"He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city." Proverbs 16:32
A mighty warrior subdues individuals by overpowering them in some way. He conquers by force.
It takes self-control to not react or respond out of anger. The person who retaliates or tries to get back at a person because they were made to feel some kind of way is out of control. The person who takes vengeance on another for any reason is out of control. The person who goes and spreads malicious, negative things about someone is out of control. The person who influences others against another is out of control.
All of these actions come from a place of anger within the individual. They have not learned to rule their spirit. They are actually very weak. All they can do is to go around unleashing anger and bitterness on others. They refuse to learn how to deal with their emotions in a healthy, non-destructive way. They lack spiritual maturity when they are quick to get angry and follow through by acting on it.
One wonders if they have experienced emotional repression as a child where their feelings were rejected, not heard, criticized and not valued. Perhaps they ended up going through life feeling as if they always get the raw end of the stick. Sometimes it's those childhood deficits that bring about frustration and anger. Let's not forget that verbal abuse can play a part in this type of behavior as well. This can be a breeding ground for behaviors such as: jealousy, envy and a manipulative spirit within a child. Disclaimer, I am not a psychologists or mental health professional. I am only speaking from observation and what I have discerned as one coming from a background laden with dysfunction.
As an aside, if you are raising children, give them a safe space with you where they can express their feelings whether you, as a parent or guardian, agree with them or not. Don't make them swallow their feelings because eventually they will rebel. It is healthy to express one's emotions. That is why God gave us the ability to feel in the first place, and tears to cry. Just picture someone who at every turn tries to shut you down when you want to say something. What could that end up doing to you?
Becoming a Christian and having a relationship with God should aid us in the area of self-control
by helping us to handle disappointment, and rejection as well as handling offences. Somehow for some, anger keeps spilling out. This shows a lack in their spiritual development and their refusal to let God help in this area of their life.
Some Christians may even think that they can control such behavior, but they can't. Self-control requires a power beyond us. One must employ the help of God.
God's Word gives wisdom for handling anger. He gives us a right perspective from which to view the problem. One must be willing to get to the origin of their angry feelings and investigate why they are so quick to become angry and agitated in that way.
Yesterday, I tried to address how to avoid taking things personally unless it was necessary. Quick tempered people take everything personally. and it can lead to out-of-control behavior.
Let's face it, there's enough stuff out here and people to make us lose our mind, so to speak, if we're not careful; it's a tough and cruel world, but as a believer, God gives us tools to use and advice as to how to manage our emotions, our thinking, and our perspective. That is why it is imperative that we draw near to God so that we can be empowered and helped in gaining self-control.
You and I want to be godly men and women who know how to control anger for this is commendable!
"He who is slow to wrath (anger) has great understanding, but he who is impulsive exalts folly."
Proverbs 14:29 (NKJV)
Have you experienced situations that made you wonder about why the person said, did or behaved a certain way towards you, and when you searched your heart, you couldn't find anything you had done to them to warrant that behavior?
People are always telling us how they feel, what they feel, and why they feel what they feel. We can miss the message if we lack good understanding. What kind of understanding am I speaking of? The scripture text above explains it all. There are times when we encounter negative behavior from others; it can come from un-believers as well as fellow believers. The usual tendency it to become agitated in our spirits and it sometimes leads to anger, especially if we are seeing this reaction towards us on the regular.
How important is it to understand ourselves? I've learned that it is imperative that we have a good understanding about ourselves as well as human nature. Use yourself as an example; every reaction, response, or words you've spoken and how they were uttered was connected to something that was going on deep inside. Is that not true? There is always a reason for the way we feel, and how we respond out of those feelings. If you know yourself well enough, you'll begin to tackle the first part of the 'why' someone does what they do. They have a 'reason'. Now grant it, they may not have a legitimate reason for treating you the way they do but know that they have a reason. There is something behind the side eye, the cold shoulder, isolation, the stares, the attitude, and the insensitivity.
If we're quick to respond with anger, or angry emotion, it shows that we lack understanding of ourselves. The individual who responds this way is in all actuality, behaving foolishly. The thing to do is to take a step back and really look at the situation.
