Saturday, April 23, 2016

I Work and He Works

Summary: Anger made disrespect even worse. I would try to keep it in check, fail, and grow depressed. Quite trying, and another kind of depression joined. Last year's issues -- anger, respect, 'trying' depression, 'not-trying' depression

Now what? In my anger post, I had written, "But just having His Spirit in me doesn't bust it. I have to depend on Him and activate God in me..." How do I depend on Him and activate His Spirit in me?

I compiled a list of 70+ things that I (would) think when I felt the anger rising. Unfortunately, these thoughts often did not help. I don't know why exactly. Maybe I still felt in control, still wanted my way (automatic and easiest) versus submitting to God and His ways, just wanted the Spirit to do the work, was rebelling against being told what to do... Maybe it is just really tough to learn new ways, new habits. I knew the thought but doing it just wasn't happening, whether I tried or not. 

It used to happen like this: situation --> anger --> thought --> ahhh, can't do it! = fail 

There was no way I could implement these thoughts, no matter how good or biblical they are.

So, as I continued to feel like things were spiraling out of control and grew more desperate than ever before, I had lost all reliance on myself and my ability. No confidence in myself at all. I only messed things (people, relationships, moments) up. I was utterly dependent on Him. Finally, I was right where He wanted me -- at the end of my rope and bottom of the pit -- helpless, dependent, and desperate.

Now, when I feel the anger rising, I cry out to Him, "I know full well I cannot handle this. If I try to control myself or do a helpful hint, I'll fail. I've tried and given it all I got. And, I still can't. But I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that You can." Then I think a thought, and relying completely on His Spirit to empower me, it works! So, I think my thought but do not believe in my ability to carry it out, and the Spirit enables me to do it. 
...continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. ~ Philippians 2:12-13
I work and He works. My work is not to try or just rely. But both. I must take the first step (the step of faith and obedience), and trust Him to walk me through it. Like Peter stepping out of the boat.

It's like this now: situation --> anger --> plea for help --> thought --> help

It doesn't seem that much different; it's all about recognizing the source for the strength.

I still botch things sometimes, trying to rely on my flesh to accomplish what I want. Ricky calls these moments blips in the new norm.

I will try to post my helpful hints list next week. 

[I'm working on uprooting my anger, so there should be posts about that later this year. At least, the outward effects of my anger are much less and better now. Of course, I want the roots to be removed, too.]