A house is made to be occupied: it is a dwelling place. In a house of wood, brick, and mortar, left empty, rot happens. If good doesn’t occupy it, mice and rats will. These occupy, not to build up, but to tear down and destroy. They further and increase rot.
Demons – evil – are like mice and rats of the sole. They are vagrants set on destruction or intent on possessing that which belongs to another. Our only defense is to choose who has access to this dwelling place of our soul.
We must choose to be occupied, filled up, and possessed by God. He will fill us with the goodness of His power, peace, presence, person, providence, perseverance, and pleasure. Failure to choose Him, we give ourselves to an emptiness that makes us vulnerable to every form of infiltrator.
We can neglect our body, heart, mind and soul – intended as God’s dwelling place – and let the rats wreak their havoc. Or we can surrender full occupancy to God and be filled to the full with Him. Choose now. Now is all the time we know we have.
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.] Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls. [Jer. 6:16.] For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good–not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne.” – Matthew 11:28-30 AMPC
The main ingredient to a healthy, peaceful, restful lifestyle is developing, growing, and maintaining a healthy relationship with God through Christ. Distractions, whether cultural, emotional, physical, financial, relational, or social, rob focus from our main purpose in life. Relationship with God.
I am seeing in these days of my life, and especially in the past few days, how situations and circumstances we face are not so much challenges to overcome, but more invitations to draw nearer still to God. When I choose relationship with God, leaning into all I know of Him, trusting Him, and seeking deeper experience of Him, I discover the greater depths of relating to Him that He is after. It is then that I find all I need to overcome the challenge, most often seeing Him deal with the issues of life in miraculous ways that amaze. In those experiences, God works in and through me to accomplish His purpose in life; and especially in my life, as knowledge of Him inspires new life in me, making me into all He planned me to be.
When I maintain this focus, my emotions stabilize quicker, enabling me to enter/remain in His rest, preventing me giving myself to the bad habits of my flesh in turmoil. I find my load lifted, council for the path, and hope for the outcome. However long the challenge remains, God is faithful to walk with me as I draw nearer still to Him.
The words I profess to hear from You, Father God, are nothing apart from Your Power. If I speak and You are not in the Word, it is vainglory: an arrogant assumption on my part. Father, let my words ring true by the Power of Your Grace Sufficient proving You as the giver of the Word spoken. In Jesus, amen.
You, Lord, tell us that we have the mind of Christ and we must not be double minded – struggling between the mind of the flesh and the mind of the Spirit. Thank You for reminding me of this and helping me see how subtle the struggle can be.
There have been so many times I thought to do something, ignoring it because I didn’t think it was Your thought, only to wish I had listened. That is a flesh mind struggle. Instead of trusting You for the mind of Christ and the Spirit of God to control me, I waiver, vacillate, and procrastinate. Forgive me, Father.
I lay my mind at Your feet and take up Yours. I trust You. Make Your thoughts known and make me faithful to obey. In Jesus, amen.
Father, if there is any part of me that is not completely Yours, reveal it, please, Sir. I desire You in all Your fullness. Only You can make me whole and wholly Yours. Only You can make me Holy, one with You, being all You created me to be, accomplishing all Your good will and purpose according to Your good plan and way. Here am I, O God. I bow.
““After forty years had passed, an angel appeared to him in the wilderness of Mount Sinai, in the flame of a burning thorn bush. When Moses saw it, he marveled at the sight; and as he approached to look more closely, there came the voice of the Lord: ‘I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob.’ Moses shook with fear and would not venture to look. But the Lord said to him, ‘Take off the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground. I have certainly seen the oppression of My people in Egypt and have heard their groans, and I have come down to rescue them; come now, and I will send you to Egypt.’” – 7:30-34 NASB1995
“For seven days you shall make atonement for the altar and consecrate it; then the altar shall be most holy, and whatever touches the altar shall be holy.” — Exodus 29:37
“and the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils, and the laver and its stand. You shall also consecrate them, that they may be most holy; whatever touches them shall be holy.” — Exodus 30:28-29
That which touches that which is made holy by God is made holy. When God tells our hearts to remove our sandals, He is calling us to receive a holy anointing for His purposes.
Rick Warren rightly points out that You, Lord, give us wisdom to hear You and to follow through with what You tell us. It is true. You give the wisdom to hear and follow, and You give the POWER needed to accomplish Your will in Your way.
Father, Your Word says that I can do NOTHING apart from You. I can’t even promise and be faithful to Your Word to me without Your grace sufficient for me, strengthening and enabling me to obey. I am completely and totally reliant on You for it all. And I am blessed, for You have provided all for me, giving me Your Holy Spirit to teach, instruct, equip, and empower me, walking with me, being in me, living through me. I am eternally grateful. Thank You, Lord.
Now bless me this day to hear You with assurance and accomplish Your purpose with fervor. In Jesus, amen.
Father, I thank You that, in Christ, I am of a chosen race; a royal priestess of a holy nation, a person designated for Your own possession, so that I may proclaim the excellencies of You who have called me out of darkness into Your marvelous light. I once was not of Your people, but now I am one with the people of God. I had not received mercy, but now I have received mercy.
Beloved, Your desire for me as an alien and stranger in the world, but not of it, is that I abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against my soul. Father, grant me Your Spirit’s power to keep my behavior excellent among those of this world, so that in the thing in which they slander me as an evildoer, they may because of my good deeds in Christ, as they observe them, glorify You in the day of visitation. In Jesus I pray, amen.
““You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not commit murder’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’ But I say to you that
• everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court;
• and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court;
• and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.” – Matthew 5:21-22 NASB1995
What’s Jesus saying?
Scripture tells us to be angry, yet do not sin in our anger, giving the devil an opportunity (Ephesians 4:26-27). It tells us that the anger of man does not accomplish the righteousness of God (James 1:19-20). Anger is the beginning, uncontrollable emotion that is the first step toward harming, or even killing the one anger settles on. It is the doorway by which Satan gets a stronghold that allows him to lead us away from God, bringing discord, bitterness, hate, and disunity: all of which are sin that does not accomplish any good.
2. Devaluation – “You good for nothing”
God created every person and poured Himself into His creation (Genesis 1-2). And God so loved the world that He gave (John 3:16). When we devalue what God values, it is sin, standing in opposition to God and making nothing of the gift of His Son. We are called to love as God loves, which includes pouring oneself into the lives of others out of love that has nothing to do with whether the good done to them is deserved by them (1 John 4; Matthew 5:43-48; Romans 12:9-21; 1 Corinthians 13). Failure to value others leads to a lack of appreciation for them. It leads to a lack of care and failure to give self for the benefit of others. We will not give the time of day, much less energy and resources to the benefit of those we do not value.
3. Murder – “You fool.”
Anger causes us in an instant to devalue a person, killing their mind, soul, spirit, and strength of identity with our words of insult and demoralization. We cooperate with the devil in killing the spirit (emotional stability) of a person when we belittle them, which is hate, by:
stealing away their confidence and courage;
killing their strength of character and stability of life; and
destroying their growth into a mature, sound minded individual of worth and value.
So, what do we do when we realize we used anger as a weapon of destruction?
“Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering. Make friends quickly with your opponent at law while you are with him on the way, so that your opponent may not hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. Truly I say to you, you will not come out of there until you have paid up the last cent.” – Matthew 5:23-26 NASB1995
God, the true Judge, hears the cry of the downtrodden and oppressed. So be quick to repent, first to God who causes us to realize our sin; then to those sinned against. Even children need to see a parent who is strong and brave enough to say, “I was in the wrong. I failed you, injured you, and I am truly sorry. Please forgive me and pray for God to help me do better.”
Once forgiveness is sought out, repent: change your ways to align with God and His ways. Find ways to correct others and express upset constructively, in ways that serve to build up, and not tear down. Remind the one your angry with of the good they possess as a person and the potential that is in them, encouraging them to be and do their best at every opportunity and in all times.
It’s not sin to be angry. It’s not sin to express one’s anger. Sin comes when anger is unjustified, or when the expression of it adds injury to insult that can lead to a type of death. Be angry when it’s rightly warranted, but sin not, and thereby close tight our doors against a devil who is roaming to and fro, ready to pounce on any given opportunity (1 Peter 5:8). Address issues of anger properly and life, made stronger, stable, and secure, will spring forth to build us up for God’s glory.
“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 5:6-11 NASB1995