I will admit that the last couple of weeks have brought up old emotions and thoughts which has led to a fierce battle between my flesh and the Holy Spirit living within me. I know flesh never actually beats the Spirit but we certainly like to lie to ourselves and think we can. We will literally argue with God like we have a leg to stand on. He tells us something and we are like "Nope. No way." He's pretty persistent and I guarantee He will sway you the direction He wants you to go one way or the other. It usually goes a little easier if you just obey in the first place. It is like when we were children and our dad told us to do something but we didn't. We argued and said we didn't want to. That may have followed with louder commands but usually it was swat on the butt. Guess what? Not only did we get the spanking we still had to do what he told us in the first place.
Then you have the moments where we allow our flesh to act out in emotions that had been overcome. This happens to me when I get overly stressed or facing a "loss" of physical possessions that are important such as how we recently lost our RV, our full time home, to hurricane Irma. The storm was not major by the time it hit us but it was enough to put a hole in the roof of our RV and get complete water damage. Most would not find the trailer anything fancy. It wasn't but it was ours and it was paid in full. We acquired it "just in time" this same time later year when we weren't sure where we were going to live. God provided it and I was thankful but was a bit concerned. How in the world would I ever live in an RV less than 26 feet long? I figured I could make it a couple of months but that would the max. No way could it be any longer than that! I argued with Him about this as well. A year passed by and I was happy. We were happy. We loved that little RV and had plans to fix it up because it had issues! We were grateful for the roof over our heads and felt at peace. It had broken my heart to lose it and our household items we left behind because we couldn't take everything when we evacuated. I would cry just seeing pictures before and after the damage. I began to feel the emotions that I struggled with in the past. I won't go into details because I would need to write a book to explain it. I felt it coming on. So, by the grace of God I had my moments and then turned to Him.
I use a prayer journal to write my prayers. I am able to "speak" to my God much easier this way. What I love most is I don't have to censor how I really feel because even if I did, He already knows my heart. I was raw and let it out. I was mad at situations but not mad at Him. So, I thought until He pointed out that being mad at how anything was going was being mad at Him instead of trusting Him. I argued about it for a bit. I wanted to be mad and felt like I deserved to be mad. That didn't work too well either. Some of the situations of anger I could give biblical standing for righteous anger but the rest was a bit of a stretch. There were moments of prayer that I was so overwhelmed with emotion and could not focus so I closed my eyes and just breathed. Then it felt as though He put His arms around me kissed me on the forehead and just whispered to me to calm me. That all over, peaceful feeling is unlike any other. Well, the flesh fought back the next day and got me all flustered again. Seriously? As a child of God we have the ability to overcome anything but we allow the flesh take us down. My flesh tried to fight a couple of more days but by staying in prayer and in God's word my flesh is weakening. Which I am grateful for because I am miserable when my flesh takes over. It isn't a pretty sight!
There were several other trials we faced over this past year. Some knew and some didn't. I just don't feel the need to dwell and focus on the bad. I don't feel the need to constantly complain about what isn't going right. Don't get me wrong, I have my moments but I don't hold on to it. I let it go and focus on what I can do. When you get put into a position of no way out your only option is to have faith and work while you wait. I didn't used to think or react this way. I used to love holding on to my misery, blame others for my problems, and always wonder why I can't have it as "easy" as "them". Or wonder why everyone I knew was so happy and I was so miserable. You know...the "why me" syndrome. As God worked in my life I realized my misery was within myself not from the lack of any possessions or from any outward environment. It was my heart. Our hearts our very deceptive.
Jeremiah 17:9 KJV
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
The heart loves to tell us lies because our sinful flesh dwells in our hearts. That old saying "follow your heart" is a huge lie from the devil. If you follow your heart you will end up in a dead end going nowhere.
Proverbs 28:26 KJV
He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.
Here is the good news. When you align your heart with the Lord and follow Him, He will guide your heart and guide you. As a child of God when you are trusting in the Lord completely and wait on Him to give you guidance we can rest in knowing the decisions you are making are the right ones and that the things you want to achieve are within His will. It’s when you allow your flesh to “take control” that you are left in plight of confusion not knowing where to turn and what to do. It leaves you with a lost feeling as though you have been left in the middle of strange place completely naked for the world to see. As my pastor said just the other day, “Faith before feelings.” When you put faith in the Lord before the feelings of your fleshly heart, He will keep your heart and mind in Him and give peace beyond measure. It is a beautiful place to be!
Philippians 4: 4-13 KJV
Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.