Why Am I Angry

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A couple of weeks ago at church Mike Bickle’s sister preached and I have to say it just hit me hard and right between the eyes. It’s been 2 weeks now and I can’t shake it. I want to try and explain and in doing so I have to be very transparent. The purpose of this is not about me but about what God can do and how He wants us to handle our situations. I’m doing this from memory and I hope I can do it just.

She spoke about bitterness, anger and forgiveness and how it affects us and the people around us. I know all about this (so I thought from the things I’ve been through and the experiences I’ve had in my life.

The verse used was: “Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of  bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled” Heb. 12:14-15

Read it again — get to know this verse — check it out, 1. Fall short of the glory of God. 2. Any root of bitterness springing up 3. Causes trouble and defiles many around you. Bitterness and anger are one – Anger pops up out of nowhere at times, in everyday life, driving (ouch) at work, school, family, spouse, kids, grandchildren, at anytime over the dumbest things.

As Christians we try and have this under control, we even try to hide it or excuse it but over time it becomes who we are, it controls us. God wants to deal with this, he wants to touch it and transform us to be more Christlike, why? So that we will be that light to the world around us, rather than one that defiles those around us. We become known as hypocrites, talk one way and act out another way. So for transformation to take place we must take a good long deep look at ourselves when anger and bitterness spew out of us, or well up in us and deal with it.

So about me and how this knocked me down and out. First I want to say it is not about anyone or anything else but ME and ME only. Nobody and no situation is the “cause” for my anger. She says bitterness and anger are rooted for the most part in this: “Feeling like I didn’t get or don’t get what I deserve” and it comes in 3 ways: 1. Money 2. Honor             3. Promotion

When she said this it just dropped my jaw and opened my eyes and my heart to hear some truth and some things I needed to hear.

A few months ago we moved from California to Missouri, I initiated the move for our family and I DO NOT regret it one bit. But with that said it has been very hard on me emotionally and I have been finding myself getting angry very quickly, finding myself getting bitter over some things and situations in my life. So let me take the 3 things she gave and explain them and how it has affected me. And again it’s about ME not these things.

  1. Money –  For the last 7 years in California I worked at a job that I made really good money, for the last 3 years over 100K a year. I was able to take care of family, help people when they needed, help my children if needed and save some money. Money for the most part was not an issue for us. Then we moved here and the move cost us a lot of money, more than I ever anticipated and it pretty much wiped us out, savings totally gone, our checking account to nothing. In my head I’m thinking I have a job here doing the same thing and I’ll make it up in no time. But it didn’t work out that way. I am making a fraction of what I made in Cali, and each month we go a little more backwards. For me I’ve been blaming my employer, the way things are done, the way they price vehicles, the way this is done or that is done, and bottom line I’m NOT GETTING WHAT I DESERVE, blah blah blah — well in reality I deserve NOTHING, I have to earn what I get and what ever the situation is at work makes no difference, I can either have a good attitude and get and do the very best I can, or I can get bitter and angry because I’m not making the money I think I should make. This really opened my eyes…. what really matters here is my heart and my spirit man – I have been wrong and I have been allowing it to rule my emotions. I am now working on this and giving it to God, allowing him to touch me and heal me of bitterness.
  2. Honor –Again in my last job in California I was treated with such respect from everyone, my managers, co-workers, owner and customers. They all knew where I had come from and treated me with dignity, respect and honor. I worked very hard not to feed on this as it is part of my personality and I beleive I did a good job. I had so much interaction with my co-workers and even my customers. I had some deep interactions with the owner’s down — I did weddings, funerals, I counseled so many and I had the honor of bring some of them to Christ or renew their relationship with Him. IT was truely an amazing time with much fruit. I leave it all and move to MO, let me stress this… moving here was the right thing to do and I DO NOT regret it at all. But it is so different here, it’s been hard trying to fit in and feel accepted, I walked out angry and hurt over the months. I complained and spoke badly about some of the people. IT WAS WRONG and it did NOTHING for me or them. A little over a month ago I made a decision to pray for everyone here the ones I like and the ones I do not like including all the managers. There seems to be a shift with things. I am not doing this so I can be better in this business I am doing it because that is what I should do…it’s really not about the business, it’s about the souls of men and women. My prayer is blessings, success, financial blessings, blessing over marriages, families and friends for each person. As you can see I started becoming bitter and angry, always wanting out and looking for another job. This is the end of that now!!! I am where I am and I choose the beleive that this is where God wants me. Bottom line nobody owes me anything, I don’t deserve anything from anyone..I was wrong!!
  3. Promotion – Again my last job I was in charge of so many things, people came to me for help and most of the time I would finish each month on top and close to it. I was valued and needed, they were all so sad when I left. I come here and at work I had to start from the bottom, just another salesman on the floor trying to make a living in competition with all the others. Nothing to give and not of much value. I let that get to me so much and again it was wrong wrong wrong!!

