Friday, October 21, 2016

Deuteronomy 21:18-21

For my life-long friend,
Here are some thoughts on a passage you asked me about, regarding the character of God:

Deuteronomy 21:18-21 - If someone has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him,[19] his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town.[20] They shall say to the elders, “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a glutton and a drunkard.”[21] Then all the men of his town are to stone him to death. You must purge the evil from among you. All Israel will hear of it and be afraid.

Context 
The Law, the Pentateuch. God set this up as the law of the land for His people, His nation Israel.  This is not a universal law, but a national law.  
In the USA, we have books of law, that govern our country.  The Pentateuch was their books of their law.  It must be read in this context.  For example, the passage "eye for eye" was not permission for personal revenge, but for corporal punishment of criminals; the consequence for illegal action.  
In the USA, if someone commits a crime, there are specific guidelines regarding consequences.  Same thing here.

Broken down
Deuteronomy 21:18-21 - 
If someone has a stubborn and rebellious son who:
1. does not obey his father and mother and 
2. will not listen to them when they discipline him,

his father and mother shall:
1. take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town.
2. They shall say to the elders, “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a glutton and a drunkard.”

Then all the men of his town are to stone him to death. 

You must purge the evil from among you. 

All Israel will hear of it and be afraid.

Wisdom of this passage
Bill Mayer and others love this passage, along with a couple of others.  They, being rebellious themselves, find it to be a ridiculous passage that speaks of the unreasonableness of God.  However, God is also a forgiving, patient, gentle, kind, loving God.  So how do we make sense of this?  Is God bi-polar?  If God is wise, what is the wisdom in this???  Let's take a look:

1. The son- think of this person.  He is stubborn, and rebellious.  He doesn't listen to any wisdom, doesn't honor his parents, rather he fights with them, does the opposite of what is wise and good and healthy and helpful to society.  This son is the kind of son that would bring strong grief to his family.  He is also into excess.  He is given to chemical abuse, and as a result harms others.  No doubt, a son who rebels against wisdom, common sense, and all counsel is headed for trouble.  A son who does not have even the respect to honor his mom and dad, and wrecks the home.  This is not a son who has a normal struggle with sin, like we all do.  This is a son who is a terror-this is an extreme situation.  Obviously, the parents here have tried to talk with him, tried to teach him, tried to help talk some sense into him.  He is the kind of person who does the "big" sins. Getting women pregnant out of marriage & then abandoning them, destroying others through alcohol, hurting others, disrespecting the elderly.

In our context, I think about the young men who find pleasure in punching the elderly and watching them crumble & then die.  I think it the young men who shoot at firemen as they answer a call.  I think of young men who are what I call "ghetto daddys", getting women pregnant, then abandoning them; leaving the mother to be a single mom raising her child all alone.  I think of the heroin dealer, who laces the heroin, leaving a trail of death as young people OD and die.  I think of the man who buys a teen alcohol, then watching that teen drive home drunk as he ryuns head on to another.  I think of the teen who does whatever he wants in the house.  When his dad stands up for his wife and children, this teen beats his dad.  I think of the hardened bully who abuses his wife, kids, neighbors, and anyone else.  

This young man is not into normal rebellion, it is an extreme person, who refuses to listen to wisdom or come under any type of authority, not even his mothers.  Charles Ryrie says, "An example of rebellion was given in 13:6-11.  Anarcy in the home breeds anarchy in society; that is why this was such a serious matter.  However, the elders were the final authority, not the father. According to Jewish tradition, this punishment was never carried out, though it was a strong deterrent to juvenile delinquency!"

