Thursday, November 7, 2013

Words of Life ~ Guest Blog

I had been writing out prayers for children. Thought I was finished, but the next morning several more prayers came to mind about different topics.  One was regarding anger: That when we have angry words forming, to quickly give them to God so He can replace them with His words of life. 
To me that is such a free-ing prayer because I remember years past when another person's criticism or angry words toward me could send me reeling.  Unfortunately, the wound would end up taking me to the same place--anger.  My temperament, though, wasn't as prone to express it verbally.  I stuffed it away, feeling that by doing this, I was being the peacemaker. But eventually all the repressed anger was smothering, like grave clothes.  Like gauze wrappings which have been left and grown into the wound.  So when God began to remove them it was very painful. I was losing my method of self-protection.  
But when God begins to move in an area of our lives that needs His truth and freedom, He gives us courage to rely on Him in those temptation moments.  It feels kind of like going down an unmarked path.  You are not certain what you will encounter or find at the end.  But as God gave me heart to immediately pray in the face of angry words for His wisdom, I found that those flaming arrows which normally pierced me, were now glancing off. I was focused on knowing how God wanted me to respond.

Sometimes God would reveal a truth I needed to heart that was hidden within the anger. Sometimes He would help me understand that it was an attack of the enemy and I needed to be still and let Him be my Defender. Sometimes it was to test my willingness to partner in Christ's sufferings.  But most often, it was for me to go against my "peace at any cost" personality, and calmly confront by asking the hard questions:

Why are you angry?  Is what you said really true?  Are you trying to help or to control?  Why do you feel you need to yell or threaten?

Even if my questions were met with more anger, the times that I stopped to listen to what God wanted me to hear from Him, and responded in His will, resulted in the heart peace I had unsuccessfully tried to create on my own. 
Jesus went through many harsh encounters. Sometimes He responded with gentle revelation.  Sometimes commanding.  Sometimes hard-to-hear truth.  But always following the Father's leading.  Always offering words of life.  Even the abuse shouted at Him while suffering on the cross was met with, "Father forgive...."

Any unrighteous anger--whether expressed because of lack of wisdom (James 3:15) or lack of self-control, or repressed because of a false sense of self-control--is extremely destructive, allowing Satan a foothold in our lives. (Ephesians 4:26-27)  Only as the unrighteous anger is given over to God, again and again if needed, can we be Spirit controlled.  Only then does His Spirit empower God's words of life through us. 
~  martha langley