Avoiding Bad Tendencies – Part 1

 

 

“You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever” – Psalm 30:11-12

 

The term “submit” is not well liked in our culture. We don’t like to “submit” to anyone. Yet in Scripture we see that we all are to submit to someone. The word means to “voluntarily place yourself under another.” It differs from the word “obey” which omits the “voluntary” portion. You may be asking what does submission have to do with staying out of spiritual darkness and avoiding bad tendencies? I would submit, it has everything to do with it. Have you ever heard the phrase “do what feels right”? What that phrase actually means is “submit to your feelings”. Put another popular way “let your feelings be your guide.” Can you imagine if we actually promoted this ideology in our morality, relationships and even our workplace? We would have an immoral, sexually perverse generation without objective truth. We would have a divorce rate that is hardly imaginable, and managers would be pulling their hair out trying to get people to show up for work and do their jobs faithfully. Is their wisdom in doing what “feels right?” The answer is a qualified yes, so long as what feels right is in accordance with the Word of God and the leading of the Holy Spirit.

It takes but a short time to find ourselves in darkness and despair. I’ve lived in areas where within minutes the skies can change from bright sunshine to dark and ominous. Thunder and lightning looms overhead and suddenly we are being pummeled with hail. There are times when we are in one location and on the top of the world worshiping and praising God, only to be met with disaster around the next corner. How will we respond to that disaster? It feels overwhelming with no way to escape, but we know there is an escape. We know that we must move to a place that is safe. When the hail began to strike, the lightning flashed and the thunder cracked, our feelings may have said “we are going to die!” Our mind said, “no” we won’t die, but we need to move inside where it is safe. So it is with our emotions. Taking the time to evaluation our emotions and compare them with truth is critical.

If you have ever sunk to that place of darkness, you may have found yourself in one or more defense mechanism. For some, that darkness leads them to a form of escape that causes them to become a recluse. There are some cases where people will stay in bed all day. The very though of getting up is too difficult. They have submitted to their feelings. Other busy themselves so much that there is not time for trials, or their personal trials are replace by the trials of their workplace, co-workers or even employees. The thought of slowing down is scary. They too have submitted themselves to their feelings. David explained the key to understanding this principle in Psalm 31 “In You, O Lord, I put my trust;… deliver me.”

God doesn’t ask us to pull up our bootstraps and try harder. He doesn’t tell us to ignore our feelings or the situation. He does tell us to run to Him, then by faith get up and start walking. He will strengthen you as you do!
How are you trusting God to get up and act by faith?

Matthew Elroy

Disciple of Jesus, Husband, Father & pastor.