People are often revealing things about themselves to us, whether it comes in the form of negative behavior or pleasantry. There are things lurking deep within the individual that rises to the surface when we're around for some reason. You either bring out the best in them or the worst in them, and still, it may have nothing to do with anything you've done to them.
Avoid becoming agitated and angry with others. Learn to look below the surface to identify what their problem really is. There are jealousies, envy, lack of peace, insecurities, and discontent that is usually found there. Did you know that how a person treats you is a reflection of how they feel about themselves? Do you know that it also speaks to how they feel about God? Yes, this is true!
Some may feel as though God has failed them in some way by not giving them what they feel they deserved, be it attention, affirmation, confidence, opportunities, and things of that nature. So, when they see you walk in the room with a smile on your face, confidently addressing those in the room, happy and contented as you minister using your God-given skills, they start hating on you by facial expressions, coldness, avoidance, etc. In this they are showing how upset they are with God, and how unhappy they are within themself, and they take it out on you.
We cannot go around taking these things personally unless there is a good and legitimate reason why we should. Just know this, 'Everything Ain't About You'! Keep it moving, pray for them, they need it. Keep your head up and continue to fulfill the purposes God has for your life. It's a New Year, make it count!!
W"He that dwells in the secret place of the most high shall abide under the shadow of the almighty." Psalm 91:1
So how are you doing? Did you get off to a good start this year? 2021 ended with a bang for many of us and rolled right into a New Year with much of the same. Everyone is wondering if things are going to get better. We wonder if it will be a 'Happy New Year'.
Well one thing is for sure; problems and challenges will always be there no matter what year we are in because this is life, period. God's Word encourages us to walk by faith and trust God for everything we need. We can have a happy 2022 regardless of the Pandemic, challenges, trials, or anything else that comes our way.
The above verse mentions the word 'shadow'. The shadow of the almighty God is something to think about. A shadow is defined as a shape that is produced by a ray of light cast on it. God's shadow is cast about us, protecting and securing us from all harm and danger. No one can enter that space because it is reserved for His children only. Satan comes to threaten us and to rustle us out from under that shadow, but he cannot enter there. As long as we commune daily, meditating on His Word, we will be safe and sheltered there physically, emotionally and psychologically. All of this is provided for us, and it's within a shadow. Imagine that.
Many are wondering and hoping for happiness this year. We want this Pandemic and its variants to leave our world and be gone. We all want to get back to the way things were, not that the world was in any better condition, but we were healthier. We want to resume all the activities that we were previously enjoying. Will it happen? I don't know the answer to that, but God does. The best advice I can give is to walk with God, by faith, and rejoice in the Lord daily. God is the source of our joy, our contentment, our peace of mind and our happiness. A relationship with God satisfies, gratifies, and keeps us stable and safe.
Take advantage of opportunities to fellowship with others via Zoom, What's app, and phone calls. Let people hear your voice or see your face as you communicate. Face time your Christian friends who you haven't seen in a while. Keeping in touch with others who are in pursuit of God is key.
I don't know about you, but I am looking forward to this year being a happy year for me and my family. I am trusting God for His help as I continue to enjoy His many blessings. Remember, He loves you more than you know, He will carry you through each day and He will never leave you nor forsake you. All you've got to do is trust Him by obeying Him and follow where He leads.
Skewed- A biased or distorted way of looking at something
By God's grace we have entered a New Year! What will be your outlook for 2022? How will you see and receive what's to come?
It goes without saying that each day brings its own troubles that we cannot escape. Unfortunately, we cannot avoid problems, but when they come, we have to be careful how we judge them. Personally speaking, I can see problems as an unnecessary burden, or I can see them from God's perspective. From God's view, He allowed them for my good, for spiritual insight into who He is, for spiritual development, and for character building purposes. Grant it, we are not expecting a New Year to bring problems so soon, but we should brace ourselves for whatever comes.
Satan wants you and I to have a skewed view on the situations we're confronted with. Take for instance, Joseph. He could have looked at all the haters around him (his brethren) and retaliated in some way. He could have gone into 'pity mode' or he could have cast it all on the Lord God and prayed for grace to endure. Joseph definitely did the latter.
What I love about the Lord God is that He gives attention to detail, so whatever comes our way, it has already passed with His approval. I may not know exactly why I find myself in a particular situation, but one comforting thing is that I am positive that nothing happens without God's permission.
