The Lord is teaching me to open my Bible when I'm faced with a situation that the flesh craves to flare up against. Flesh and spirit had a battle today, but I'm so thankful for a patient God that helps me through those moments so I don't create circumstances for myself that will only hinder my walk with the Lord.
It is a fact that the enemy WILL test you. The closer you attempt to walk with the Lord, the more trials you WILL see come your way... but that's something to rejoice over! If too much time goes by that I don't catch myself in those moments that I'm literally chewing into my own tongue to keep my heart, mind and spirit in alignment with God's word, that's when I know it's time to straighten things out with the Lord, because I've strayed away somewhere.
Earlier today I was faced with a decision. I could either bite my tongue and wait on the Lord, or I could allow the flesh to react on impulse. This decision involved a person that we have bent over backwards for in the past when we were in no place to be helping anyone financially by any means. In fact, our family took a set back for helping out in a number of ways.
I received a text message this morning that was literally a slap in the face response to help provided in the past. I read the message and physically caught myself stagger as though the slap came right through my phone. Standing in shock, a mix of emotions raced through me in a matter of seconds. Anger, sadness, irritation, hurt, betrayal, bitterness... they swarmed around me like a tornado. The enemy pounded my memory with circumstances I could easily throw back responses with, comments that would whip this person right back into reality if I could just dial the number and speak the thoughts compounding in my mind.
Then the Holy Ghost spoke.
I opened my Bible and no matter what page I flipped around to, and no matter how randomly I pointed to a verse and read it aloud, the same basic message appeared before my eyes that beat down on my range of emotions and the words aching to jump off my tongue.
And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also.
Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.
If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.
I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on the LORD, and he shall save thee.
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.
And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.
Needless to say, I got the point. The flesh backed down and my teeth eased pressure off the tongue that I realized I was literally biting down into. It is not easy to turn the other cheek, but it would be even harder to stand before the Lord one day and have Him shake His head at me in disappointment. I'll take some hurt feelings now over that any day.
A lesson learned is a lesson shared: it's not worth it to allow anyone or anything to rip apart a moment. Be slow to speak, and allow the Holy Spirit to have a chance to bring you a peace through God's word... the answers are there, whether we like them in the moment or not, but when we submit to the answers we're given, that peace is a reward for our trust in Him.
Regardless of where we each are in our walk with the Lord, the same temptations, issues, trials, and emotions will cross our paths at some point... I'm as human as the next person... I'm just so very thankful for a patient and loving Lord that is willing to teach me and guide me through each step.