayer for today:
Father, in Jesus name, help me live my life in worship to Your Holy Name in all that I do!
“Don’t sin by letting anger control you. Think about it overnight and remain silent.”
Psalms 4:4 NLT
When someone says things that slander our character or when something happens that upsets us, we are naturally motivated to anger. Anger is a part of our carnal, sinful existence. As long as we are in these mortal bodies and living in this wicked world, we will have to deal with the issue of anger. We cannot escape its reality. We must learn how to deal with our anger in a biblical, godly way. Offenses will, inevitably, come. Challenges of life will sorely try us. What we do with our anger is key. When someone, or something, provokes us to anger, we must pause for a moment, pray in that moment, and ask the Holy Spirit to take control of our feelings and actions. Many times, when we are angered, we spontaneously react without contemplation. We react impulsively without regard for what is righteous. In that moment of hurt or frustration we simply want to gratify our flesh. This is where we make a grave mistake. Listening to our flesh is the pathway of evil. “Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.” James 1:19-20 NLT “Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.” Romans 8:5-8 NLT Now, let's consider the fact that anger is a response mechanism that can be harnessed for good or unleashed for evil. Being angry over an injustice is certainly natural and appropriate. Anger is a motivator. The problem is sin. What we do with that anger is the whole kit and caboodle. “And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry,” Ephesians 4:26 NLT Knowing how to submit our anger to the righteous leadership of the Holy Spirit is the heart of the matter. We will, without doubt, be angered in our lives by what people do or by things that happen circumstantially. It behoves us to learn how to deal with this. It is imperative. If we do not, we will develop a habit of unrighteous conduct that will produce certain disaster and, generational dysfunction. We must not allow anger to harbor in our hearts when we lie down at night to rest. We must learn to deal with it promptly. All the way back to Genesis 4, where Cain killed his brother Abel, we see what anger accomplished and the massive generational issues humanity has had to endure since. This is all because of the sin of our ancestors Adam and Eve. The only way to overcome this is through the power of Jesus Christ! By our submission to His Holy Spirit, we can break the chains of darkness by which evil tries to shackle us. Today, if you are feeling angry over something, or at someone, submit to Jesus and let him answer the door when the devil comes knocking. I guarantee you, upon the authority of His Holy Name, that Satan will tuck his tail and run. “So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7 NLT However, if you decide to answer the door instead, trouble is on the way. Stop today. Pray! Ask Jesus to take your anger and submit it to His righteousness! If you do, the outcome will be right and blessed. “So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.” Galatians 5:16 NLT
Prayer for today: Heavenly Father, take control of my spirit today and help me walk in the Holy Spirit. I need you to take my anger and place it beneath Your righteous character. In Jesus name. Amen!!
Rev. Curtis Norris