JESUS SET ME FREE... AGAIN TESTIMONY
In the course of a Christian's life, we get set free many times! In salvation, we get set free from the punishment and bondage of sin! As we journey along, or sometimes even at the beginning, we get set free from some things that had us seriously bound. Addictions, habits, etc... But what I would like to address today is part of the “renewal of the mind process” - part of getting set free from toxic thinking! This only happens during our “growing up” process! All Christians start at “born-again” and then “grow” in the Lord.
As most of us journey along the Christian's narrow path, we start to read & hear about and realize the power of our words. And “near and dear” to this is the “power of our thoughts.” Having positive hearts and positive thinking produces a more powerful walk including our talk and of course the opposite is true that in having negative hearts and thinking, it produces a more defeated walk including our talk. Over the years I have been set free from nicotine, codependency and all kinds of things, but the latest revelation has been especially exciting!
Many people are raised in families where impatience and cursing are the norm. It in-turn, produces a certain amount of fear in such homes. The kind of fear that says: don't spill, don't trip, don't need a doctor, don't fail, don't mess up any time or any where because it will bring anger, cursing and various sorts of trouble from the parents and even siblings. This is something epidemic in many families that affects the whole family. Sadly, many raised in these homes, grow up and repeat it with their own children.
I was raised in such an environment. Thankfully, I was delivered from the cursing long ago but seemed to be forever working on the “not getting upset” when things-would-go-wrong-part. Especially when the bumps happen in strong waves. I have always tried to “praise the Lord at all times” but it has been very challenging sometimes. Recently, the Lord gave me something to help me “kick it through the goal posts” and I think it is possible for this to help others too.
I was reading my favorite “rapture chapters” Matthew 24, Luke 21 and Mark 13 again and while in Luke 21 and meditating on the Lord's words, He said something amazing. He said “By your patience possess your souls.”
And it was like someone turned the light on! Every time that I had ever gotten upset when I spilled or dropped something or while driving a car, if someone near me did something I felt to be stupid or unfair, etc., this list could be endless; when I would get upset, I was losing my soul. Literally. My peace, my joy, my sanity and not pleasing God and ultimately things like that separate us from the Holy Spirit. Yes He does not leave us or forsake us, but when we are in sin, He is not on the Throne of our hearts. And losing our cool, our patience, leads to more frustration, cursing, judging and even more.
Sometimes “the heart, the soul and the spirit” are all referred to as “us.” And all three terms are “part of us.” But in reality, we have our physical brains and bodies and we have spiritual brains and spirits. Now this might sound strange, but many people know themselves or from others experiences, that if you leave your body that you can still see, think, feel, move, etc. Certainly not all functions go in the spirit separated from the body, but many. And my point is that to me, the mind is the soul. I also believe we think from a deeper place that is called the heart (which I think is spiritual). We are not used to thinking about all these terms and the way we function, we just live and “all that we are” works together.
When Jesus said “By your patience possess your souls,” I think it was what we call in the South, a “double whammy.” By “keeping our cool,” our patience - we can keep a clear head which enables us to work through any and all challenges in better ways. It enables us to truly praise the Lord in all our circumstances (especially the kind that come like rapid fire) and to even be able to hear the Lord speaking to us when needed to help us through our challenging moments. “Losing our cool” - being impatient, causes us to “lose it” as we also have the saying. At first, the cost is “mental” if you will, of the soul. But this is just where the bad consequences start, and in the long run, an impatient life can cost a person eternally.
Patience is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. This means that where He goes and is allowed to be Himself or be Lord over things, there will be patience! If we are not living a life of keeping our cool, than it is evidence that we need some help.
When Jesus said what He did, He was explaining how to make it through the tribulation. “Tribulation” in itself means, being squeezed as under tremendous pressure. Think about it, Jesus said that when going through tribulation, by your patience possess your souls.
By realizing that “losing our cool” is expensive, both immediately and eternally, it should help. It sure helped me. By realizing that keeping our cool makes us stronger and more able to live a victorious Christian life, it sure makes a difference. By realizing that we make better decisions with a cool head, really helps.
What good comes of getting frustrated? It cannot please God for us to be upset and frustrated. It hurts the container it is in and if unleashed on those around, it is hurtful to them too. Does anyone of us enjoy being around someone upset and frustrated? Wisdom keeps a cool head. Foolishness loses it. One way is a blessing and the other way is listening to our human nature, bad programming, the devil or some combination... There is nothing good that comes from losing our cool; personally, socially, in the professional world and most importantly spiritually.
The good from keeping our heads is so beneficial. It feels great when we don't let the bumps in the road get us. It pleases our heavenly Father, and it is better for those around us, including our children who are watching and learning. It shows maturity at work to supervisors, customers, coworkers and employees. It brings peace to any environment instead of any ugly alternatives. It makes a better witness to the lost around us. It opens the doors for heaven to work instead of enabling the devil and his agents.
In the process of all this, I found a natural joy in the times that things do not go right. I do not have to live life as I learned it! I can live life being taught and led by the Holy Spirit! I can even laugh in adversity. In so doing, I am healthier. Stress effects blood pressure and all body organs. Stress affects 100% of our bodies. Stress comes from not keeping our cool. The devil would want us to believe cursing helps and nothing could be further from the truth, especially for a Christian who is supposed to be a temple of the Holy Spirit. Why would anyone believe the “witness” of a Christian who curses? That alone is reason to possess one's self and submit to the Holy Spirit.
Jobs can overwhelm us. Parenting our children can be one of the biggest challenges of all. There is no limit to the situations that can be very stressful in life. What if we chose to build large credit card debt and now the bills are overwhelming us? Sometimes we suffer for our own poor choices. However. At all times, the Lord is always waiting for us to admit our troubles and give them to Him. The Lord is able to deliver us from or through all the challenges in this world. Even if it might require some hard work. If we seek the Lord and give our burdens to Him, He is always there for an humble heart or a broken and contrite spirit. He is our loving Father and He knows His children make mistakes. He knows sometimes we even suffer for others mistakes. No matter what, He is still our Father and if we will submit to Him and let Him lead, we can even have peace in the storm. We can know that He will lead us through to the other side.
“By your patience possess your souls.” By trusting in the Lord instead of our own strengths or spouses or governments or anything else, He can see us through. He is our loving Father.
So, what is better? To lose our cool, peace and joy (and lots more) or keep it and rise like eagles above the storms?
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BY YOUR PATIENCE POSSESS YOUR SOULS
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Copyright © 2017 E. Cockrell, May be used for personal instruction anywhere but not to be reprinted or used in whole or part for financial profit.