Galatians 5:16-26, James 3:16
God is telling us what He doesn’t like. I like how it is put “the flesh and its passions” are to be put on the cross. But do you know what we pick up when we put our fleshly passion aside??? We get the fullness of joy from God our Father! We get and understand Jesus’ passion and then we can effectively move forward as God wills. That’s revolutionary to me – when you put down your selfish ambitions, hatred, greed, envy, basically an unwelcome tempest of negative emotions, we get to pick up the gifts of the Spirit.
These are fruits which must be grown – you don’t plant a perfectly good pear. You eat it and then plant the seed. We pick up the seeds of the Spirit by putting down the full grown fruits of the flesh. These fruits are rotten, gross, not fulfilling, and addictive to a point of control. While the fruits of the Spirit are ripe, good for eating, healthy, filling, and addictive to the point of growth in Christ.
I’ve been studying the Daniel Plan and they say (and I can attest) to when you get rid of the man-made foods and enjoy God-made foods you stop craving the old and begin to crave that which was meant for your body. Then as a result, you have more energy, you feel better, you think more clearly, your soul controls your body not your body controlling your movements.
If it applies to the physical, it applies to the spiritual and vice versa. I was talking with a friend a couple weeks ago at dance and he said “I can see my blood vessels.” Being science-minded I was intrigued and asked him what he meant. He began to explain all the anatomy behind it and it clicked in my head and I said “that makes sense!” He astounded me with his simple and yet profound statement “God doesn’t make things that don’t make sense. Everything He makes has order and make sense.
So when we start to feel these negative emotions, we have to take it to God before they consume you and control your life. At the WOW meeting, Stephanie talked about how those who do things through God’s power not their own bring everything, every situation to God. When we begin to feel those childish behaviors start to rise, go and orient your Spirit at Jesus’ feet. Tell Him exactly what you’re feeling – Jesus did and there was no sin found in Him. There is no sin in going to Christ and saying “My emotions are getting in the way. I want to do your will and love people but Lord they are frustrating me. Grant me grace and patience to get through this current situation without tainting your Word, your testimony, your Name.” Jesus went to the Father saying, if it all possible take this from me but nevertheless let your will be done. In Him, Jesus, there was no sin so therefore it is not a sin to go to God with your ugly feelings. He already knows they are there, there is no sense in hiding them from Him and showing them to everyone else. Why not show them to God and hide them from others so that God can deal with them?
It isn’t being fake to hide your frustration from them. That’s called being mature. You don’t go up to someone and say “I’m frustrated with you” in front of all their/your friends. No, that is just gossiping with them there.
Instead we go to Jesus and ask the Lord for strength to not be overcome by the negative emotions. We don’t want o be overcome by jealousy, greed, anger, or selfishness. Well we shouldn’t want that, as those are not pleasing in God’s sight. Without faith, it is impossible to please God and those are not operating out of faith. Faith would be “Lord, you are my provider and I don’t have to want their stuff or need more money. What you have provided, that is sufficient for me.” Faith would not be angry but rather “Lord, you have ordained my steps. You tell me which way to go and this person operating in a spirit of ugliness is just an attack of the enemy.” Faith is not wanting things only for oneself. But rather “Lord, bless them. Even if you have ordained in Your will for my blessing to come later. Bless them. Let them receive their promise to build their faith for I know that your word doesn’t return to you void and your promises are going to come to pass in my life eventually, but Lord thank you for their timely blessing.”
But without us recognizing what they are, we may never know we have an issue. Sometimes it is us looking at the mirror of our souls and hearts to see the hidden places in them. Sometimes it is our families, who see us at our worst and best, who see when we are operating in the Spirit and when we are in full-flesh mode. Sometimes it is our close friends, who can wound us and it still be better than kisses from an enemy. And then there is the word of knowledge. This is a sticky issue, and needs to be done discreetly.