For those of us who enjoy basking in the Presence of the Lord, especially accompanied with high praise and worship, having to leave that special moment is usually something that we don’t want to do. It’s amazing how some of the greatest encounters with God are followed by such intense spiritual warfare. Defending our faith, resisting the enemy, and simultaneously attempting to apply the Word to our lives is taxing. It’s in those weak vulnerabilities that underlying issues and wounds try to surface. One specific area to surrender to God during conflict (natural or spiritual) is anger. If you are like me, you probably do not seek out confrontation. In fact you probably avoid it for as long as possible. What I am finding is that this avoidance of confrontation is very deceptive when viewed as a viable solution or strategy to persistent problems. It has the appearance of being the Godly approach, but is often a veil for fear, doubt, and procrastination – none of which are Godly.
The Bible says, “Be angry and do not sin.” So, without proper understanding of how to apply this principle, we do nothing….but be angry. Being inactive and angry doesn’t help the situation, yourself, or anyone else. This stance actually leaves you vulnerable to the whims and manipulation of the enemy. There is no example of Jesus behaving this way. He confronted the money changers with a whip! He called out and openly rebuked Pharisees. Most notably, He put demons and infirmity on the run. But what about, “turning the other cheek”? Turning the other cheek actually refers to extending grace and compassion towards those who momentarily express their weakness through anger. It does not mean that we are called to be doormats subjected to abuse and mean spirited behavior towards us. It also means to surrender the response of retaliation to provocation. Let’s face it, if the enemy cannot control us directly by enticing us to sin, then he will work through people around us to attempt to steal our joy, peace, faith, and anything else he can get access to. This is why we are admonished to “guard our hearts,” and to, “having done all to stand, stand therefore.” Our position as believers is to uphold and apply our Christian values at every turn, not giving opportunity to the flesh or the evil one. Is this easy to do? Not at first, it takes practice and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit within us to live this way.
Watching this cute baby panda video I had a revelation of the Father’s perception of us. I was having a particularly grumpy day because things didn’t go the way I expected. I was trying to be Godly in my response to the day’s challenges, but at the core I was annoyed and felt like things were unfair. I tried to acknowledge the good things that God was doing, but the irritation kept trying to creep in. Spoiler Alert: When I saw how cute the baby panda reaction was to the toys being taken away, it was hilarious and adorable to see, even though the panda didn’t feel that way. All the while, there I was reacting the same way because of a minor challenge that God already had the solution for. I was so serious , even in my attempt to surrender my feelings to Him, but He probably thought it was hilarious.! He was probably saying, “Awww, look at My child flipping out, she has no idea that I have already taken care of this issue. She is going to be amazed at the peace that I give her!” His love surpasses knowledge, that I know right well… that is the sentiment of the psalmist and now I am starting to understand what this means. God created everything and called it good. This is something to remind ourselves even when we don’t particularly feel like we are reflecting His goodness. This doesn’t mean that He enjoys sinful actions or attitudes, but when we surrender it to Him, even in our struggles and battles He views us with love and compassion, as our Heavenly Father watches His adorable child “flip out” like the baby panda in the video. God gets the warm and fuzzies when we invite Him into our issues and struggles. He is not standing by judging our every move, but rather available to help and comfort, helping us to endure the difficulties of life that seems inevitable.
The point of this baby panda analogy is to always try to surrender those “grumpy ” thoughts and feelings to God. He won’t call you a failure or reject you for expressing emotions that He created us to have. We just need to give it to Him and not use it as an excuse to be abusive and disrespectful to others. Also, let it out! Give it to Father God! Do not sit around festering in anger, resentment, or any other ungodly attitudes. This is just a best practice, because you can’t express faith, hope, and trust when you are wallowing in anger, self pity and fear. There have been times in my life where I had more grumpy than grateful days. And for a while I was ashamed that I couldn’t pull myself out of it at the time. If you feel/felt like that please don’t waste any more time beating yourself up about it. Forgive yourself, and receive grace for it. We can not change the past and truth be told if anyone else faced the same challenges, they may not fare any better than you did. We are not called to be perfect in our own strength, but we are being perfected through our relationship with God and surrender to apply His word to our lives. Jesus paid our death penalty with His life and we honor His sacrifice by graciously receiving salvation and righteousness in Him. For many of us this has been a tough year, receive the grace and comfort that was granted to you and pass it on to others!
As always, thank you for reading and please share with others if this has been a blessing to you!
Dionne Renae 💖💓💗