Out of the Abundance of the Heart

Saturday August 6, 2016

Building People of Substance for Works of Power

Time to check the oil, Amigos.

“It is a spiritual axiom that every time we are disturbed, no matter what the cause, there is something wrong with us.” Back in 1979, that quote from Bill Wilson in his book Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions seemed radical to me. Surely my emotions were subject to the people and circumstances around me! Only after I became a fairly serious student of the Bible did I begin to grasp a bit of the truth in that statement. The Kingdom of God is “righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. (Romans 14:17)” The product of the Spirit is “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Galatians 5:22-23)” The New Testament is clear that my internal environment should be marked by love, peace and joy. I like to think of my internal emotional environment kind of like the warning lights on the instrument panel in my car. If one of the lights comes on and stays on, I know I need to check under the hood to see what needs adjusting.

There are 4 serious warning lights on my emotional dashboard. When these come on and stay on for any length of time, I have to have spiritual maintenance. They are

1. Fear. God never leads us with fear. He is a God of peace. “Fear Not!” Luke 12:32

2. Resentment. Continued bad feelings, hatred, or bitterness that I feel towards others is a sign that I need to forgive and forget. Mark 11:25

3. Self-pity. Feeling sorry for ourselves is the basis of most depression. Philippians 2:14

4. Discouragement. To be discouraged is to be disheartened and dismayed. It implies a lack of hope. Joshua 1:9

Living free in Christ demands that we take a look under the hood when these warning lights come on. We are not designed to live with fear, resentment, self-pity, or discouragement. They will eventually cripple us and leave us on the junk heap of life.

Somebody Said: “An unexamined life is not worth living” Socrates

Scripture Reading: Test yourselves to make sure you are solid in the faith. Don’t drift along taking everything for granted. Give yourselves regular checkups. You need firsthand evidence, not mere hearsay, that Jesus Christ is in you. Test it out. If you fail the test, do something about it. (2 Corinthians 13:5 MSG)

Frankly, this is where we really get down to the nitty gritty in learning to overcome the things that bind us. This is where most folks quit. They don’t want to work. They prefer the “magic wand” school of faith. They don’t want to examine themselves because they don’t like what they see. This is where real freedom comes: freedom from me. Hang in with me as we take a look at the process of self- examination, bible adjustments, and real change. It’s an adventure!

Virgil Stokes
FCF of Tucson
3141 W. Ironwood Hill Dr.
Tucson, AZ 85745

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