IDOK DEVOTION FOR FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2010
I am looking at Colossians 3 today. Colossians 3 (NKJV): 8But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. [source] Here we are commanded to put off certain things. In Kathie Whitestone Thompson paraphrase: STOP IT!
Of these five things to put off, anger is listed first. I suspect anger is listed first because if we do not STOP IT, it will lead to all the others. Ephesians 4 (NKJV): 26“Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, 27 nor give place to the devil. [source] Obviously there are occasions when anger is appropriate; to not be angry in certain situations would indicate a malfunction in our ‘wiring’.
So what is anger? Can we describe it? We certainly recognize the various expressions of it, don’t we? Free Dictionary On-Line defines it this way: A strong feeling of displeasure or hostility. My On-Line Greek Lexicon defines it this way as a NOUN: the natural disposition, temper, character movement or agitation of the soul, impulse, desire, any violent emotion. As a VERB it is defined like so: to stretch one’s self out in order to touch or to grasp something, to reach after, to desire, to give one’s self up to. [source] [source]
I am getting mind pictures here. I have a little book that I have read to my grandbabies many times. It’s the story of Mary and Martha told in a manner to captivate the attention of young children and its cartoon type illustrations just seal the deal for them. You know the story. Martha is in the kitchen working her little fingers to the bone and Mary is in the den lounging with Jesus. Angry Martha is drawn with red hair (imagine that!) and a dark puff of smoke rising from her head, a beet red face, eyes bulging and perspiration popping off her cheeks, as she stands with her hands on her hips, her torso leaned slightly forward and her feet strategically placed so as to withstand the force of a bull coming at her. Do you get the picture? Do you see agitation of the soul that is about to reach out and touch somebody — if not with the spoon she is holding in her hand at least with some ‘filthy communication’?
So in Martha we see an example of inappropriate anger. Let us now look at an example of appropriate anger.
John 2 (NKJV):13 Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers doing business. 15 When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables. 16 And He said to those who sold doves, “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!” 17 Then His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up.” [source]
So what is the difference? SELF. Martha’s anger was all about what she perceived to be an injustice done to HER. Not so with Jesus. His anger was not about getting ‘satisfaction’ for Himself but about righting wrongs, about restoring the Temple to the use His Father intended. It is my considered opinion that had Jesus not been angry about what was happening in the Temple, He would have in that moment committed SIN.
So next time we sense anger building within, and if we know in our gut that we have unction from ABBA to be ‘His Arm’ to right a wrong, then by all means let us pick up some cords and start plaiting! Otherwise, STOP IT right there!
One more practical test as to whether or not we have unction from the LORD to plait that whip – if we WANT to do it, I mean we just got happy juices bubbling over to do it – it’s FLESH! And we better STOP IT immediately!
I appreciate this, LORD. I see more clearly that ever why You did what You did in the Temple. Thank You. And I pray to be more and more like You. I pray to leave any defense of me to You but when You bring me to know and witness wrongs that You desire to work through me to correct, then I pray I will not sin against You by refusing to put on Your Anger and deal with it as You direct. You know I don’t like confrontation. But, LORD, please don’t let me shrink back in fear from it when You ask me to confront wrongs and injustices. And I pray this for our IDOKs and Readers. We don’t want to sin against You by refusing to be angry about what You are angry about. And we don’t want to sin against You by taking on vengeance either. So, this is our prayer and we are expecting You to train us to walk in it.
Thank You. You are so good to me. I love you. I am so grateful when You remind me and prompt me in prayer. We renew again our prayers too for our IDOK Troops – for their safety and protection, for their hearts to not be afraid but trusting and relying upon You for peace and courage and wisdom. For all names spoken here we pray for them to know Your Tending, Your Ministry to them. We renew again our prayers for peace and protection for Israel; for repentance for America; for the overthrow of and defeat of unholy Bills on Capitol Hill; for the salvation of lost men and women in places of influence and authority in all offices of Federal, State, County and City Governments; and that Christians in all these places will be courageous and refuse to compromise Your Word; we pray for some holy anger, LORD, not for self satisfaction but for the defense of the innocent and the defenseless. And to not be political for politics sake but for the evangelizing of the souls of man and the edifying of Your Church. I am grateful for this message and I pray it will fulfill every purpose You desire, ABBA. Amen and amen in the Sweet and Perfect Name of Your Holy Son, Jesus.