Slugging it Out

sweet_temptation

I can’t really explain how this thing works or how it begins.  I mean I have read the books and been privy to some very good teaching on the subject.  Heck, I’ve even taught a few lessons myself.  None of that really helps right now though because even though I know what to do, there remains a stubborn inner desire to experience the release and the estacy that erupts when I let lust run its course.  I feel like I’m slugging it out everyday just to survive.

Honestly, I do have accountability partners and I do know how to pray and fast but none of that removes the taste, the desire, the inner drive to let my flesh have its way.  At times its so dibelitating and confining.  It shapes what I do or what I plan to do and it makes me feel so empty, so guilty and ashamed.  I know that I have the cross of Christ to bear my burdens and I also know that His helping hand is just a prayer away, but for some reason the need remains ever present.  It’s like a fungus that just grows and grows no matter how I try and clean and scrub and sterilize things.  It just keeps coming back and I for one feel so foolish having to constantly ask for forgiveness.  But I do anyway because I want to live and not die beyond His grace. I have to keep slugging it out!

I do understand that God’s grace is sufficent for all my needs, for my every weakness, but I really do want to stand on my feet and hold my ground for once.  I want to walk away from it and know that I got the victory, that I didn’t bend or break, that I held fast to His unchanging hand through my temptation.  I want to be as strong as Christ was when He was tempted in the wolderness.  I want to be like Him and refuse to give in to the tempatations that were presented.  He is my hero and I mean that in a real way.  He suffered so much but He made it through and sometimes He made it look so easy.  I know, I know, He was God manifest in flesh but He was also very human thanks to Mary.

I’m just venting tonight because I’m tired of losing and coming up short.  I believe I am more than a conquerer.  I just have to learn to be more like Him and trust Him.  I have to keep slugging it out no matter the cost.  Actually as I sit and contemplate this even more I realize that what it comes down to is a slug fest, a brawl, a knock down, drag out fight to the finish.  It’s not about playing nice or being honorable with my opponent.  I can’t fight fair in this thing.  I can’t afford to.  I have to utilize everything at my desposal.  I can’t even take prisoners!  It just too dangerous to let anyone but me survive this fight.  This I believe is the mental attitude I have to have.  I have to think this way because if I only approach the fight in a half hearted way, myy enemy will see my weakness and rip me a new one.  I already have enough of those and don’t care for any more.

So yes, I may be down for now but I am definitely not out. I have to keep slugging it out. I have to go nuclear.  I have to use all the weapons God has made available to me.  This is what I haven’t been doing.  I have been making assumptions about my future based on past victories.  I believe this was a grave error on my part.  Everyday is a new day and lessons are learned afresh.  I have to change my mind set to break from the past notions that what I achieved before is sufficient high ground for me to stand upon today.  I cannot fight tomorrow’s war with my flesh using my past victories.  Don’t get me wrong.  Past victories are very motivating and help me remember that He who delivered me before yet reigns and is able to do so again.  But I have to make new commitments, new promises to myself and new affirmations that I can live victoriously through Christ. So I will continue to slug it out and survive even though I may fall from time to time.

I know that my Savior lives.  I just have to make sure I act like that every day.

Control Your Anger

Control your anger 5Control Your Anger

Once the words leave our mouth…well, it’s just too late.  What’s said is said and you can’t, contrary to popular belief, take it back.  You might wish you could but it’s not possible.  The damage that can be done with unguarded lips and a loose tongue can be devastating!  Indeed, loose lips sink ships is a truism if ever there was one!

I know I’m not the only one who has spoken in anger and caused hurt to someone else.  It happens every day and in almost every setting from the Church to the office space.  And yes, people get hurt in the church every Sunday!!  The tongue is a powerful weapon and if wielded in anger it can destroy people’s lives.  The tongue is such a small thing too.  For most of the day, unless you’re a yapper, the tongue is hidden from view.  You never see it except when you’re blessing or cursing something or someone!!  Yet look at the damage that the tongue can inflict.  Marriages end, companies go bankrupt, and countries go to war all over the spoken word.  Failure to control your anger could be the number one health issue affecting your life.

I firmly believe what the Bible teaches about our words.  Our words, when spoken in faith, have creative ability and power.  We can literally speak things into existence and we often do without thinking.  If I wake up in the morning and curse the day because I’m tired and don’t want to go to work, guess what my day is going to look like?  If I say to myself that I will never get this job right or this relationship right or articulate any other negative statement about my present reality that is exactly what I am going to get!  My words are setting up an environment of failure when I seed the 4th dimension with negativity.  Remember that old commercial that said “you are what you eat”?  Well, in many ways you are what you say too!

My words, spoken carelessly over my own life, provide the material for the spirit or SpiritControl your anger 3 to work with; therefore, I always try to speak in the affirmative.  This is how I control my Anger.  I want to declare good things for my life and for that of my family.  But, if I get angry and give my tongue full license to act, I am sabotaging myself or someone else.  I believe this is why the Bible teaches us to be angry but don’t sin and not to let the sun go down on our wrath (Eph 4:26-27).  The sin comes from the harm we do to others when we speak out and fail to control our anger.  We should always strive to repair whatever hurt our words cause and do so before the day ends.

But boy is this hard or what!  I won’t go full spectrum bible here but we have to be wise as serpents but harmless as doves.  We have to guard our mouths and watch what we say even when our tempers get the best of us.  You could cripple someone’s dream by speaking poisonous words over their life.  Anger I believe is a mechanism for corruption.  When I say that what I mean is that anger, while it is a very human emotion, makes it easier to destroy.  Anger makes it so much easier to dish out the baser elements of our nature.  It provides a cloak for actions that are designed to maim or destroy.  Anger is not a creative gift but one of destruction.

So if we are able to control our tongues we are able to control a great deal of power.  The key is expression.  If I get angry, my immediate task is to pause, breath, and reflect.  Controlling anger is about two things in my opinion: Timing and connection.  If you release your anger as soon as that spark ignites, you will lose the benefit of timing and spit something out that will create havoc.  But if you slow down you allow enough time and space to give the second controlling component a chance to become active.  That second component is a living connection.  What I mean by this is your connection to God’s Spirit.  God will give you perfect peace if your mind and thoughts are focused on Him (Isa 26:2-4)

Control your anger 4So perhaps the ultimate goal is to work on forming a habit which incorporates those two components.  Try to take a moment each morning to actively think on good things, to focus on His peace and relax.  On your lunch breaks, actively pause and dedicate some time to focus on your breathing, to slowing down, to listening for God’s voice in the peace that follows.  Actively think about counting out to ten as an exercise when your hand first hits the door leaving or arriving to your home.  Make this a practice every morning or evening for 21 days and controlling your anger will be a natural habit!!