2. The elders- they were the judges of Israel, during it's early history.  They were wise men, who have a lot of experience.  What if someone misinterpreted this passage & was ticked at their kid, so out of emotion brought them to the elders to be stoned?  We, as parents, have all been there...or maybe not.  First, the elders were typically in a village of under 1000, therefore, they would have known the kid.  They also would have known the parents.  So, any child (thought there is no evidence of this actually happening-that a rabbi I talked to knew of) that was brought to the elders would have had a reputation and so would have the parents.  
Therefore, say the parents were jerks and exhasperatitive to their kids.  The elders would have known this.  They would have not stoned the kid, but would have used this as an opportunity to come around and counsel the parents.  
Therefore, the elders would have known if the kid was bad enough to warrant this type of extreme action.  
Also, the elders were not an angry mob.  They were the government of the village.  They are not similar to what you see in the news today in some of the African, and Middle Eastern Islamic territories.  
If the young man was this bad, this destructive, then God made a provision that he could receive the death penalty.

This provision was made in order to keep Israel from becoming corrupt "You must purge the evil from among you", and becoming a culture of death. Think about it.  What if culture became a place where young people rebelled against authority, did whatever their flesh impulses desired, and had no regard for law and wisdom.  What would that type of culture look like?  Would it be healthy?  Would it be a place to live in?  
Israel did not, according to the rabbi, ever implement this law.  This is why you see someone like Shamgar, a farmer, rising up and taking matters into his own hands.  If Israel would have obeyed this passage, we would have never heard of Shamgar & Israel would be in a much healthier place today. (Story of Shamgar & the youth of Israel- Judges 3:31, 1 Samuel 13:21).

"All Israel will hear of it and be afraid." I know that for the individual young man, this death would be tragic.  All loss of life is tragic.  However, this death would lead to a sobering warning to everyone else saying, "You need to respect your elders, and listen to their wisdom."  

Let's jump to our culture, and though I do not beleive this applies to a Gentile nation, let's just pretend.  
Strawman #1- Jason- Jason has absolutely no respect for his family, has gotten into fist fights with his smaller dad, and the whole family is in fear; so much so, that they cannot successfully parent or keep an order of descency.  He, being only his own authority, and listening only to the impulses of hormones and self desire, sleeps with a girl and gets her pregnant.  When she tells him, he quickly cuts her loose, to be a single mom who has to raise a kid who is estranged from his birth father, and has to live with the pain of that for his entire life; probably even learning to treat other women the same. He continues to get other women pregnant too.  
1. How would him having heard that the penalty for self-driven living was death? How may this deter him from single handedly destroying the lives of others?
2. How would stopping him from destroying the lives of others be better for a village?

Strawman #2-Joe- Joe has high testosterone.  He is also a Type A personality.  He wants to do certain things. He is prone to follow impulses, but knows that the wages of that would lead to him being stoned.  So, he learns life skills in order to not become a destructive force in culture.  These learned skills help him to be a benefit to culture. He is there for his kids.  He stays with his wife.  He makes sure his ears are open to wisdom.
1. How has a passage like this helped Joe?
2. What are the disadvantages of a passage like this in Joe's personal life?

Good news
We all sin.  We all do things that are wrong. We are all rebellious in our hearts.  Some of us have a semi-openenss to wisdom (Freud calls this super-ego, Christian thinkers call this either the Spirit's influence or social morals). However, we are all broken, and in a sense, we see ourselves as the young man worthy of being stoned.  My guess is that Bill Maher sees himself in the rebellious teen, and that creates both a conviction in him and a self-justification, where he bristles against it.  
The good news is that this is why Jesus walked this earth, died on the cross, and rose again.  He did this to carry our sin and our guilt.  His blood shed us free, that anyone who believes in him will not perish but have forgiveness and eternal life.  Let us not rebel against this.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Out of the Desert

I had a couple of people ask me to blog on now that I am a pastor...  So here goes.

Calling
Am I called to full-time vocational ministry?  I would say yes.  Let me share a story as to why I believe this.  I had two friends of mine John & Kurt both leave the ministry right after I did.  They were so glad to be done with vocational ministry and are very happy in their secular (front line) jobs. In my mind I thought, "How on earth can they be content and be happy to be out of ministry?"  I always was content where God had me BUT I had a deep desire to get back into vocational ministry.  They both thought, "Why on earth would Jeff want to get back into vocational ministry?"  I still think they are crazy (kidding).