In all of these things I was feeling like I wasn’t getting what I deserved and I allowed a ROOT of bitterness to set in… my life miserable and the people around me miserable. I do not want to live this way and I won’t, my Father is working in my heart and HE will free me from it.

I hope anyone that reads this will see the heart of each word I’ve written. I am blessed beyond measure right now and I’m so thankful for all I have.

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What Should be my response to His Beauty?

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The message at church yesterday really grabbed my heart – the message was “How do we respond to the beauty of Jesus?”

I have studied the idea of the beauty of Jesus over the years., I have read about it and listened to sermons preached on it, read and sat in on teachings on it. I love the idea of it and the truth of it, but I have to say I’ve never really thought to deep about my response to His Beauty. I guess I always just thought when I see His beauty it will be awesome!!!! But how do I know how to respond?

First of all the Bible shows us over and over again how people responded when they saw him  — Moses, Peter, John, all the disciples and many others when he rose from the grave. In each case their life was forever changed and the only response is unending worship, not know what else to do, never wanting it to end, some fell as dead men, but one thing in common was their lives were changed forever and ever!!! And each one made a difference in the world and the people around them.

Second, I have seen his beauty a thousand times in my life starting with the day I found him and he found me. Over the 35 years I’ve been walking with him I have seen it and experinced it over and over again. My response is and will be the same as all those before me, a lifestyle of worship as I stand in awe of Him and then going into the world and leading them to the beauty of Jesus through my life, worship and prayers.

The place work should be a different place because of Him, the people I interact with should be moved and affected by my very presence because of Him. Because of the message yesterday I am making a new commitment to prayer for my work place, a new commitment to love through the eyes of Jesus, a new commitment to be a servant to those who are above me and below me in the work place.

Watch and see what He can and will do.

 

 

 

Speak when He says Speak….

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16 After seven days the Lord gave me a message. He said, 17 “Son of man, I have appointed you as a watchman for Israel. Whenever you receive a message from me, warn people immediately. 18 If I warn the wicked, saying, ‘You are under the penalty of death,’ but you fail to deliver the warning, they will die in their sins. And I will hold you responsible for their deaths. 19 If you warn them and they refuse to repent and keep on sinning, they will die in their sins. But you will have saved yourself because you obeyed me.

20 “If righteous people turn away from their righteous behavior and ignore the obstacles I put in their way, they will die. And if you do not warn them, they will die in their sins. None of their righteous acts will be remembered, and I will hold you responsible for their deaths. 21 But if you warn righteous people not to sin and they listen to you and do not sin, they will live, and you will have saved yourself, too.”

22 Then the Lord took hold of me and said, “Get up and go out into the valley, and I will speak to you there.” 23 So I got up and went, and there I saw the glory of the Lord, just as I had seen in my first vision by the Kebar River. And I fell face down on the ground.

24 Then the Spirit came into me and set me on my feet. He spoke to me and said, “Go to your house and shut yourself in. 25 There, son of man, you will be tied with ropes so you cannot go out among the people. 26 And I will make your tongue stick to the roof of your mouth so that you will be speechless and unable to rebuke them, for they are rebels. 27 But when I give you a message, I will loosen your tongue and let you speak. Then you will say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says!’ Those who choose to listen will listen, but those who refuse will refuse, for they are rebels. ~ Ezekiel 3:16-27

This is pretty stinking clear — speak when God tells you to speak. God knows how we tend to speak when we shouldn’t, we speak for him, it’s so easy for man to say “thus sayeth the Lord” and give a message to people that have no power and no meaning.

God tells Ezekiel that if he tells him to speak to people and he doesn’t deliver the message their blood/death is on his hands, but if he does tell them and they don’t listen he is FREE of whatever happens to them. WOWZERS!!! That is huge huge huge. NEVER speak for God unless God tells you to… period!! This is different than quoting scriptures to someone, giving them the “word” … this is warnings from God about a life being led by someone. Think about how the Christians in this world speak to gays, Muslims, people who have or perform abortions, and the list can go on…. we cannot speak for God, we CAN give scripture, but we cannot say more than that UNLESS God himself directs you and GIVES you the words. (eat the scroll….)

This is so important and we are so prideful thinking we know look what God does to Ezekiel (who is a mighty man in the Lord) “Go to your house and shut yourself in. 25 There, son of man, you will be tied with ropes so you cannot go out among the people. 26 And I will make your tongue stick to the roof of your mouth so that you will be speechless and unable to rebuke them, for they are rebels. 27 But when I give you a message, I will loosen your tongue and let you speak. Then you will say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says!’ Those who choose to listen will listen, but those who refuse will refuse, for they are rebels.

