“Why did you cut the potatoes that way?…..
…..I thought I told you to slice them this way. This supper is going to be ruined,” I said angrily. I had done it again. I had lashed out in anger at one of my siblings. I always hated myself when I did this, and at times I seemed unable to control myself and was angry with everyone. This made for a rather uncomfortable and unpredictable home environment. My family never knew whether I would be kind and cheerful, or irritable and angry, and far too often the latter was true. I began to ask myself, “Why do you always seem so irritable? What is wrong with you?” I loved my family dearly, and when I hurt them, I felt very badly about it. I would ask their forgiveness, but then would do it again. I seemed unable to change. What was the problem?
Finally, I began to notice a pattern. When I would allow myself to engage in lustful thoughts and enter into a “fantasy world”, I would become irritable and easily angered with others, especially my family. As I began to recognize this, anger became a “red flag” of warning to bring me back to reality. The reality that I needed to confess those lustful and fantasizing thoughts, reclaim the ground I had given to Satan, and begin to meditate upon scripture in order to overcome them. Once lustful thoughts and desires were confessed and brought under the blood of Jesus, the spirit of anger also subsided. Now, I should have never let those thoughts take root in the first place, but rather have taken every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5). But, you see, I rather enjoyed them sometimes, as I didn’t have to face what was really going on around me. I also believed the lie that my secret thoughts were not affecting anyone, until I made the connection that this was the root problem that was causing my anger.
While the solution to my anger seemed “easy”, I must say that gaining victory was not always that easy. (Romans 7:23) But, what war is won with ease? Are soldiers trained to sit on the battlefield in an easy-chair and eat bon-bons? (2 Timothy 2:3) Often we as Christians believe the lie that our lives are meant to be easy and we become disillusioned when life throws us a curve ball or we actually have to fight to gain victory. I began to find that the war of life is won by being faithful to fight those daily (often even more frequent!) battles. I will admit that there are days that I honestly don’t feel like being a “good soldier of Jesus Christ”, but when I am wiling to call upon the Lord, His grace and strength are always sufficient. A verse that I especially like to meditate on is 2 Corinthians 12:9,
“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
In and of myself I cannot overcome my weaknesses and walk in victory. I must be willing to humble myself and cry out to God for His grace in my time of need, and He is always faithful to meet that need. Gaining true victory will then begin to happen, as I walk in the strength of the Lord.
Perhaps as you are reading this you are thinking to yourself, “I sure am glad I don’t have the same problem she did. Those lustful thoughts have been conquered long ago in my life.” Remember that the “lusts of the flesh” can look different for each one of us: greed (of money, time, resources), envy, or bitterness. Our adversary, the devil, seeks to bring us down in any way that he can. Especially as we gain victory in a certain area, he realizes his defeat and tries a different strategy. This has certainly been true for my life. As I fought the battle against the “fantasy world”, and Satan could see he was caught red-handed in trying to bring defeat in my life, he has tried many other tactics since then.
What is your “red flag” and the root behind it? I find that as I am faithful to meditate upon scriptures and cleanse my mind with the Word, this is the most successful attack against the enemy. After all, isn’t this what Jesus used? Don’t let yourself live in defeat any longer, believe the lie that you can never overcome the desires of the flesh and of the mind! Keep enduring hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ and remember to not trust in “chariots” or “horses”, but remember the name of the Lord our God.
“Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.”