The Apostle Paul said, "We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair, persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;" (2 Corinthians 4:8).
The Lord said, "I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).
God never said things would be easy for us, but He has promised to never leave us, or forsake us. He will be with us through it all. So, as you begin this year, walk with God, pray without ceasing (keep being diligent in prayer more than once a day), and keep trusting!
Have A Blessed and Prosperous 2022!
As we come to the close of another year, what are your thoughts? How did you make it through so far?
It's always good to take a look back over 12 months and assess where you were in January to where you find yourself now. Spiritually speaking, did you find yourself praying more, reading more, trusting more, giving more, or worrying less, or did you remain as you were in 2020?
It's no use wishing this Pandemic away, for as we see, it has taken on a life of its own. It has mutated and morphed into other names bringing with it more grief and pain. This is the 'New Normal', in my opinion. What and who has been your anchor through it all?
We are about to enter into a New Year, and with it will come its own burdens and unexpected events. You and I have got to hold on to God's unchanging hand! We've got to trust God in the midst of it all. We've got to sit in His presence daily joined by much prayer. This is our power source; herein lies our peace and contentment in a time of great challenges and storms.
Think about the things you would like to see change in 2022 that need to change in your personal life. In order to see a change, you will have to position yourself, alter your way of thinking, and make the necessary changes for the result you are looking for. That won't be easy, but anything worth doing will require sacrifice on your part. Don't ignore making those changes in your life.
May you and I increase in our desire for God in this upcoming year. May we strive to be more obedient and serve Him with all our hearts. Time is running out and we can never make up for the time we've wasted or lost.
Have a Blessed Christmas and A Blessed New Year!
Everyone wants to enjoy the high place, but everyone doesn't want to endure the process of what it will take to develop hinds feet.
How does God make our feet like the feet of deer? Why such an animal? Have you ever watched a deer in action? Their feet are nimble and quick. Deer that go up into the mountains possess the capability to walk on the tiniest piece of a ledge with rocks. Their feet can fit into the smallest landings and still make the climb without falling. Hinds feet are swift and light while jumping exceptionally quick. What agility! This is God given!
God wants to make our feet agile. This speaks to our ability, with His power and help, to grow and thrive regardless of the circumstances we find ourselves in.
Psalm 23:5 says, "You prepare a table before me in the presence of mine enemies." God can make us to thrive and succeed in the midst of evil persons in an evil world. Those who get wind of situations we're facing (that they see and know about), look at us thinking that it is impossible to make it, survive it, overcome it, or get over it. Not so with God! While the enemy lurks, I can prosper because I have been set aside by God for His purposes. Despite what comes my way, I can experience joy and blessing!
Darkness is all around us, with danger, but we can make it from one point to another unhindered, and safe without falling because of the Lord. We can and will reach our destination.
So what is this high place He sets us on? The high place is the ultimate purpose that God has for us to fulfill here on earth. It is our ministry work. A perfect example of this is in the life of Joseph. Joseph was set apart for God and His purposes. Joseph had to endure many afflictions and hardships, but in them he developed to his full potential naturally and spiritually. His ultimate purpose, for the time he was living in, was to help save his people during the famine, and not just his immediate family. It was to the saving of the Egyptians also. All of your experiences are necessary in order to fulfill your life's purpose as a believer.
Enduring hardship and trials, with challenges isn't easy at all. Believe me when I tell you, I have had my share from birth right on into becoming a Christian and still to this day. I could tell you some stories, yet they are laced with triumphs and victories!
I don't know what you are facing today. It may be sickness, a crisis of some sort, or you may be staring at your worse nightmare; but God still says that He will make your feet to be as the feet of deer. No matter where you've landed you will not fall. God will never leave you alone without help, resources and support! The Word of God says that we are kept by the power of God! (1 Peter 1:5)
Trust God, and take some time to look up those in the bible who have experienced hardships, trials, challenges, and crisis and be encouraged! God is waiting to set you on your high places!
I could sit here and give you a bunch of bible verses and tell you everything is gonna' be alright and not to stress it. The reality is this; problems are burdensome, and stressful and frustrating. You will feel the strain of it all and get angry, mad, and sad.