Get it? Got it? GOOD…

Humility — Humble –How it looks in life

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Many people have the wrong idea about God, the Bible and humility, or being humble. They think being humble means groveling in front of others or thinking they are no good and others are better.

That’’s not what the Bible says. God says when you are humble, you are free from pride and arrogance. You know that in your flesh you are inadequate, yet you also know who you are in Christ.

You don’t need to defend yourself when you understand what the Bible says about humility, for you know who you are in Christ. You can be a peacemaker without needing to fight for your rights. You can walk humbly in the power of the Holy Spirit, not in your own strength.

Godly humility is being comfortable with who you are in the Lord and therefore putting others first. The picture of humility in the Bible is one of a strong person who loves others, not someone who is a wimp.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. (Philippians 2:3)

Humility also is recognizing that you need God’s help, knowing you can’t truly succeed in your own strength. It is thanking God for your talents and gifts, and giving him credit for your accomplishments.

It is being comfortable with who you are in Christ and seeking to build others up, not yourself. It is gratefully walking in God’s grace, love, and forgiveness.

In the Bible, Jesus gives us a good example of humility in action. Although he was the son of God, he was gentle and humble–and he was strong.

I am gentle and humble in heart. (Matthew 11:29)

Your attitude should be the same as that of ,Jesus Christ, who is the very nature of God,  did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross! (Philippians 2:5-8)

Humility in action

Many people misunderstand the Bible, God, and humility. They think humility means being weak or passive. That’s not God’s message to us. The following statements show the power in humility.

You can defuse arguments when you are humble.

You don’t need to stand up for yourself in an angry manner. And you don’t have to win every argument.

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. (Proverbs 15:1)

You can handle unfair treatment peacefully when you are humble.

You can respond to unfair treatment without becoming bitter. Godly humility means you do not feel a need for vengeance or revenge.

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (Ephesians 4:31-32)

You do not have to put on a “false front” when you are humble.

When you understand God and humility, you don’t need to act like a big shot. The better you know God, the less you have to prove.

You can eat “humble pie” without being crushed when you are humble.

When you are humble, you can respond to and learn from criticism without becoming defensive—whether it is deserved or not deserved. Likewise, you can be aware of your failures without being emotionally devastated.

You can ask for forgiveness when you are humble.

Even if you think you are only one percent wrong, you can easily apologize for what you did wrong.

Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift. (Matthew 5:23-24)

You can talk with the right attitude when you are humble.

You can talk courteously and lovingly, regardless of the situation — even if you need to be firm or take strong action.

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (Ephesians 4:29)

Being humble does not mean being a wimp

As I already wrote, many people misunderstand humility. The following statements correct three inaccurate pictures of humility.

Bible-based humility does not mean groveling.

When I humble myself, I feel strong in the Lord. I don’t need to be defensive.

Bible-based humility does not mean being unaware of your gifts or calling.

Although we should avoid self-pride, godly humility does not mean we should pretend we are unaware of the gifts God has given us. The key is to remember that they are from God.

Although I am less than the least of all of God’’s people, this grace was given to me: to preach to the gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ. (Ephesians 3:8)

I am not in the least inferior to the “super-apostles,” even though I am nothing. (2 Corinthians 12:11)

Bible-based humility does not mean we should never speak directly.

When God says to be humble, he lets us know we must examine our motives and attitudes. We also must examine how we respond to others. But there are times when we need to take strong action. Here are two examples of taking strong action while maintaining a humble spirit:

  • Jesus was meek of spirit, yet he chased the moneychangers out of the temple (Matthew 21:12 and Mark 11:15-16).
  • As an employer, I can discipline or fire someone, yet do so quietly and gently.

God and humility — Enjoy the power in humility

You will usually be more successful when you practice what the Bible says about God and humility than if you are pushy or arrogant. (When you are humble, you are likely to have more influence than when you fight abrasively.)

Even if you don’t achieve the results you hoped for, you have the joy and pleasure of having acted in a godly manner. When you understand the meaning of humility in the Bible and put it into practice, you are a winner—even if you do not “win.”

Walk in the Spirit, Loving One Another

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Walking in the Spirit, loving one another, is the key to great relationships—particularly that most intense of all relationships, marriage. God’s Word tells us that the Spirit, however, is in opposition to our flesh. What exactly is the flesh?

  • “Flesh” is that condition where my focus is primarily on myself, self-centeredness to a great degree, as I attempt to live out of my own resources. My resources are the stuff that I can produce on my own or put stock in outside of God like heritage, education, IQ, personality, etc.
  • “Flesh” is me trying to live life independently of God, so that I can cope with life.Flesh is trying to produce life on my own rather than in Christ.