Identity
One thing I looked at was, do I want to be in voco ministry because I get empowered by the attention? No way Jose!  I would rather stay at home and read, pray, and play with the family.  I would love to have a simple 9-5 and turn off work when I get home. I enjoyed working eyecare.  I could battle and work there, and then leave and leave the stuff there.  To me, this was much easier.  More stress free!  Managers could never figure out how it was stress free, but that is because they have never been in vocational ministry.  Carrying one another's burdens, grieving with those who grieve, dealing with the messiness of sin, this stuff isn't 9-5.  Doing life with hurting people is heavy. It is a load.  It is a joyou load that I am happy to bear, but it is a load none the less.  Second, I am a Christian, husband, dad before I am a pastor.  My identity is who I am in Christ.  I serve as a pastor as a Christian.  My identity is not in me being a pastor.  Albeit, I probably need to grow in the pastoral tact a bit, so as not to cause others to stumble.

Journey
So I went from having a blast as a Student Ministries Director (not a pastor officially, though that was my post before God) at a church, where some of the leadership hated me before I came, and continued to while I was there...which led to burnout, anxiety, sleeplessness, and great suffering for my family.  Yet, I also had a great time with the youth,youth leaders, parents, some of the staff, senior pastor and our community friends.  The ministry was booming, people were accepting Jesus, entering the mission field, being discipled, moving into leadership, etc...  So, besides some of the flesh driven leaders, this place was great!!  I went from there to a time of healing and restoration.  We moved to Bremen, and I struggled to find a job.  After that, we moved up to South Bend, due to a new job that paid enough for us to get a house.  During that time, God was so gracious to us.  We felt like Elijah, being cared for by ravens.  It was a time of healing from working 70+ hours a week, from the bitterness that crept into my heart, and a time of deepening of my walk with Jesus.  It was a time to also stretch Shellie & the kids.  There was one time where we had about $25 in the bank and our van broke down on the highway.  I laughed, because I knew that God would have to provide for this one, and I was excited to see what would happen.  He did provide.  He always provided and met both our needs, and many of our wants.  THe greatest thing he provided for was the deepening of our trust.  He also provided by healing our vision problems, so we could see things in our own heart that needed to be conformed to the image of Jesus.
Never before had I been turned down for a job.  I have always landed both any secular and any ministry job that I have interviewed for.  Here, in the wilderness, I applied for over 300 jobs, and landed only 2.  I interviewed for 4 ministry positions, and was hired for none.

I eventually got to a point of being content in whatever circumstance the Lord called me to (January 2016) Then, one day (February 21, 2016) I was sitting on our green sectional, praying.  God put this thought in my head, "Go ahead and ask me for a ministry position."
2 churches started looking at me around then.  One we turned down, and one turned us down twice.
On March 12, 2016 God taught me what a healthy pastor's perspective is.  I was sitting in Joshua Cup, a coffee shop in Crawfordsville. It is to protect, encourage, serve, and equip people to love and serve Jesus (Philippians 2, Ephesians 4, 1 Corinthians 13).  Then on March 16, 2016 we were given a call to Harvest, and we accepted that call.

We are now here in New Market, elated to be serving Jesus and the people of Harvest.  It has been hard to leave our friends and the kid's school.  Last weekend we visited and the sadness of the kids not attending GCS resurfaced, BUT we know that God has called us to enjoy and serve the wonderful people of Harvest.   So far, ministry has bee a blast.  This has been a very healthy and balance group of believers.  The personality of the culture is great.  It is a blessing to be here, and we look forward to faithfully serving here.  We are so greateful for what God has done in and continues to do in and through us.

So, this wilderness part of the journey is done, but there is still a long journey to go.  A journey with Jesus, who never leaves us or forsakes us.  I hope you walk with Jesus too.

