Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Stop it, drop it, and pray

Recently I wrote of being increasingly aware of my sinful heart's condition. It is one of the seasons, where the Lord starts to highlight areas He wants to work on us and purify us. For me, and I'm assuming others, it always start with an increased awareness of my own 'wretchedness'. It is seeing the sin in my life, that I cry out for relief and help to clean up this area, yet the Lord usually takes a while to respond.
He lets me get very uncomfortable and down-right desperate for His touch in that area of compromise, He also lets me try all my own good ideas first and lets them fail also. Then, when I'm good and ready for Him, He shows up and gives me some insight.
Well one of the areas I am dealing with is anger. I seem to suddenly have a lot of it, and I don't remember having much in the past. Little things tip it off, and before I know it I'm almost seething inside for no apparent reason. I hold a lot of what I'm thinking inside, so when I say this, people are mostly shocked, but it is the truth. I have anger issues, yes I do.
I have also been trying to figure out what to do about it. Asking the Lord to give me more patience, wisdom, and love hasn't seem to answer the need. I've asked Him to give me a happy heart, a heart that is content, and a whole host of other things which I thought would be the remedy, but I'm still dealing with flare ups of rage almost daily.
So I cried out for the Lord to break in and have His way with me, whatever needs to happen, do it! I was brought to this breaking point after having house guests for three weekends in a row. If that doesn't tip the scales of 'I'm in control and can figure this out on my own' to 'I'm a poor miserable wretch who needs You'.
I was so anxious and frustrated in my heart by the time I got to the prayer room the morning after the last set of house guests left, that I was almost physically sick. So I told the Lord that I needed His touch if I was going to be any use to anyone. I waited, and waited, and waited, and refused to be satisfied until I felt Him. So He came and touched me, and it was tangible.
I could feel His peace wash from the top of my head and work it's way into my heart. In all of 5 minutes, my heart was calm, I was thinking clearly and I felt such happiness and contentment, I cried, just a little, and then I said, Lord what did you do?
That is when the answer to my anger was revealed. It was rooted in fear. That is what my anxiousness was about too, fear. I'm  not entirely sure what specific kind of fear, but just fear of something, and I know that fear is never from the Lord. This fear had been driving me to go, do, be and live beyond my own strength and therefore I was exhausted and anxious.
So He told me what the anger was from, but not how to deal with it. Several days passed before Holy Spirit showed me how to overcome that fear and anxiety.
I was cooking dinner and my two year old came to me and ask me to look at something. I brushed her off, like usual, because I was way too busy with dinner to stop for her. She wailed in protest and kept at me, and the anger came., In the next moment, Holy Spirit whispered, stop, you have time to spend with your daughter. I protested a little to that suggestion, but then I saw my foolishness and stopped cooking, went to the living room and spent a few minutes with my daughter. I also prayed in the Spirit against that spirit of fear in me, and spoke truth to myself. Truth casts out all fear.
After, I went back to making dinner, it was finished on time, and I had a happier heart at the end of cooking than when I had began.
So that is my story for today. If there is something in your life that is causing compromise, like anger, ask the Lord what to do about it. Wait for Him to actually answer, because He will, and then walk it out. He may tell you what it is and then take a couple of days to show you how to actually walk out the solution, but He will supply you with what you need to overcome any struggles in your life. Trust Him for the answer and be encouraged, you are dearly loved by the Lord Jesus!

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