I don’t know if people realize this, but flesh can actually look good on the outside. Someone can be functioning in the flesh and you might think, “Wow, what a cool person.”  But listen to what Paul said when he’s describing his flesh:

…If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more:  circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.

But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage that I may gain Christ. (Philippians 3:4-8)

Now, you look at all those things and say, “Well those sound pretty good! Moral, passionate, religious, good heritage, aren’t those good things?” Paul takes these things, which give him incredibly high status in his culture, and calls them garbage—he calls them “dung” actually. (The literal translation is really a much stronger word than “dung,” but we’re trying to run a ministry so I’m not going to say it.) The point is that Paul takes the things he’s earned in the flesh (titles, earthly possessions, social status, etc.) and says they’re worse than worthless compared to Jesus and to living His life in the Spirit.

Stronghold of the Godly

The Ministries of Francis Frangipane
 

**this is NOT my writing – this is from the book “The Three Battlegrounds”

Satan fears virtue. He is terrified of humility; he hates it. He sees a humble person and it sends chills down his back. His hair stands up when Christians kneel down, for humility is the surrender of the soul to God. The devil trembles before the meek because in the very areas where he once had access there stands the Lord, and Satan is terrified of Jesus Christ.

Who Truly Are You Fighting?
It is important to recognize that the immediate source of many of our problems and oppression is not demonic but fleshly in nature. Indeed, one aspect of our lives, our flesh nature, will always be targeted by the devil. These fleshly areas supply Satan with unhindered access to undermine our prayers and neutralize our walk with God.

It is only our exaggerated sense of self-righteousness that prevents us from looking honestly at ourselves. We know who is in us, but we must also know what is in us if we will be successful in our war against the devil. Therefore, be specific when you submit yourself to God. Do not rationalize your sins and failures. The sacrifice of Jesus Christ is a perfect shelter of grace, enabling all men to look honestly at their needs.

Accordingly, be honest with God. He will not be horrified or shocked by your sins. God loved you without restraint, even when sin was rampant within you; how much more will He continue to love you as you seek His grace to be free from iniquity?

Before we launch out in aggressive warfare, we must realize that many of our battles are merely the consequences of our own actions. To war effectively, we must separate what is of the flesh from what is of the devil.

Allow me to give you an example. My wife and I once lived in an area where a beautiful red cardinal kept its nest. Cardinals are very territorial and will fight off intruding cardinals zealously. At that time, we owned a van that had large side mirrors and chrome bumpers. Occasionally, the cardinal would attack the bumpers or mirrors, thinking his reflection was another bird. One day, as I watched the cardinal assail the mirror, I thought, “What a foolish creature; his enemy is merely the reflection of himself.” Immediately the Lord spoke to my heart, “And so also are many of your enemies the reflection of yourself.”

Before we have any strategy for attacking Satan, we must make sure that the real enemy is not our own carnal nature. We must ask ourselves, Are the things oppressing us today the harvest of what we planted yesterday

The Mind of Christ

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Jesus Christ himself had a “Head”. It is because he did not “do his own thing” or think his own way. He always sought to follow Father’s directions and adhere to Father’s words. He thought Father’s thoughts
and spoke Father’s Words.

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. 7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.

John 8:28 Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. 29 And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.

John 12:49 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. 50 And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.

As you can see, Jesus did not “free lance” like earthly men are prone to do by thinking their own thoughts and speaking their own words.

Isaiah 58:13 If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: 14 Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

John 5:36 But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me. 37 And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. 38 And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not.

You cannot “put on the mind of Christ”, who is the Father Himself, if you do not know Him and cannot hear His voice. Jesus could see the Father and hear His voice at all times. That is how he was able to use the Father for his own Head. He thought Father’s thoughts and followed Father’s ways in all instances. If you have been taught that God does not speak to men in the way He spoke to the prophets, obviously you do not and have not heard Father’s voice. You CANNOT “put on the mind of Christ”! As for man and his righteousness in the eyes of God, the following is written:

Psalm 14:2 The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. 3 They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

Isaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. So … if a man cannot hear Father, then He cannot follow Father’s lead nor any commandment He might give at any moment. He cannot “put Father on his head”. Father is the mind of Jesus!

Isaiah 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. 10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: 11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

Jesus just might be too big for arrogant self-assuming and self-righteous men to “put on”! You cannot presume about your capabilities without walking a mile or two in Jesus’ shoes. I understand that all men have come “short of the glory” and our measure is beneath the “fullness of the stature of Christ”.

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Matthew 11:25 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. 26 Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight. 27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.

Ephesians 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

Let us eyeball Jesus and apply his thinking to recent events in our time. As we do this, think about your own thoughts on these matters and measure yourself against Jesus. He will be our measuring tape.