Lessons learned
1. Wait on the Lord.
2. Your identity is in who you are in Christ, not in your job or some other temporal thing.
3. God is sovereign. Man may make his plans, but the Lord determines his steps.
4. God does not forsake his children.
5. You are God's servant, he is also your servant.  But, he will not worship you!
6. The prosperity gospel is incompatible with the gospel of Jesus.  His children are not promised riches.
7. Suffering is a good thing.  It builds character and perseverance and wisdom.
8. Our dignity does not come from our job, but on who we are in CHrist.
9. Being a manager was easy, due to my perspective.
10. Perspective is huge!
11. Bitterness runs deep and sometimes unnoticed.  So when you are hurt by someone, cry out to God and learn to recognize when you are hurting.

Out of the Desert

I had a couple of people ask me to blog on now that I am a pastor...  So here goes.

Calling
Am I called to full-time vocational ministry?  I would say yes.  Let me share a story as to why I believe this.  I had two friends of mine John & Kurt both leave the ministry right after I did.  They were so glad to be done with vocational ministry and are very happy in their secular (front line) jobs. In my mind I thought, "How on earth can they be content and be happy to be out of ministry?"  I always was content where God had me BUT I had a deep desire to get back into vocational ministry.  They both thought, "Why on earth would Jeff want to get back into vocational ministry?"  I still think they are crazy (kidding).

Identity
One thing I looked at was, do I want to be in voco ministry because I get empowered by the attention? No way Jose!  I would rather stay at home and read, pray, and play with the family.  I would love to have a simple 9-5 and turn off work when I get home. I enjoyed working eyecare.  I could battle and work there, and then leave and leave the stuff there.  To me, this was much easier.  More stress free!  Managers could never figure out how it was stress free, but that is because they have never been in vocational ministry.  Carrying one another's burdens, grieving with those who grieve, dealing with the messiness of sin, this stuff isn't 9-5.  Doing life with hurting people is heavy. It is a load.  It is a joyou load that I am happy to bear, but it is a load none the less.  Second, I am a Christian, husband, dad before I am a pastor.  My identity is who I am in Christ.  I serve as a pastor as a Christian.  My identity is not in me being a pastor.  Albeit, I probably need to grow in the pastoral tact a bit, so as not to cause others to stumble.

Journey
So I went from having a blast as a Student Ministries Director (not a pastor officially, though that was my post before God) at a church, where some of the leadership hated me before I came, and continued to while I was there...which led to burnout, anxiety, sleeplessness, and great suffering for my family.  Yet, I also had a great time with the youth,youth leaders, parents, some of the staff, senior pastor and our community friends.  The ministry was booming, people were accepting Jesus, entering the mission field, being discipled, moving into leadership, etc...  So, besides some of the flesh driven leaders, this place was great!!  I went from there to a time of healing and restoration.  We moved to Bremen, and I struggled to find a job.  After that, we moved up to South Bend, due to a new job that paid enough for us to get a house.  During that time, God was so gracious to us.  We felt like Elijah, being cared for by ravens.  It was a time of healing from working 70+ hours a week, from the bitterness that crept into my heart, and a time of deepening of my walk with Jesus.  It was a time to also stretch Shellie & the kids.  There was one time where we had about $25 in the bank and our van broke down on the highway.  I laughed, because I knew that God would have to provide for this one, and I was excited to see what would happen.  He did provide.  He always provided and met both our needs, and many of our wants.  THe greatest thing he provided for was the deepening of our trust.  He also provided by healing our vision problems, so we could see things in our own heart that needed to be conformed to the image of Jesus.
Never before had I been turned down for a job.  I have always landed both any secular and any ministry job that I have interviewed for.  Here, in the wilderness, I applied for over 300 jobs, and landed only 2.  I interviewed for 4 ministry positions, and was hired for none.

I eventually got to a point of being content in whatever circumstance the Lord called me to (January 2016) Then, one day (February 21, 2016) I was sitting on our green sectional, praying.  God put this thought in my head, "Go ahead and ask me for a ministry position."
2 churches started looking at me around then.  One we turned down, and one turned us down twice.
On March 12, 2016 God taught me what a healthy pastor's perspective is.  I was sitting in Joshua Cup, a coffee shop in Crawfordsville. It is to protect, encourage, serve, and equip people to love and serve Jesus (Philippians 2, Ephesians 4, 1 Corinthians 13).  Then on March 16, 2016 we were given a call to Harvest, and we accepted that call.

