So often I fail to acknowledge God in the midst of confusion. I fall short not because I don’t know God, but simply because I choose not to acknowledge him in ALL situations. I’m low on money, I acknowledge God and believe he’ll provide; I get sick in my body, I turn to him for my healing, I even trust God to help me find my keys when I misplace them, but there is one place I fall short, people. It’s a constant fight to keep my flesh in check when people say or do the wrong thing.
Co-workers get disrespectful and my first inclination is not prayer, but violence or returning the disrespect. Friends forget that I have feelings and I’m ready to respond in the wrong manner. Church folks say or do the wrong thing and my flesh rises up to respond. I fight daily to ensure my spirit beats out my flesh. And it’s not an easy fight.
I war in the spirit at home, at work, at church. Everywhere I go I have to constantly ask God to beat back my flesh in order for his glory to take center stage in my life.
It’s been a struggle knowing that salvation doesn’t mean perfection. I don’t get to go to bed a sinner one day and the next suddenly I’m free of ways that don’t show God’s love and grace. Instead, I have to wrestle with myself to respond in a way that will please God. I can’t call myself a Christian and say I have a relationship with God and then turn around and curse someone out. God does not and will not appreciate such behavior.
I have to work and study to show myself approved. I have to constantly stay in prayer and seek God asking that he soften my heart and my tongue. I have to stay in God’s word, searching the scripture to help me make it through. I ask daily for the strength to smile and be polite to those that hurt me. I plead for the strength Jesus had to turn the other cheek. I am not better than Jesus and if he had to respond in kindness to those who attacked him, so do I.
God has to remind me and most days I have to remind myself that greater is expected of me because to whom much is given, much is required. When my family, friends, or a perfect stranger attacks me I must have the strength not to attack back. I have to understand that cursing folks out and fighting doesn’t go with my destiny, and choose to respond out of love and not anger.
Please understand that I am by no means perfect. I still have my days where I fall short. Every once in a while my flesh wins and I respond out of anger, but it is then my responsibility to acknowledge the fall and ask God to help me do better the next go around. Again salvation does NOT mean perfection. It means understanding and acknowledging we are each imperfect creatures trying, with God’s help, to do better.
As I sit writing this I’m fighting to control my flesh. This thing is real, each day we have to wage a new war and pray that we pass the test. If you’re like me and it’s in you to respond in anger when people wrong you try praying this with me:
Lord thank you for a desire to live a life pleasing to you and I thank you for a spirit of conviction. Lord you know my heart, but you also know my flesh so I ask that you be with me, give me the strength to respond in love and not in anger. Give me the strength to beat down my flesh and control my mouth as people rise up and attack me that I may respond in love and peace, knowing that in all things you are my help. Knowing that in all things I can turn to you and you will hear the cry of my heart. You will hear the cry of my heart and step in and intercede on my behalf. God I ask that you jump into my situation and give me the strength to respond out of love even though I’m angry. Walk with me, give me what to say and how to say it so people hear the joy and the peace you’ve given me. Let people see you in the midst of my response. I know you’re able to do exceedingly and abundantly above all that I can ask or think according to the faith that worketh within me. I have much faith and I’m believing it is so! I say thank you for the new work you’re doing in me.