Weapons of Our Warfare: The Keys to the Kingdom
Confessions Over Anger
"No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation, He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it."
-1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV
I have to be the angriest hippie I know. Okay, I'm not really a hippie; I just pretend to be one on the weekends. To be honest, I'm not sure who I am anymore. I'm 34 and still haven't figured it out. I had assumed when I was little that these things would sort themselves out over time if I tried hard enough to be a good human being. I've tried to the point I'm exhausted, but I'm still just as confused as ever. The lack of predictability and stability often makes me feel angry.
At times, life feels like one big oxymoron. How can I feel so lonely when I'm surrounded by people? How can I feel so unloved when I know I am more blessed than most to have an incredible support system? How can I be so self-centered when I'm burnt out from putting others before my own needs? I'm so driven but hardly accomplish 1/4th of what I set out to do. How can I be so angry when told that I am filled with the Holy Spirit? None of this makes logical sense. This is when it is essential to remember that "We walk by faith, not by sight" 2 Corinthians 5:7.
My feelings are not facts. They are feelings, subject to being irrational and sporadic. So when anger causes me to blow up like a pufferfish, I am reminded that there is more to the story. Psychologists often refer to anger as a secondary emotion, which at first glance makes it seem like it is somehow less important than other emotions. This couldn't be farther from the truth. Instead, it means that anger never arrives in a vacuum but is instead a response to other emotions that we may be feeling. Once the hot lava in my heart cools enough to think correctly, I can usually trace the surface-level anger I am feeling to the root emotion of fear. I am the most insecure person I know. I can say that because it is impossible ever truly to know another human being, so I don't know how insecure y'all are. Shoot, I don't even seem to know myself very well. But all that aside, I am terrified the majority of the time.
The fear boils down to a lack of faith in what I can SEE God doing in my life. Fear is faith contaminated. When I'm afraid, I walk by sight. That's comparable to a blind person walking along the edge of the Grand Canyon without assistance. A few verses before 2 Cor 5:7, we are told to always be of good courage. The definition of courage is "the ability to do something that frightens one. Strength in the face of pain or grief." Now how in the heck is a person supposed to do that? How is one supposed to act in a way that is the exact opposite of what every cell in their body might be screaming at them? The answer lies in rewriting our muscle memory to react differently in stressful situations. But where do we find the blueprint to rewire our cells to respond in faith instead of fear?
Through the Word.
" Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ"
If you aren't a Christian, this may sound like brainwashing. That's the point. Prior to a personal relationship with Christ, my life was messy and painful. Before I was born again, I had very few effective coping mechanisms whenever my emotions were spiraling out of control. Now I have been given a Sword, through Scripture, to combat whatever challenges I face. This is what the book The Weapons of Our Warfare: The Keys to the Kingdom (Volume III) aims to address. It explicitly discusses confessing God's Word with authority over our lives, speaking life (and not death) over our situations. This is not a new-age "name it and claim it" prosperity Gospel mentality. Instead, it is proclaiming God's written Truth into our lives. We accept His sovereign Will in all situations while pronouncing His promises over our lives. We dismiss the lies of the accuser, satan, and ask for God to remind us of His constant faithfulness.
The book is arranged in sections, each specifically quoting scriptures in various areas. Last night, while on the verge of tearing into someone who had pissed me off, I made the better decision to pray, asking the Holy Spirit for help. He reminded me of this little gem of a book to use as a reference tool to quickly locate relevant scriptures in the area of anger. The Bible is so big that it's easy to get overwhelmed trying to find what you need when emotions seem to be steering the ship. I always recommend you have a quick index reference book like The Weapons of Our Warfare in your household. It sure saved me from going to prison a few times. Or at least saying things I can't take back.
Regardless of whatever you are going through today, know that the Bible has a message for you if you allow it to speak to you. It is the living Word of God, and it will talk to us differently every time we read it. But most importantly, understand that the underlying message of the whole Book is that you are loved. You truly are. May we never forget that. Have a great rest of your week, and God bless.