We are now here in New Market, elated to be serving Jesus and the people of Harvest.  It has been hard to leave our friends and the kid's school.  Last weekend we visited and the sadness of the kids not attending GCS resurfaced, BUT we know that God has called us to enjoy and serve the wonderful people of Harvest.   So far, ministry has bee a blast.  This has been a very healthy and balance group of believers.  The personality of the culture is great.  It is a blessing to be here, and we look forward to faithfully serving here.  We are so greateful for what God has done in and continues to do in and through us.

So, this wilderness part of the journey is done, but there is still a long journey to go.  A journey with Jesus, who never leaves us or forsakes us.  I hope you walk with Jesus too.

Lessons learned
1. Wait on the Lord.
2. Your identity is in who you are in Christ, not in your job or some other temporal thing.
3. God is sovereign. Man may make his plans, but the Lord determines his steps.
4. God does not forsake his children.
5. You are God's servant, he is also your servant.  But, he will not worship you!
6. The prosperity gospel is incompatible with the gospel of Jesus.  His children are not promised riches.
7. Suffering is a good thing.  It builds character and perseverance and wisdom.
8. Our dignity does not come from our job, but on who we are in CHrist.
9. Being a manager was easy, due to my perspective.
10. Perspective is huge!
11. Bitterness runs deep and sometimes unnoticed.  So when you are hurt by someone, cry out to God and learn to recognize when you are hurting.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Anger: How to honor God when Angry

Anger: How to honor God when Angry
By Jeff Korhorn

Truth: Anger is a God-given emotion
Anger is an emotion, put in us by God.  We are created in God's image,  in fact, anger reflects the "image of God" in us.  This emotion is a very good thing.  (Read Genesis 1:26-31)
Anger is an emotion that reveals something in our hearts.  It is like a warning light on a dashboard.  We can get angry about godly things (righteous indignation) or about ungodly things (idolatry).

Try it: When you get angry, ask yourself, "Why am I getting angry?"
I am getting angry because ____________________________.
This will help us reveal what we really want here.  Is it a godly thing or a thing that is ungodly?  Is the name of God being maligned? Are people being hurt?  OR are you not getting what you want (peace, respect, worship, love, space, etc)?

Q: Is it a sin to be angry? ____________________________________________________

Truth: When we are angry, we will need to make a choice.
Do we honor God, by keeping him on the throne and handling anger in the way he wants us to (1 Corinthians 13, Galatians 5:13-25, 2 Timothy 2:23-26) OR do we dishonor God, by putting some idol on the throne and handling anger not in the way he wants us to, thus kicking him off the throne of our hearts?

Study: What does Scripture say about anger?
James 1:19-20 says, "Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,
because HUMAN anger does not produce the righteousness that God requires."

The word for anger is orge, which has to do with wrath, rage, extending self.  Our angry, rageful emotions do not produce/result in the righteousness that God requires.  In other words, when we allow ourselves to get filled with rage, bad things typically happen.

The passage goes on in verse 21-
"Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you."

John Calvin said that our hearts are idol factories.  We are so prone to wander, so prone to idols, that typically our anger is a result of some idol that we have set up in our hearts to oppose God. So God calls us to get rid of all moral filth.  Put that stuff off.  And put on, accept God's word that has been planted in us.

Then verse 22 says, "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says."  When faced with anger, we need to learn to realize what is making us angry, and instead of demanding our idol be served (our rights, peace, respect, love, control, worship, etc), we should humbly do what God has told us to do.  To walk in the Spirit through obedience to His word and allowing the fruit of the Spirit (all of that fruit) to permeate our thoughts, words, and actions.

As Christians, we do not have the right to sin.  We do not have the right to walk in the flesh towards people in society and we do not have a right to ever walk in the flesh towards our family.  God calls us to be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might, and to walk in the Spirit, even if someone that we face is not.

Study: Discern and write down what the following verses have to say about the wrong way to handle anger. (From Strengthening Your Marriage by Wayne A. Mack)

Ephesians 4:26-27 ____________________________________________________
Proverbs 17:14 ____________________________________________________
Proverbs 29:11,20 ____________________________________________________
Matthew 5:21-22 ____________________________________________________
Ephesians 4:31 ____________________________________________________
Proverbs 26:21 ____________________________________________________
Proverbs 15:1 ____________________________________________________
Colossians 3:8 ____________________________________________________
Romans 12:17,19 ____________________________________________________
1 Peter 3:9 ____________________________________________________
1 Corinthians 13:5 ____________________________________________________
Philippians 4:8 ____________________________________________________

Study: discern and write down what the following verses have to say about the right way to handle anger.
Romans 12:19-21 ____________________________________________________
Psalm 4:4 ____________________________________________________
Ephesians 4:26 ____________________________________________________
Ephesians 4:29 ____________________________________________________
Ephesians 4:32 ____________________________________________________
Matthew 5:43-44 ____________________________________________________
Proverbs 19:11 ____________________________________________________
Proverbs 15:1 ____________________________________________________
Proverbs 15:28 ____________________________________________________
Proverbs 16:32 ____________________________________________________
Proverbs 25:28 ____________________________________________________
Proverbs 14:29 ____________________________________________________
Proverbs 29:11 ____________________________________________________
Psalm 37:1-11 ____________________________________________________
1 Peter 3:9 ____________________________________________________
Galatians 5:16-23 ____________________________________________________
Romans 8:28-29 ____________________________________________________
Matthew 5:1-12; 1 Thessalonians 5:18 _________________________________________
Ephesians 5:20 ____________________________________________________
1 Corinthians 10:13 ____________________________________________________
Genesis 50:20 ____________________________________________________
James 4:6 ____________________________________________________
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ____________________________________________________
Matthew 8:21-35 ____________________________________________________

Truth: God wants His children to walk according to the Spirit

Q: Are you a child of God?
Not everyone who lives is a child of God.  Not everyone can relate to God as their Father.  The glorious and greatest news is that you can become a child of God, and receive new life, new birth through the Holy Spirit.
You see, God sent His son, Jesus to show us how to live, and also, He died brutally on a cross, taking your sin, my sin, the worlds sin upon himself.  He bore our cross.  He paid the penalty for our sin. He died, so we may live.  He paid the price for our crime, so that we could be forgiven.  Those who receive Jesus as our savior have the right to be called children of God.  And not only children but heirs with Christ, who will live with him forever!
Also, Jesus rose bodily from the dead, so that we can also rise up and walk in newness of life and a relationship with him forever and ever.  Have you received Jesus as your savior? If so, you are a child of God.  This is great news!

Q: So, now that you are a child of God, how do we live?

Galatians 5:13-25
"You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free.

But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh;
rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
(If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.)

So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.
For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

The acts of the flesh are obvious:
sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.

I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

But the fruit of the Spirit is
love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Against such things there is no law.

Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

"Have crucified"- indicative, those who belong to Jesus have crucified their flesh. It is being mortified, it is dying a miserable death on the cross.
"Let us keep in step"-imperative, a command (earlier imperative, here it is subjunctive). If we are in Christ, we have crucified our flesh and are commanded to keep in step (walk in the Sprit) with the Spirit.


Q: How do we walk by the Spirit?

I have been intensely in, and have seen the error of these following circles.  I speak from experience here:
Christian Mysticism-
In many Christian circles, people look for a mystical experience.  As a result, some circles rely heavily on God directed emotions or signs. We all know that emotions sometimes conflict with what is true and are dependent on mood.  Moods are often due to diet, sleep, health, and environmental things. Therefore, some mystic Christians are following the unstable moods and emotions in order to "feel" the Spirit's leading.  Now while it is true that God can steer the heart, and sometimes speaks through gentle whispers, he has already shouted through His word.

2.  Hyper-Relational Christians-
In some Christian circles, the issue of personal relationship is often a stumbling block from walking in the Spirit.  These circles look for God to "speak" to them through either an audible voice or through speaking to their mind.  Now, while God does this sometimes, He has already spoken through His word.  In fact, if God does speak to us, we will need to know what He has already said well enough to run "God's voice" through the grid of His written word.  We need to be students of His written word, so we can discern the prompting of the Spirit on specific things.
This is not at all inferior relationally.  In fact, even people like Moses, Noah, Job, Abraham, and Mary seldom heard the voice of the Lord or an angel. They too walked most of their life in faith.  And most in obedience to Scripture.

Truth: We walk in the Spirit by obeying God, rather than the impulses of our flesh

In regards to anger, it looks like this...


Scenarios:
Jeff needs a nap!
Jeff comes home from a busy day.  He is tired and desires a nap.  He asks his wife, Shellie, if he could lay down for thirty minutes to rest.  She says yes, so he plops himself down on the couch.  Three minutes later, the dog and kids come running in and jump on dad.

Questions:
What does Jeff desire? ___________________________________________________
Is this desire sinful? ___________________________________________________
What could make this desire sinful? _______________________________________

Jeff wakes up and is immediately faced with a choice.
Choice 1: I will serve my flesh.
Choice 2: I will glorify God by choosing to walk in the Spirit.

Choice 1 may look like: "Get outta here you lousy kids!  [kicks the dog off the couch] Can't you see that I am tired?  You drive me nuts!  Shellie, get these stupid kids out of here."

Choice 2 may look like: [smiles and hugs the kids briefly] "Hey kids, how was your day?  Do you mind if I catch a quick nap?  I am exhausted.  After I wake up we will do something together, alright?"

How is Choice 1 a problem? What does it reveal about the heart?
How may Choice 2 be in step with the Spirit?


2. Shellie's dirty dishes.
Shellie has been busy with the kids and is making dinner.  She knows that there will be a lot of dirty dishes after dinner.  Also, all the kids are doing homework and then will start chores.  Jeff comes in tired from a busy day and wants to take a nap.

Questions:
What does Shellie desire? ___________________________________________________
Is this desire sinful? ___________________________________________________
What could make this desire sinful? _______________________________________

Shellie is immediately faced with a choice.
Choice 1: I will serve my flesh.
Choice 2: I will honor God by choosing to walk in the Spirit.

Choice 1 may look like: "Jeff, you always take a nap!  You are like an old geezer.  You never help me around the house.  Why don't you get up and help me?  Your brother-in-law always does the dishes."

Choice 2 may look like: "How did your day go?  Do you mind helping with the dishes for a few minutes first? My hands are full and I am busy making dinner.  I can then push back dinner a few minutes so that you can get that nap in."

How is Choice 1 a problem? What does it reveal about the heart?
How may Choice 2 be in step with the Spirit?


3. Driving me crazy.
Robert (aka Vanilla Ice) is rollin down A1A in his Ford Mustang 5.0, with his ragtop down, so his hair can flow.  Enjoying the drive at the speed limit of 35, Sammy Hagar comes flying up at 54 mph right on Robert's tail.  He is clearly aggressive and wants to pass, but can't.  He starts trying to get Robert to hurry up.
But Robert, until recently was enjoying a nice sunny day on A1A.

Questions:
What does Robert desire? ___________________________________________________
Is this desire sinful? ___________________________________________________
What could make this desire sinful? _______________________________________

Robert is immediately faced with a choice.
Choice 1: I will serve my flesh.
Choice 2: I will honor God by choosing to walk in the Spirit.

Choice 1 may look like: Robert slamming on his brakes, causing Sammy to go off the road, and therefore endangering Sammy and others.

Choice 2 may look like: Robert waving Sammy along or pulling over so Sammy can pass.

How is Choice 1 a problem? What does it reveal about the heart?
How may Choice 2 be in step with the Spirit?


The next time you are faced with a crisis like these, ask these questions.  In fact, make a graph and keep a log of crisis like these.  Ask:

What was the situation, 2. What did you desire, 3. How did you respond, 4. Did you response keep God on the throne of your heart, and if so, what fruit of the Spirit did you see in this situation?