This year I have been ministering on the subject, "Changing Chronic Things," in virtually every service no matter whether it has been at the Prayer Center or on the road. Aren't you glad that our heavenly Father loves us too much to leave us like we are? I am! But change isn't always easy, especially when it comes to those deep-rooted flaws hidden within our character. When we think of "change," we normally think of external things first such as losing weight, quitting a bad habit, cutting back on frivolous spending, and so forth. Those are good things to change all right, but the most difficult things to change are found deep within ourselves.
Here is a quote from a recent letter I received. I quote it here not because it is unusual, but because it is so typical of many such prayer requests we receive every month.
"Dear Gary, I have a prayer request. I am at the point where I am led by my emotions and by my circumstances. I am tired of the up and down and up and down. My emotions are on edge and I am tired. Will I ever grow up and reach some sort of maturity? I want to be all God wants me to be but I don't know how."
All of us have emotions. All of us like pleasant circumstances. Why is it so important, then, that we develop the capacity to not be ruled by them? I recently saw Mel Gibson's movie, "The Passion Of The Christ." As you watch the movie and see the agony that Christ suffered, you realize that in His character … emotions were felt, but those emotions could not stop Him from accomplishing the will of His Father. Why not?
Heb 12:2-3 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
"For the joy that was set before him ...". Joy is also an emotion. Christ's love for the Father and His joy at accomplishing the Father's will provided emotions (love and joy) that OVERCAME the natural human emotions associated with physical pain and the mental suffering that accompanies slander and rejection by man ... even rejection by one of his most trusted friends ... Peter. The nature of Christ "feels" human emotion, but is not ruled by it. There are emotions provided from another realm, the realm of the Spirit, which supercede all human emotion.
Think about a mother who, under normal circumstances, is afraid of snakes. Yet if that same mother sees a rattlesnake slithering toward her newborn child, she will attack that snake with all of her might without showing the slightest hint of fear. The love she has for her child OVERCOMES the emotion of fear and she is able to demonstrate total dominion over her enemy. Love is the most powerful emotion of all. Love, true love, originates with God because God IS love!
1 John 4:16-19 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us.
If our emotions are ruling us due to adverse circumstances, then we are being controlled by fear and "He that feareth is not made perfect in love." We fear because we do not yet realize how perfectly … and completely … HE LOVES US! We are not yet "resting" in the finished work of Christ. When we are in fear like that we are revealing a sad, but common, truth about ourselves: We only believe God truly loves us when our circumstances are pleasant.
Again, let us look unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. During the most unpleasant circumstances imaginable, He continued to endure knowing all the while that He was the object of His Father's love. Sometimes the assignments given to us by our Father are not pleasant on our flesh or our emotions. But they are always given from the heart of Him who IS … Love! Sure, sometimes the people we reach out to with the love of God are going to hurt us, slander us, and do things that are hard on anybody's emotions. But such things do not move us. Our love for the Father and our joy at accomplishing His will on earth supercede all natural, human emotion.
2 Cor 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
Continue in prayer. As you do, the Holy Spirit will progressively unveil the glory of the Lord right before your spiritual eyes. The more you see His glory, the more you are changed into that same image ... not by your own effort ... but by the Spirit of the Lord.
Sue and I love you and appreciate you. We thank God for your generous and giving heart. God bless you!
Your friend and co-laborer,
Gary Carpenter Ministries|
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