I am learning an ongoing lesson. Have you ever been really angry at someone for good reasons and then God said don’t? The last couple of days I have been angry and felt completely justified in my anger but this morning-God said: I was not to be provoked.
1 Cor 13: 4-7 “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
I said: “I am just really angry.”
He said: “Be angry and not sin.”
I said: “How in the world am I to do that? ”
He said: “Is your anger righteous anger or selfish anger?”
I said: “I am sure it is selfish however it sure does feel right.”
So I called my prayer partner and said… how in the world do I not be provoked? She said I already knew because I was convicted of it. That I had to completely surrender my will to God’s will. I said but then I will have to give up my anger. Yep. I said that means I have to crucify my flesh and it hurts and I don’t like it.
She said… tell it to Him. Then she said this… you have a CHOICE, you can choose to be disobedient and stay angry and continue being miserable in your situation or you can choose to submit to Him and allow Him to enable you to give up your anger and show love. He will then work through you in the middle of your situation.
I will tell you this is hard but I chose to say: “God I can’t do this alone but You have said… I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Whatever He convicts us of, He is more than capable of enabling us to do the right thing instead.
Remember I said this is an ongoing lesson… because I can’t choose to not be angry just once. Every time I am reminded of the situation or confront the same issues I will have to choose in that moment to let go and let God love through me.
If I am showing love I cannot hold on to anger. Also this morning in my prayers, He really reminded me that Love does not keep a record of wrongs… 1 Cor 13. If I am to love as He loves then I cannot hold on to those past grievances. God may not take me out of my present circumstances and things may not change with this person but He didn’t tell me to love dependent on their performance, he said that a friend loves at ALL times.
Just like we are to forgive 70 x 7, I will have to give over my attitude just that many times… indefinitely. Otherwise I am choosing willingly to be disobedient to God, thumbing my nose at Him and He will not use me. I want to be a willing vessel fit for use for the Master.
Lord, today I choose to release my right to be angry, to release my bad attitude and to embrace Your love. I pray that Your Spirit which is IN me will enable me to love those who may be unlovely at the moment. Lord, Your grace is sufficient for the moment I am in, remind me to stay in that moment and to entrust ALL things, ALL circumstances, and ALL my feelings into Your care and to TRUST You to work. In Jesus Name, Amen.