I have experienced a lot in my life before I became a Christian, and certainly after becoming one. In this life we will have all sorts of difficulties. There will be trials and afflictions that we will have to face and endure. It ain't gonna' be easy!!!
God has promised us in Jeremiah 29:11 that He has a plan that would give us hope and a future. "For I know the plans I have for you (the thoughts that I think toward you), says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." God is a God that cannot lie!
So, what happens in between? How do we cope under the pressure of it all? Who's going to pay my bills, give me a job, help me as a single parent or divorcee, how can I face the bad news I've received? The answer is, GOD WILL! God has resources you and I know nothing about. Didn't he pay the outstanding bills for the widow in 2 Kings 4:1-7? She was also a single parent with two sons that were going to be taken from her because of her debt. The man of God, the prophet Elisha, told her what to do! Go to God and tell Him what's going on, and He will do something about it!
The Christian life is a rewarding life, but the path is paved with trials and tribulations. The bible says, "Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers out of them all (Psalm 34:19).
God allows what He allows for a reason and it will never be easy, but what I can say based on my own experience is that God has always come to see about me! He never left me alone to come up with solutions to my problems. When my money grew thin, I never lost a roof over my head, neither me or my family. I can tell you some miracle packed stories. When me and my family faced dark moments, God showed up with a blessing that we could have never imagined. When the roof over our heads was being threatened, God showed up 30 days later with an entire house! We never asked for a house, but God forced us out of one living situation to show us that It was time to move into what He had for us. Had that not happened, we would have hunkered down and stayed in our apartment and continued to pay higher and higher rent!
God is wise and omniscient (all-knowing). When we are faithful and obedient to Him, He guides us through. Even in the trial, He is there guiding us through. It may not seem like it or feel like it, but He hasn't left you. He knows all about the situation you're in. He knows about the deadlines. He knows all about what you need. God is always in the details, so trust Him, ask Him to help your unbelief. Tell Him how hard this is for you. He has 'Grace' which helps us to keep the faith in the face of it all.
I know what it looks like and feels like, but God has a plan that is tailor made for your set of circumstances. Keep trusting Him, and don't let go of His hand!
I share some of my pot of Gold (trials) in my book, 'Rich Beyond Measure' on Amazon.
It's incredible how fast time is moving! We are at the end of 2021 and still in the throws of a pandemic. Everyone wants to know when it will all end. Nobody knows!
It's time to take personal assessment of where you're at as far as your spiritual life is concerned. In 2020 there was tons of fear to go around, tons of deaths and depression and sadness was everywhere. Were you at peace despite the circumstances? Were you greatly impacted during Covid-19? Did you loose love ones or people you knew?
If you are reading this, you were kept by God through it all; kept because your life purpose has not been completed yet. Honestly, we all should be closer to God by now, much closer than we were before the pandemic started. Our prayer lives should have grown along with our understanding of God. We should be more appreciative of life and what we have as well as worshipping and praising God continually because He is ultimately in control of it all.
As we come to the close of this year, that flew by, we face the unknown. Where do you see yourself this time next year if the Lord be not come? If your life is spared over the course of another 12 months, where will you be spiritually? What phase would your ministry work be in? How many people would you have impacted for Christ?
God desires that we progress continually. Yes, there will be trials, new challenges, and new triumphs and continued blessings. As long as we are alive we will keep experiencing much of the same, but we want to do better than we did in 2021.
Take an assessment, take inventory of your life and see what it shows you. Ask yourself the important questions. Go to God and ask Him to help you to achieve the things you need to accomplish and ask Him to help you to improve your prayer life. Prayer is key!
As you awaken each day, realize that you are here for God's purposes more than the fulfillment of your dreams and aspirations. If you fill God's will for you, He most certainly will help to bring about the things you desire to accomplish.
Keep Trusting, Keep Believing, Keep Enduring, Keep Praying and most of all remain Obedient to God!
"The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still." -Exodus 14:14
"Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character; and character, hope." -Rom. 5:3-4
When you're facing challenges in your life how do you view God in that moment? When you are in a tough situation and need someone to help navigate you through, what face of God are you looking for in that moment in time?
We live in a 'Quick Fix' society. There are fast food places every couple of blocks. We don't even have to get out of the car. At home we can microwave food and not wait long to eat it. Self check out allows us to handle our groceries a little faster than waiting on long lines.
