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Anger Management

January 4, 2007

II Timothy 2:24-26  “And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,  In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth.;  And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.”

As I was writing this scripture down, something occurred to me that I never paid attention to before; even though it’s been there for two thousand years.  This verse was written right before the apostle Paul proceeded to talk about conditions in the last days.  (Just an observation)

After work, I was blog surfing in a number of venues and something became really noticeable; that being the level of anger that’s present in the hearts of many these days.  I crossed a number of sites which were dedicated to atheism, alternate lifestyle issues, and in a few cases, plain old fashion lasciviousness.  There is nothing new under the sun, and all of us rub shoulders with such folks every day.  In addition, all of us were at one time unsaved and unprepared to stand before God.  As a result, we view such material, not with a “holier than thou” attitude, as is the perception held by many, but as ones who have, in times past been in some of the very same schools of thought. 

Ephesians 2:2-3  “Wherein in times past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobediance:  Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.”

One particular site caught my attention, although I can’t remember who it was as I browsed through so many.  The author told of how he was brought up in church and as a teenager, began to question the faith that he had been trained up in.  One thing led to another and today, he is a full-fledged athiest.  He mentioned “taking the athiests challenge” at a certain point in his life and I was reminded of my own teenage years.  I was reminded of a decision that, if I had chosen differently, I would probably writing a pro-athiest blog or something “way out there” instead of one that seeks to gather unto the Lord Jesus Christ.

As a confused, angry, sarchastic, know-it-all teenager, I would often ponder issues of religion, philosophy, and whatnot.  I had a fascination with anything in the realm of the paranormal; ghosts, extraterrestrials, the bermuda triangle; anything that presented glimpses into the shadowy world of the unseen.  I also remember reaching a point of nearly embracing “atheism” as the confusion in this aspect of things was so great that none could ever decipher truth from the array of voices.  I ALMOST went down this path, but something inside wouldn’t permit me to.  I just couldn’t bring myself to start down a path of denying the existance of God.  Today, I am forever grateful to the Lord who was working in the heart of this angry rebellious confused teenager; even though I wasn’t aware of it at the time.  (I wasn’t expecting to get into all of this, but here it is)

Less than a year later, Teresa, the girl next door with whom I had been friends with for a long time went to live with her aunt and uncle in Elkhart.  I began to visit there on a regular basis and the Lord used them to pull me out of darkness.  They were pentecostals, but they never preached to me, or hammered me over the head with scripture.  In fact, they almost never mentioned the things of God; only as certain aspects came up in the course of conversation.  Their conversation toward me was always very pleasant, very “real” and I enjoyed visiting with them.  Over the course of the summer, the Lord began to break down the walls of resistance within my heart and I began to realize my own wicked nature.  My need for a Savior was becomming obvious. 

The moment of decision transpired in September of 1983.  The date, I can’t remember, but it was on the second friday at around 11:30AM while in the living room of our house.  The moment that I truly repented (turned from) my sin and asked Jesus to save me.  He was faithful the hour that I first surrendered to him and he has been faithful ever since; even though I went through a season of rebellion.  (I married a lady who didn’t share my faith and I was backslidden for a number of years.  The Lord restored me in late February of 2004.  It was a learning experience and today, I’m stronger because of it; as strange as that may sound.  I love my wife dearly and my household is always foremost in my prayers.  I wasn’t expecting to get into this either.)   Our Lord is longsuffering on a level that we cannot even begin to grasp.

Last night, as I was reading so many posts; many of them, sadly, dripping with anger as the authors would go to incredible lengths to suport their claims, I was reminded of my own struggles in times past.  Of what would have been my outcome had God not granted me repentance to the acknowledging of the truth.  The issues concerning the hearts of men are spiritual issues.  They cannot be decoded with a series of formulas or placed into a ten-step program.  These battles for the hearts of men take place in the spiritual realm; the arena that doesn’t register with the five senses.   This asymetrical warfare takes place around the clock and around the world.  As a result, we all should “Pray without ceasing.”

This morning, I was originally planning to do a post about the awesome attributes of God.  Each of us have certain attributes that we notice and one thing that simply fascinates me more and more, is the power of prayer.  That God is a very present help and that we have access to him through Jesus Christ.  That you can take your petition before God who inhabits eternity, and he begins to move on your hehalf.  It’s something that all of us tend to neglect to one degree or another.  I would like to say that I pray without ceasing, but the truth is that I get sidetracked very easily; oftentimes by something that’s totally irrelevant to all that is.  This is another struggle that will always be present, so long as we inhabit these vessels of clay. 

I Corinthians 3:6-7  “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.  So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.”

The Holy Ghost does the work in the hearts of men.  There’s nothing that Dennis and MaryAnn (Teresas aunt and uncle from Elkhart) could have said to convince me that I needed to be born again.  This revelation came from God as he moved in my heart during the course of that summer.  Likewise, there’s nothing that we can do; only to be faithful and proclaim truth.  Jesus sent forth the disciples to preach the kingdom.  He told them that some would listen and some would not.  Our job is to simply put it out there and pray for those who are without.  Jesus paid the sin debt of the world.  This is our blessed hope and this is what we should be proclaiming from the housetops.

Romans 10:17  “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

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3 comments

  1. thank you for sharing your testimony. my ‘before’ teenage life sounds like yours, with all the curiosity about the unknown and new age religions.


  2. Thank you for your reflections.
    Every blessing to you
    Maria in the UK
    http://www.inhishands.co.uk


  3. Wow! Very good, timbob! You just answered something for me, too. I said in an earlier comment to you that I was leading Bible Study tonight. I did, but I got a shock when one lady told me that she didn’t think we need to “Do” anything; God is more powerful than anything and he will take care of things…Of course he will but “doing or saying nothing” is why we have so many corruptions. I don’t mean that we are to be confrontational or angry, as you pointed out are in so many blogs and other areas of life, but do you agree that the demons are counting on our silence? What good is it to have mega membership if the sheep aren’t being fed? (We are ultra-small)Conformity and embracing diverse interpretations is not what is expected when it comes to scripture, as I understand. Being loving and kind is part of being a Christian but Jesus said He came with a sword and there are going to be times when we have to take up our cross..(Matthew 10:34-38) Thank you for this post and I am especially glad you mentioned 1 Corinthians 3:6-7 and the final paragraph!!



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