Over the last year, I’ve had the privilege of seeing my life transform from unraveling mess that deteriorated into a hot, rachet tailspin, into something so wonderful I couldn’t have pondered it in my wildest, overactively imaginative dreams.
But it seemed, all good things would come to an end because not long ago, I saw things unraveling again. My health, my bank account, my patience…everything seemed to be on the decline.
So I decided to do some things I’d done before when all hell broke loose in my life and I needed to grab the reigns: I fasted. Or at least…I tried to.
See, the interesting thing is that I was so pissed off about my circumstances before that the sheer intensity of my anger was enough to keep me in check. Ironically, it was through that anger that I was able to focus on God, Who in turn did quite a spiritual number on me. I became more compassionate, patient and genuine. I listened more and talked less. I prayed with people and for people; strangers and friends alike. I challenged others to surrender…just to see what might happen; to just “try God” and compare the outcome to whatever they’d had before.
Life was good.
But this time? I don’t know. Something was different. I’d get angry about the situation. I’d chide the devil (maybe even taunt him a bit) and declare my victory over the situation. I’d get excited about the prospect of my overcome because, after all, I had proof that it was possible.
But after a few days, I’d fizzle. Too tired to keep going, my mind would wander. Did God call me to fast? Is this really what I’m supposed to be doing right now? What if all this stuff I think is promised to me is really just in my head? What if I’m just making it up?!
I thank God for Him, His Word and prayer. He said any of us who lacks wisdom can ask for it and it’ll be granted to us. Well, I asked – for every question above and then some. And that’s when it became clear: I can’t do what I used to because I’m not who I was.
I’m not angry anymore. Sure I’m still feisty and vocal, but not angry. I want my words to be like honey on toast, not vinegar on a wound. My anger wouldn’t be enough to sustain me this time. My disdain wouldn’t be able to fuel me through 40 days in the wilderness of my soul, getting closer to God and hearing His directives for my next steps. At one point it was as if the enemy was laughing at me saying, “Is that all you got? I thought you were better than this?”
(I may have had it coming. They say don’t boast if you can’t back it up.) Well, that did it. I realized…anger derives from lack – lack of compassion, empathy, wisdom, understanding, consideration, maturity or all of the above. Anger, though it can give you an adrenaline rush for a while, inevitably drains you. Anger is depleting, a concrete weight that sinks your spirit and traps your soul.
But it doesn’t have to…not if you release it; not if you embrace love as your primary source of power. Even if you get all the way to the bottom of the sea of despair and lacking, if you cut away the anchor of anger, love will buoy you straight to the top.
And that’s just what I did.
I stopped fasting against the curses in my life and started fasting FOR the blessings. I stopped being angry about what wasn’t going right and started being happy because I know that when all hell breaks loose like this it means the enemy is working overtime…and he only does that when God has something good in store for me.
The enemy will send every manner of illness, anxiety, destitution, confusion, and discord to get me looking left because God has opened a door to the right – a door leading to answered questions and/or prayers that will change my life for the better.
So I stopped being angry. I stopped trying to fight a nuclear war by swinging a switch-blade.
Anger is about me, you, US…self. Anger says that we’re owed something that isn’t being delivered. Anger stems from a limited point of view; one side, one way, one resolution.
That isn’t to say that anger isn’t sometimes merited, but it definitely has no place in the long-term scheme of spiritual warfare. You can say, “But shouldn’t we get angry with the enemy for wreaking havoc in our lives? We’re supposed to march into his camp and take back all he stole. You don’t do recon on friends!”
While all that is true, the fact remains – Jesus confronted the devil face to face (several times) and He never placed more focus on the enemy than on God. In fact, when the enemy tried to distract Jesus, He spoke God’s word!
In the face of the angriest, greediest, most malicious trickster of all time, Jesus quoted Love. He wasn’t loving to the devil or his tricks, but he quoted the most compassionate, loving, selfless Being alive.
That’s the difference: Love is farsighted. Love sees the current situation and recognizes it as part of a process that will not only make sense later, but will pay off too. Love understands that people change and without the right kind of support, those changes could be for the worst. Love knows that there will always be those that want what you have and will try to devalue it, destroy it, or just plain take it from you.
That’s why Love always has a kind word, a warm welcome and an assault plan. (How many of you have that person in your life who seems so fluffy and sweet, but the war stories of their youth leave your mouth open? Especially when you find out a) it wasn’t that long ago and/or b) they still keep in touch with their cronies. They may have traded in their brass knuckled fists for praying hands, but they can still call in favors from places you’re afraid to go to in the daylight!)
That’s how God works, too. And that’s what I had to remember as I fasted this time. This wasn’t about being angry and taunting the devil, it was about getting closer to God, hearing His voice and then getting it.
This was about me being on the “do not devour” list. If the enemy has to go looking for those whom he may devour – meaning whom he must get permission to devour, i.e., those whom are eligible – my goal was to not be on that list. If I could help it, my attention would stay on God so that I not only understand His will for my life and can complete it, but that the enemy wouldn’t be able to tamper with it because I wouldn’t be in his path of devourables.
Consider that Jesus was so about His father’s business that his persecutors were only able to destroy him because he allowed it! I may not get it that down pat, but I can certainly try.
And I encourage you to do the same. Don’t let your anger fuel you. Instead, change your perspective. What if you didn’t get that promotion because a better opportunity is around the corner? What if your being sick is God slowing you down so you can hear Him better? What if you shift your focus from the negative to the good God is bringing forth from it? What if rather than fasting and praying against the curse, you fasted and prayed FOR the miracle, for the blessing, for the promise?
What if you accept for just a moment that when you believe in the forthcoming promise, you’ve basically said, “Curse? What curse?”
When you focus on all the wonderful things to come and then enact God’s power within you to bring them to pass, you take power away from the enemy, from the negatives, from the curse. You tell God that you trust Him and believe in His ability to take care of it all.
So go on, give it a shot. See if that small shift doesn’t have a major impact in your life. I know it’s still having one on mine. 🙂
Good luck and God bless.