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Are You Anxious, Fearful, Angry, Bitter?

Are you trying to do what’s right, but can’t?
Paul struggled with stuff. He wanted to do what is right, but found he didn’t, he couldn’t.
Here's his struggle:

For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very things I hate. But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not.
For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.
I find then the principle that evils is present in me, the one who wants to do good.
For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?
Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.

What does that all mean?
You fight with bad attitudes, bad actions, bad responses, but sin holds you bondage. You're like a bird trapped in a cage and can’t fly.


Does God leave you there? Sorry, about your luck. Sorry you can’t try harder and win the battle?
No!
He sent His Son to conquer sin. Read on.

Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did; sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.
For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.
If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness.
But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh—for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!
The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him….

Finish reading Romans 7-8.

God made a way for us to get out of the cage, so we can fly. His Son conquered sin. His Spirit gives us life so we can win, too.
Are you praying harder? More?
That isn’t the answer.
Somehow we think by begging God to help us, we will somehow be righteous.
Wrong.
It’s not by praying more, telling God you need help, and you’re wretched.
We are wretched. We are sinners. You aren’t telling God anything He doesn’t already know.
That’s repentance. That’s the start.

But there’s more.
He’s waiting for you to seek His Words. Not just give Him yours.
His Words are the balm to the anxious heart; peace to the fearful; letting go, to the angry; forgiveness to the bitter. He’s the solution to any sin problem man has. Substitute your sin—He’s already got you covered by His blood.

His Words allow His Spirit to control you.
How do you do that?
Paul answers again. This time in Philippians 2:5
Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus.

How do you change your attitude?
We can’t.
What we must do, is fill our mind with God’s Words.
Don’t know where to start?
Look at Philippians 4:8
Finally, brethren, whatever is true,… honorable,… right,… pure,… lovely,… of good repute, if there is any excellence and … worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

It’s not about trying harder.
It’s NOT thinking positive thoughts.
It’s thinking God’s thoughts.

He’s already told us our thoughts are not His.
For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, declares the Lord. Isaiah 55:8.

Read His Word. Know His Word. Use His Words to fight your words when temptation comes to be anxious, fearful, angry, bitter, or any other sin.
Didn’t Jesus, when He was tempted by Satan, use God’s Words? Can we do any less?
Will you conquer it the first time? No. It will come back again and again and again.
You’ve made it a habit to think those things. You must re-train your mind to think God’s thoughts.
Use His Word to change your thoughts to God’s. (Saturate your thoughts with praise and thanksgiving for Him.
Philippians 4:9 says, “practice these things.”
What happens when you do?
The God of peace will be with you.”
When you have God’s peace, you aren’t anxious, fearful, angry or bitter.
You are no longer bound by that cage.
You don't just fly free, but you soar as God intended.



What verses do you find helpful when you are seeking to think God's thoughts?

 

 

Author of Biblical fiction, married to my best friend, and challenged by eight sons’ growing pains as I write about what matters.

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