Friday, October 10, 2014

October 9 – Anger that keeps us pure

The Lord is a jealous and avenging God; the Lord takes vengeance and is fierce in wrath. The Lord takes vengeance against His foes; He is furious with His enemies.  The Lord is slow to anger but great in power.  (Nahum 1:2  HCSB)

This passage made Oprah Winfrey decide not to believe in the God of the Bible any more, ignorantly thinking that it meant God was jealous of her!  For people who see jealously as a negative thing, think again. In a world full of evil, we all want a jealous God who is fiercely loyal to those He loves, and who will take swift action to defend His own.  This is so natural: a mother feels this fury when her young are being harmed, as does a soldier for his nation, and a good shepherd for his flock.  We are more than blessed to know that God is jealous and takes vengeance on His foes out of a deep and fierce love for us.  If he wasn’t jealous, we would all be lost.

In our churches, we teach all who come to have an attitude of righteous anger against the problems that are sent by the devil to attack us.  Those who see the greatest answers to prayer, are those who take on this attitude in full force, who learn to hate the devil and all the lies he brings into their lives.  But those who fight in prayers half-heartedly, who entertain thoughts of the devil the moment they are in the church parking lot, or who reject the guidance God gives them through their pastor, are far from living out the character that God Himself has.  If our God burns with anger against evil, we should all the more, because we are the daily targets of the devil.  Anger against evil causes our love for God and each other pure. 

When you feel alone in a tough problem, surrounded by oppressive thoughts and emotions that make you want to run, hide, or lash out, know that you are being attacked by demons. If they succeed in accomplishing their mission, you will lose your faith, doubt God, foster resentment towards Him and His people, and then become a wide-open target for whatever they want to do to you.  Demons know when you are emanating light and faith, and they know when you’re cold and dark.  A lack of righteous anger against the devil creates that darkness, and the devil is more than happy to waltz in and cause destruction.  

Instead, identify your real enemy – not your boss, spouse or kids.  Then fight in your prayers, rebuke that enemy who has no right to steal what God has rightfully purchased for you on the cross.  Be fierce, come to church more, wake up in the early hours of the night, fast, shout if you have to, but take on God’s attitudes of fury against your enemies – demons of depression, sickness, financial ruin, confusion, division – whatever and whoever they are. 

For those who say their personality is just not the angry type, and even get offended when we ask them to fight and pray the way we do – I don’t believe them.  Everyone hates evil, and everyone has had moments of righteous anger.  Those who refuse to pray in this manner are refusing to have God’s character.  They are comfortable passively managing their demons and trying to keep them under control, while their demons gradually eat them alive.  God wants to answer our prayers and grant us the desires of our hearts, but let’s be God-like in our nature and character.  Let’s develop such a love for what is good, that our hatred of evil becomes a part of us, and in doing so, our prayers can be effective and in sync with His Spirit.

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