At this point in your life, you are probably aware of some of the things that really push your buttons. Everyone has triggers and “no fly” zones within themselves and even the most laid back person will eventually come out swinging when the pressure becomes too much to bear any longer. Welcome to being human! You are made in the image of God and certainly there are plenty of instances in the Bible that show the Lord has an emotional composition that includes anger. But experiencing the emotional feeling of being angry with people is not the same thing as living a life controlled by anger.
The biggest difference between the anger we experience is that the anger of the Lord is holy and righteous and directed at sin, not the sinner. In the book of Ephesians, Paul was clear that it is alright to “ben angry”, but he also said that anger must not lead to sin. (Eph. 4:26) Anger gives the enemy your spiritual permission to operate in a position of influence over your mind because he has legal access to any and all darkness that we operate within. That is where anger turns into “(D)anger”!
Anger is One Letter Away from (D)anger!
Paul told the church there that anger would give a “foothold” to the devil (Ephesians 4:27 NLT) in your life. So, unless your anger is perfectly righteous, like God’s, directed at sin and not at the sinner, then it is an area of darkness that gives Satan access to you in every other area as well. (D)ANGER!! But let’s get real- sometimes being angry at people is justified. Sometimes people are jerks. There is injustice in the world. There is turmoil. There is unprovoked conflict. You’ll be mistreated, misrepresented, mocked, rejected and more. You have plenty of reasons to be angry! But while anger is a natural emotion, you’re called to “walk by faith”, which is a supernatural state of being. Your human condition and your spiritual condition will always be in battle over these issues.
Ephesians 4:31-32 reveals two important steps to getting your anger under control. The first step is releasing your anger to the Lord. You may have to do this second by second for a while as Satan starts to realize you will not give him any more access through anger. “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, outbursts, and blasphemies, with all malice, be taken away from you,” Paul wrote.
The second step is this: “And be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you.” This is an entirely separate step. The first step is allowing God to have His way, which addresses the spiritual side of you and the second step is you proactively taking action to get your emotions under control and obediently and humbly behaving in a manner that reflects your understanding of what God has done for you, knowing that you must do the same for another, regardless of circumstance– which addresses the natural side of you. This is a journey, a process! This may include seeking help from a counselor, seeking deliverance and addressing pain from your past.
The Painful Process of Praise
So what does this have to do with worship? Everything! Colossians 3:1-2 says, “…you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” True praise and worship are ministry to the Lord, and are exclusively God-centered. If you develop a lifestyle of worship, and discipline and train your spirit, mind and body to turn to the Lord in worship during difficult times, and continually release your burdens to the Lord in prayer and know Him more through His Word, your emotions will start to fall in line under the spiritual power and authority of the presence of God! Imagine a life where your mind is so deeply fixated on the exaltation of the Lord, where you spend so much time in His presence, that nothing else matters?
1 John 1:5-6 says, “God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, yet walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.” If you want to walk in the light, where God is – get into His presence!! Worship is what will bring you there. The truth is, unless your anger is perfectly righteous, like God’s, directed at sin and not at the sinner, then it is an area of darkness that gives Satan access to you in every other area as well. (D)ANGER!! Don’t expect this will be an overnight process, but also don’t just throw up your hands and assume what you’re feeling is beyond your control. That’s a lie! We who are in Christ must “walk by faith and not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7) – even if we have to force ourselves to act in a way that is completely opposite of what is literally happening. Welcome to the life of faith!
Thought for today: Real Christians are Real People
You were called to walk in freedom! That is what Jesus paid for. But God will never wrench things out of your grip that you insist on holding onto. Hebrews 12:1 says that we must “lay aside every weight and sin” that we carry. That is our responsibility. God will take whatever it is that you can throw at Him- all your ugly, all your anger and disappointment, rage, bitterness, unforgiveness, your pain and everything else, but you must choose to release it. And you may have to do it more than once.
Take a few moments and read Psalm 109 today and you’ll see the utter rage and anger David was experiencing. Notice how he began and ended his angry complaint – with worship. You don’t need to stuff your anger, you need to get rid of it. Relying on how you feel is shifting sand and you’ll always be unsteady in your faith if you don’t plant yourself upon the Rock of your Salvation. Give it to God- every, single second, as many times as it takes, if you need to. Get into the Word and declare it. Pray for those who have mistreated you, and then get into His presence and fix your mind on Him in praise every single moment you feel anger rise up again and then… move on with your life.
YOU are Called by God to Walk in Freedom! Continue Your Journey Here:
- “Unshackled From Your Own Chains”
- “The Ugly Truth: What Does it REALLY Look Like to Truly Deny Yourself?”
- “Bearing Up Under the Weight of Taking Up Your Cross”
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