August 25, 2012

Angry Obedience

Written by Boyd Bailey

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- August 25, 2012

“Moses said to them, “Listen you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?” Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank. But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron,  “Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.” Numbers 20:10b-12

Angry obedience is better than no obedience, but it is not the best obedience. It has its positive results and it has its negative consequences. It does get results, but does so at the expense of dishonoring God and people. It’s like a frustrated husband who lashes out at his wife, yet says that he loves her because he provides her food, a home, a car, and clothes. The facts of his provision are true, but there is something ominous about the omission of love and respect in the tone of his defense. In this angry reaction, God is not glorified and self becomes the center of attention. Anger drives this type of response.

It may be anger from the grumbling of ungrateful people; it may be anger at others whose capacity for work and activity does not meet your expectations; it may be anger for always having to be responsible for irresponsible people; it may be anger at oneself for not preparing others to do their own planning and implementation. Obeying God is more than going through the right motions. It is going through the right motions with an attitude that acknowledges Him as the source of provision and trust. Anger puts the self-control of the Holy Spirit into hibernation. We are tempted to get angry with others for their ingratitude, when our own lack of trust in God denies His grace. We get angry when we place too much on others and ourselves; anger limits us.

However, appropriation of God’s grace infuses graciousness. His grace enables you to trust in the Almighty’s agenda. You can trust Him and rest in His provision, instead of rushing into angry reactions. You can get right results without being driven by anger. Ask God to replace your anger with His understanding. Submit to the control of the Holy Spirit. Your submission to your Savior positions you to walk in humility, not in pride. Those who do not live up to their expectations easily offend prideful people. Humble people, however, are patient and self-controlled. They are as concerned about the means as they are the ends. Unfortunately, at any given moment, anger can push humility out and replace it with pride. It is a Christless coup of the heart. You become too driven when you run over relationships. Praise God there is a remedy to anger-driven living.

The remedy is living at a pace governed by grace. Living without margin pushes out grace and incubates anger. Therefore, create more time for people and prayer. Grace-filled living is more relational and less transactional. Relationally motivated people ask caring questions instead of engaging in angry accusations. Their obedience to God is motivated by their fear of God. This honors Him, which in turn extends love and respect to others. Once you leave your place of prayer, you are still to pray. You pray without ceasing and you ask the Holy Spirit to douse any flittering fires of anger that pride tries to ignite. Stop and discern the Spirit’s prompting to pause in prayer.

Replace anger with peace and patience. The promised land of more opportunity awaits those whose complete trust in God is their motivation to obey Him. Pray as the Psalmist: “Give me understanding, and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart” (Psalm 119:34).

Taken from August 23th reading in the 365-day devotional book, “Seeking Daily the Heart of God”…

Post/Tweet this today: Wisdom and patience lives at a pace governed by grace. #grace

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  1. Dawn says:

    Besides Psalm 119 and Gal 5:22-26, what other versus do you recommend to meditate on to move from anger & pride to grace and humility?

  2. Vanessa says:

    Anger is not always about pride. It is about fear, frustration, hurt, and injustice. Nor is anger lack of humility or against the leading of the holy spirit. The evidence is in the life of Christ. He was never out of the will of the father and he is one with the holy spirit, yet he was angry many times (as was the father). He never acted out of fear but definite from frustration, sorrow and injustice. Anger is not a sin..and having worked in mental health for over 25 years I can tell you, most of the time the root of it is not either. God gets that…wish most Christians did. Tired of counseling folks about their “anger problem” because they have been guilt tripped by a church ..when reality is their anger is right on track with what needs to be changed and they need to be heard and healed. Thanks for the article..good read.

  3. Roger Soliz via Facebook says:

    Amen. If Im right it says to deny yourself when in trials in other words I love you more than what my flesh desires. Amen, Amen!

  4. Roger Soliz via Facebook says:

    With alot of prayer!

  5. Obeying god was turning over tables, making a cat of nine tails and chasing people with it and telling your twelves buddies”how long must I put up with you”. Still amazes me how many people would have sent Jesus to anger management class LOL. Please don’t assume..and please don’t set standards higher for yourself than your savior. You might discover you would have been the one’s saying crucify him.

  6. Boyd says:

    Dawn here are a couple of helpful verses:

    “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.” Romans 12:2-4

    “But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” James 4:5-7

    A servant of Jesus,


  7. Denise Wisdom via Facebook says:


  8. LaShonne Tolbert says:

    I agree with you christians tend not to stop and listen to one another. I believe there are a lot of christians instead of following Jesus they are following man therefore they are not listening with a spiritual ear.The word says flesh can not understand spiritual matters. So when a person see’s you one and you express a holy anger it will be misunderstood.HOLY ANGER is totally different than anger I believe if the body of Christ don’t get that interperted right we will keep losing people from lack of concern and revelation.

  9. jfw - Roswell says:

    Bulls eye! Made me reevaluate attitudes in my life… Also made me think of the differences between people in the current political spotlight — one always seems to be lasing out angrily…

  10. Kate says:

    Anger is not the problem. It is what we do with it that can be.

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