I have a somber confession to make. All too often I have a distasteful spirit. I allow minor annoyances – truly petty things – to anger me. To sour my mood. Oh how that saddens my Father who loves me and provides so well for me! Never have I missed a meal. Mama’s house where I’ve lived most of my adult life is more than enough. I have time every day to sit with my Father, read His Word and set my joys, hurts and concerns before Him. Then I hear my neighbor’s kids’ music blaring loudly – now that certainly would be a grand stretch of the definition of music… and immediately I turn into a cranky pants. I get all stirred up, thinking unkind thoughts toward “those good-for-nothing kids”, (Yes, it’s true. I called Jesus’ beloved children good-for-nothing…) and all my joy in the Lord is crushed by my self-centered, self-inflicted angst.
Can you relate, brothers and sisters? You get up early to have sweet morning time with your Father, then get caught in a traffic jam and immediately turn irritable. And the truly pathetic truth for me is that deplorable attitude can continue for more hours than I want to admit. I share a cup o’ tea with my Lord, thanking Him for my salvation, sanctification and circumstances, then walk away and let Satan steal my joy. Now that is self-induced enslavement folks!
And how often do you allow your mood to dictate your food?
“He makes me so mad I’m going to eat a bowl of ice cream!”
“She was so rude to me I’m going to hit the drive-thru on my way home from work.”
“Those darn kids make me crazy! I need some sugar!”
There’s no question when the devil has ahold of our heart we make choices in the flesh, not the Spirit.
Romans 8:15-17 clearly assures us we did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back in to fear, but have received the Spirit of adoption as sons and daughters. We are heirs with Christ! We need not be dominated by sin (or fear, or judgement or crankiness…) because we are new creatures. The holiest of Spirits lives within us. So next time you feel anger or annoyance start bubbling up, pray, pray, PRAY!
“Oh gracious Father, forgive me for being so self-absorbed. You clearly instruct me in the fifth chapter of Brother Matthew’s gospel to consider others as more important than myself. ‘Love your enemy, and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.’ Jesus said, ‘for even if you love those who love you… don’t even the tax collectors do the same?’ (Oh my how I have had to cover those rowdy kids next door in prayer!)
As II Kings 6:15-17 reminds me, open my eyes to Your spiritual resources, Lord. Help me to see You, Your blessings, ministry opportunities, the needs of others, so my me-me-me thinking is squelched.
Father, I sure do love You. I want to be an ambassador for You. Unkind or anxious thoughts toward anyone – any circumstances – suggest I have a better idea. (Oh Lord, You know I have lots of good ideas…) Save me, LORD, from enslavement by my fleshly demands and desires. Create in me a clean heart. See if there be any hurtful way in me. Guide me in Your everlasting way.”