February 9, 2013
"So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves." Galatians 5:16
I often hear people speak of a prayer closet. You know, that place to which you escape when you need one-on-one time with the Lord? I would love to retreat to my bedroom closet. However, I've discovered a slight geographical issue when seeking shelter in my bedroom . . . my bedroom simply lies too far away from the rest of our home. Oh, its not that our house is all that big. Its that I lack the self-control needed to keep myself from releasing an emotional outburst before I reach my bedroom closet. Instead I recently identified a more optimal location to which I can retreat--the half-bathroom which sits adjacent to our laundry room.
Lately my emotions seem uncontrollable. I blame it on these last few weeks of pregnancy. Looking back on journals I kept during each of my previous pregnancies my mood swings will not soon end. Either I can continue to boss my family out of house and home or I can recognize my behavior for what it is--a demonstration of my sinful nature.
I do not deny the power of female hormones . . . especially during pregnancy! However, the God I know stands bigger than any hormone. Ephesians 1:19-20 says that the same power which God used to raise Christ from the dead is available to me as a believer through my faith in Him. I may feel as if my emotions overpower me but the Truth says that I can overcome all things through Christ (Romans 8:37 and Philippians 4:13).
In Galatians 5, the apostle Paul tells me how to overcome all things. Galatians 5:16 reads, "Let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves." Allowing the Holy Spirit to guide our lives proves easier said than done. (Enter my need for the prayer bathroom.)
Escaping to a place of solitude, even if just for a moment, allows me to focus my heart and mind on the Truth. Though I feel like biting the heads off of my husband and children, through the power of God's Spirit in me I can chose to demonstrate love, joy, peace and kindness to my family. In Galatians 5:19-22 Paul explains that "when [we] follow the desires of [our] sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. . . . But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control."
The secret to living by the Spirit is to capture my thoughts and feelings before they become actions. Second Corinthians 10:5 tells me to make my thoughts [and feelings] obedient to Christ. Though I may not feel like demonstrating fruit from the Spirit, the truth is that I can demonstrate fruitfulness by allowing Spirit to take over me. Sometimes I need a minute (or an hour) to allow the Spirit to take control.
So if you call or stop by and I fail to answer know that I might be in the bathroom . . . my prayer bathroom, that is.