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. The difference is that the anger of the Lord is holy and righteous and directed at sin, not the sinner whereas we become angry for all kinds of reasons, most of which are not at all godly!
In the book of Ephesians, Paul told the church there that anger would give a “foothold” to the devil (Ephesians 4:27 NLT). Anger is an open door that allows Satan access to you. Anger gives the enemy your 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. 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!! 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!!
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.
Anger gives the enemy your 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.
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 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.
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
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, exclusively God-centered. If you develop a lifestyle of worship, where you’ve trained your spirit, mind and body to turn to the Lord in worship during difficult times, 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?
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. Give it to God. 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 every single moment you feel it rise up again and move on with your life.
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