Everywhere you turn, people are more and more impatient. Driving anywhere can pose a danger these days because people are running lights or speeding in and out of traffic. Where are they going that they cannot drive the speed limit? What's the hurry? What's the rush?
Some Christians are treating their relationship with the Lord in the same way. When things happen, as they often do, they want a quick fix to solve all problems. They utter a quick prayer and expect things to change. Well, I'm here to tell you that God is not a 'Quick Fix God'!
Being a true believer of Christ is about intimacy. It's really about having an open and honest relationship with God and His son, Jesus Christ. When we are interested in an intimate relationship with someone, we spend time in their presence as often as possible. We also, spend time listening as they speak to us. We think about what they are saying and we hold their feelings as utmost importance to us. We even look for opportunities to please them. That's what intimacy looks like.
Challenges, trials, and difficulties are all a part of life. We all have them. God is there to help us through those times. He ultimately will choose the best way to navigate us through. He desires that the situations and circumstances help us to learn, to grow, and to see Him in a new and different way. God desires that as we endure the situation we will develop patience, and little by little our way of thinking would change. God is in the character building business.
Don't be discouraged if you find that God hasn't swooped down to 'Fix' your problem. It doesn't mean that He is ignoring you and all that you are experiencing. His way is perfect the bible tells us. He has perfect timing and when He does come to deliver you, it will be a complete deliverance not a temporary patch up job.
Trust God and Trust His timing. If He gives you a 'Quick Fix', as you may want, you will sacrifice other valuable things and still find yourself in the same situation over and over again. There are many lessons to learn as you face your challenges, let God help you to grow and become strong and valuable in the kingdom of God! God wants you to process what He is trying to do in your life! He can't bless you in the way that you want without you understanding that what He allows is all for your good, and for a better you.
1 Chronicles 28:9-10
"As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind; for the Lord searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever. Consider now, for the Lord has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary; be strong, and do it."
There is so much advice floating around out here about how to be a success at whatever you are doing. Before technology came in, people who were looking to establish a business went the route of taking classes and consulting those who were successful business persons. Today, we have the powerful wheel of 'Social Media' and the encouragement to generate as many followers as possible in order to put yourself out there with the hopes of landing it big. I'm not disputing the fact that there are some testimonials of people who did make it big via Instagram, however, social media will consume you and cause your emotional state of mind to go up and down depending on numbers and clicks. It's an absurd way to judge 'Good Success'. It is fleeting, unreliable, and used by the enemy (Satan) to rob us of our confidence and faith in God's promises to us. It is designed to keep believers from focusing on God.
As a Christian, do you have on your key ring the main key that opens every possible and impossible door of success, or are you following the steps dictated by society? Does the world's view on success and how to achieve it fit the believer?
Unfortunately, one size does not fit all. In the above scripture text we read of King David advising his son Solomon on how he (David) achieved success as Israel's second king. The admonition he gives to Solomon is the same for us. In a nutshell, David says that the key to his success was in his relationship with God.
Often, as Christians, we overlook the obvious, or the thing that seems to be simple. Sometimes those are the very key components to achieving success in whatever
we 're doing.
There are many voices out there that are willing and ready to dictate to us how to become successful, but if the premise from which they are working does not include God's instructions, the strategy won't work!
A solid, personal, sincere relationship with the Lord Jesus is necessary; for it is the Lord who knows exactly what path you need to be on to achieve anything successfully. I'd rather follow the Lord's opinions and thoughts than taking a shot in the dark at something that supposedly worked for someone else. God's plan to give you and I a good future is an individual plan. One size does not fit all! Long before we accepted Him as our personal savior, He had a plan for our lives already laid out with everything we needed in order to be victorious and successful. Our responsibility is to simply follow His guidelines and trust the He knows what is best for us.
So, when someone comes with a strategy or plan that 'They' think you should follow, run it by God first! Wait long enough to get the 'Go Ahead' from Him before you leap. Remember, anything God doesn't bless will always bring more drama and problems into your life. There will be losses you'll suffer and regrets that cannot be changed.
Remember what King David told his son, Solomon! Your success if dependent upon your relationship with God!