Control Your Heart Before It Controls You

Control Your Heart Before It Controls You - Lisa U Maki

How many times have you flared up in anger over some emotional hurts that have piled up in your heart? How many times have you committed the sin of fornication only because you fell in love with the person you went to bed with? How many times have you viewed porn only because you felt some urge rising up from within you? In short, how many times have you been carried away by your emotions and you did things that you regretted doing?
Every action we do results from what our heart feels and what our mind dictates. Our feelings trigger certain actions that we have to execute as a result of what we feel. Obviously, it is our heart that controls us. We have become its slave.
If we look at what God says about our heart, we will be appalled. Check out these two Scriptures...
The heart is deceitful above all things, and it is exceedingly perverse and corrupt and severely, mortally sick! (Jeremiah 17:9)
For from within, [that is] out of the hearts of men, come base and wicked thoughts, sexual immorality, stealing, murder, adultery, coveting, dangerous and destructive wickedness, deceit; unrestrained conduct; an evil eye (envy), slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil [purposes and desires] come from within, and they make the man unclean and render him unhallowed. Mark 7:21-23
If this is the kind of heart we have, can you imagine how we have been slaves to something wicked and mortally sick? Think about it. We have been following our hearts like robots, giving in to its cries and whims. We have been emotional wrecks all these years! And when I say emotional, it does not just refer to being easily offended, or being a cry baby, or feeling depressed. Emotions include a wide range of feelings including anger and lust. It can also be positive feelings such as getting excited over an announcement in church for volunteers and you signed up, only to realize later on that you don't really want to be there.
The first step to controlling our emotions is for us to understand how it works and how opposite it is to what the Word of God says. If out of impatience, for instance, I decide on something abruptly, without even consulting God about it. This decision may not be God's perfect plan for me, and as a result, I can end up more stuck in my situation.
What we also have to understand is that our emotions can be controlled by the flesh or by the spirit. If it is controlled by the flesh, it is not subjected to the Word of God. When our emotions are controlled by the flesh, it does what it feels like doing, with no regards to how it is going to affect us in the long run. On the other hand, if our emotions are controlled by the spirit, then it aligns itself with the Word of God.
My acting impatient is dictated by my flesh. It doesn't see the future. It only wants the "now". If I operate in the spirit, then when my flesh starts feeling impatient, what I will do is go back to the Word of God and see what God says about patience. I then surrender to God's Word and His perfect will.
Here are some Scriptures about being patient.
Love is patient (1 Cor.13:4).
For you have need of steadfast patience and endurance, so that you may perform and fully accomplish the will of God, and thus receive and carry away [and enjoy to the full] what is promised (Hebrews 10: 36).
Clothe yourselves therefore, as God's own chosen ones (His own picked representatives), [who are] purified and holy and well-beloved [by God Himself, by putting on behavior marked by] tenderhearted pity and mercy, kind feeling, a lowly opinion of yourselves, gentle ways, [and] patience (Colossians 3: 12).
"How can I operate in the spirit?", you may ask.
Operating in the spirit or walking in the spirit means seeing things from God's perspective. It means operating in God's realm. It also means moving above our physical circumstances. When we walk in the spirit, we strengthen our spirits, thereby taking over the flesh and killing its desires.
Walking in the spirit entails spiritual things such as prayer, reading the Word, fasting, and fellowshipping with other believers. It also entails disengaging from worldly things and activities such as music, shows, people, food, and other things and concerns that feed the flesh more than the spirit. The key to walking in the spirit is to feed our spirit and starve our flesh.
Walking in the spirit is not something you do occasionally but regularly, as a lifestyle. Otherwise, you will just be like a yo-yo, spiritually strong one day and weak the next day.
The Amplified version of Galatians 5:16-23 explains all these perfectly well.
But I say, walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God).
For the desires of the flesh are opposed to the [Holy] Spirit, and the [desires of the] Spirit are opposed to the flesh (godless human nature); for these are antagonistic to each other [continually withstanding and in conflict with each other], so that you are not free but are prevented from doing what you desire to do.
But if you are guided (led) by the [Holy] Spirit, you are not subject to the Law.
Now the doings (practices) of the flesh are clear (obvious): they are immorality, impurity, indecency,
Idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger (ill temper), selfishness, divisions (dissensions), party spirit (factions, sects with peculiar opinions, heresies),
Envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you beforehand, just as I did previously, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness,
Gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [that can bring a charge].
Habitual walking in the spirit produces love, joy, peace, patience kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, as opposed to walking in the flesh which produces immorality, impurity, indecency, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, divisions, party spirit (factions, sects with peculiar opinions, heresies), envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like.
You see, you can't stop your anger when you are already blowing off your top. Your self-control comes as a result of habitually walking in the spirit. Thus, the only way we can control our emotions is to start walking in the spirit and maintain it.
Lisa Maki is the founder of God'z Gurlz, a Bible-based online magazine for women whose mission is to is to provide a place where women can learn to manage their emotions, experience healing, receive love and acceptance, be free to be who God made them to be, and be the best they can be in their homes, schools, professions, relationships, and calling, through sharing of insights and experiences, counseling, prayer, and devotionals, thereby learning from and supporting each other. For more of Lisa's articles, visit Article Source:  Article Source: