As a nation, we have experienced so much turmoil and unrest this year. I believe I have witnessed more conflict in 2020 than any year of my adult life.
There are so many volatile emotions, especially during the most isolated months of the pandemic. Our usual healthy ways of decompressing are cut off from us; that combined with our cultural climate, and we have begun to self-combust. My husband, Carlos, says we need to turn our anger on our real enemy.
"Anger can be a very destructive force; however, I believe that if you can bring that anger under the Holy Spirit, you can unleash the power of God's presence. When I got angry at the devil for what he stole from me through my sin, I got fed up. I said, 'No more!' I stood against the devil and stood up for myself and the things of God."
That is the passion that fuels us when we go into battle through prayer. When they are fighting for the life and the soul of a loved one, praying moms and grandmas are saying, "you cannot have my child's attention. No more!" Freedom starts with knowing who is on your side and who the enemy is.
Ephesians 6:12a (HCSB) tells us, "our battle is not against flesh and blood." Our trouble doesn't originate in another person's beliefs, preferences or prejudices. The source of our conflict is the enemy of our souls, the one who comes to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). We need to flip the tables on him because, as Carlos says, "Anger is simply passion needing instruction." We are not to be ruled by our emotions, but we can accomplish great things when we direct our emotions. Do you sometimes confuse whom you should be loving with whom you are supposed to be fighting? Do you ever feel as though the person you fight with the most is your past self?
The cause of anger is often areas in your life that you have not dealt with; hurts from your childhood or some unyielded sin in your life. As believers, we need to start confronting what has happened in our past and address those things we're holding onto so we can walk in freedom. I'm not telling you to forget where you came from—but your past does not define you. Your story includes yesterday, sure, but your testimony is more than that. You are not your past—you are the beauty and strength God created from it.
How can you tell you are healed? When you can remember it all, and there is no longer pain attached to those memories. It won't hurt every day. You will no longer be bitter or depressed or angry. You can celebrate the scar because it proves the healing. That comes through the love and the power we find in Jesus.
If unforgiveness plagues your thoughts, or you still dabble in your pet sin, you can be free today.
Confess your sin to the Lord, find godly counsel to take steps out of the ditch and walk in obedience to the Word of God (1 John 1:9). Sin separates us from intimacy with God; it does not cut us off from His love. Nothing can (Eph. 1:3-9). That's the Good News. Guilt, sin's byproduct, does as much to keep you from God's presence as anything. Do you feel detached and not sure why? Ask God, as David did in Psalm 139:23-24 (NIV): "Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."
Praying to see yourself—the good, the bad and the ugly, is a courageous desire. David wanted nothing to do with any part of himself that wasn't of the Father. He wanted it stripped away. Knowing your human mind might not be able to recognize your deep-down issues, are you ready to ask God to show you?
God wants you to experience freedom. You are only as free as you are honest. Ask your heavenly Father to help you identify and nullify whatever past or present hurt, unforgiveness, sin or shame is holding you back.
Heavenly Father, we thank You for your goodness, Your grace and Your mercy. Examine the condition of my heart. I want to be free. I confess my sins, and I ask You to search my heart. Cleanse me from all unrighteousness and make me faithful. You are a merciful, loving and caring Father, so we know that in Jesus' name, You said that you would not cast me away. Release my burdens. Thank You that we can walk in freedom and experience real revival through the life-changing, life-giving power of Jesus Christ. I give You all the glory and honor. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Tune into this episode of the Faith-Fuel podcast with Rosalinda titled, Search me, Oh God: Freedom From Sin, Unforgiveness and Guilt—Guest Carlos Rivera, on the Charisma Podcast Network.
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