Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Irritated (11/08/12)
TITLE: The Irresistible Urge To Scratch
By Doug Laird
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But where can irritations lead us in the spiritual ream?
Believers do not become void of emotions as a result of their union with Christ. Believers come in all sizes, shapes, colors, genders, nationalities and personalities. Believers have varying levels of excitability.
Conforming to the likeness and the mind of Christ does NOT alter the uniqueness of the personality traits of the soul that God created, but many forms of evil can!
Even the individual ways in which the fallen nature is manifested in each of us remains with us (Romans 7) until we leave it behind at physical death.
For many believers, mastering the ability to consistently pass the “people test” on a daily basis is one of the hardest hurdles to overcome and one of the most challenging levels to maintain along the path to spiritual maturity. For many of us, just the mere thought of someone with whom we have unresolved issues is enough to take us out of fellowship with God.
Until one is born again, the soul has no other options than what the limitations of the fallen nature in Man have to offer with its human good and evil. Neither one is of ANY value in the spiritual realm.
What the new creation (2Cor. 5: 17) offers us are new choices.
Every day, from moment to moment, believers choose between submitting to their fallen, self-centered nature and submitting to the new Christ-centered creation they received at salvation. We are free to choose, but NOT free from having to make choices.
Believers possess different levels of accurate Bible Doctrine, and even more diverse levels of preparedness to apply what they know to what they do (James 1:22).
During the Church Age, the one and only way that God is so-glorified is when He produces (John 15:5) divine good through a born again (John 3:3), Church Age believer.
The calling of the born again believer is to maintain a position of availability and preparedness. This is where “irritations” come into play.
All born again believers are Spirit-indwelled (1Cor. 2:16), but are not always Spirit-filled. A believer is spirit filled when his thoughts and actions are submitted to the control of God the Holy Spirit and in fellowship (2Cor. 13: 14/Habakkuk 1:13) with Him.
In order for a Church Age believer to engage in sin, be it of the thought, word, or action variety, he must first cast off the influencing control of God the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:16). In doing so, the believer is no longer in fellowship (2Cor. 13:14) with God, rendering him powerless (John 15:5) to execute his post salvation spiritual life.
The believer remains saved, but his availability to have God produce divine good through him is placed on HOLD until the lost fellowship with God is restored via confession (1John 1:9).
When a believer becomes emotionally irritated, confession of his own failure and his need to confess is the furthest thing from his mind.
An emotional revolt of the soul takes place every time that our negative emotions are allowed to take over the control of our thoughts and inevitable actions.
The believer remains out of fellowship until this sin of rebellion and any other sin, such as the sin of refusing to forgive others, is confessed!
The “people test” comes into play whenever the intentional or unintentional things that others say or do are allowed to irritate us to the point that we surrender the control of our thoughts and actions to the negative influence of our fallen nature.
We have non control over what others say or do, but we do have control over how we choose to react or to respond to it!
Through the intake and application of the Word of God, the advancing disciple builds a defense system that detects incoming missiles (Eph. 6: 16) that are designed to encourage an emotional revolt of the soul.
Emotional shock takes place when the negative words or actions of others are so unexpected, or are so painful that it is difficult for the recipient to instantaneously process.
An advancing disciple can greatly reduce the frequency of emotional revolts he experiences, and the accompanying length of time lost out of fellowship, by being available, prepared, and developing the required attitude of ongoing forgiveness towards others.
Unresolved issues with people are not worth loss of fellowship with the Lord.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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