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Daily Boost

  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


Daily Boost

June 28, 2013 - Me, Submit?

By Patty Kennedy

Have you ever been frustrated that you don't seem to be progressing in your spiritual life? Sometimes I feel as though I take a giant leap forward in my walk with God, only to take three or four steps backward. I feel like I must be the most obtuse, rebellious child God has ever disciplined!

Recently, a verse came to my attention over and over again: "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you" (James 4:7, KJV). I have read this verse and heard it many times, but the Holy Spirit kept speaking it to me during the following week. It became obvious as time went on I needed to do some major housecleaning in my soul, and I set out to do just that.

My problem with anger quickly presented itself as needing attention. Extreme vulnerability and helplessness from the time I was very young caused me to erect barriers of anger. You see, when you are angry, you don't appear to be so vulnerable. It's a defense mechanism I learned to master for my own survival.

I know anger itself is not a sin, but rather a God-given emotion. Feeling anger is not a problem. But if you suppress it (as I did for years) or do not learn to express it in a healthy way, it can take over your life. When God showed me that was happening to me, I knew something had to be done. But what? I have known Jesus for decades, and still struggled with this issue.

The answer came as I was reading Annie Chapman's Letting Go of Anger. First, I was reminded of a very important truth: "Absolutely nothing, including that which stirred up a fierce anger, can touch me without first passing through the filter of His loving hands. God wants to use everything that comes into our lives to conform us into the image of Jesus."

The statement God used to pierce my heart was this one: "As long as we hold on to things like anger and our perceived 'right' to be accommodated, we will never progress in our spiritual life."

There it was in black and white. I asked God why I didn't seem to be progressing, and He showed me through Chapman’s book. When I read that second point, God reminded me again of the verse from James, and told me I had not submitted to Him completely. He revealed that I have not learned to trust Him, because I still feel the need to protect myself from being vulnerable.

Though I knew the anger was wrong, I had no idea how to be rid of it. I had used it as my suit of armor for decades; wouldn't I be vulnerable again if I removed it?

Notice in James 4:7 the specific order — first you are to submit yourself to God, and then resist the devil. I tried for years to withstand Satan when it came to being angry, but I was doing so without being fully submitted to my Heavenly Father. Instead of trusting Him to protect me, I wanted to hang on to the anger. Ouch. That was a painful thing to hear, but I am so grateful that my Father loves me enough to show me these things.

Have you given yourself completely to God, for Him to use however and whenever He chooses? Or do you (as I did) have a list of things you consciously or subconsciously have told Him you are simply not willing to do? Certain people you refuse to associate with and/or tolerate in your life?

Nobody knows you more intimately than God does, and no one is aware of what is best for you like He is. If you're tired of clinging to defense mechanisms and trying to battle Satan when your arsenal is void of power, put your weapons down, come to Jesus and lay it all at His feet.

You don't have to have it all figured out first; Jesus wants you to come as you are. If you yield to Him, He will take you step-by-step through your growth process and mold you into His image. I leave you with this precious verse that I hear my Father speak to me often:

"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28, NKJV).

— Patty Kennedy describes her life as "a powerful illustration of God's matchless grace and redemption." She lives in Springfield, Mo., with her husband, John, who serves as news editor for the Pentecostal Evangel.



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