We drove into town early and were first in line for a ticket at a free showing of Pixar’s “Inside Out”.
We laughed, we cried… another wonderful “girl-time” memory.
Memories, thoughts, emotions, feelings… Yup, Pixar made another winner. We loved it.
My favorite part of the whole day was as I walked out to our car with my daughter in the rain and the Holy Spirit whispered to me, “Ya’ know, it’s a lot more crowded than that in your mind…
Not only do you have Joy, but I’ve given you Love, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control. And, I’m ready and willing to be at the controls of your life 24-7-365.” (Gal. 5:22-23)
I’ve been mulling this over for weeks, and I thought this was just a private pondering to treasure in my heart, until the other day when I heard Little One playing:
“Yeah, I’m pretending I’m being controlled by Anger and Disgust.”
“Whoa there, Little Lady, I don’t think so.”
— Hello, teachable moment. Cue the lecture.
“It’s too easy to let our emotions rule us in real life. And, though it may be fun to pretend and jump back and forth between feelings, I don’t want you to even ponder allowing anything to control you but the Holy Spirit. Just like in the movie, we don’t get our best ideas when we let our feelings be in control. That’s the difference between walking by faith, what we know is right and true despite how we feel, and walking by sight or our perception, how we feel about what is going on.”
Despite our circumstances, we’ve got to take our thoughts captive, hold on to what we know is true, and let the Holy Spirit be in charge of the control panel of our life. (“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Cor. 10:5)
Even if, and especially if, we think we’ve “lost our Joy”, we need Someone steady and wise directing our thoughts and actions. Thankfully, once the Holy Spirit has come into our life as our Counselor, Comforter, and Guide, He’ll never leave us or get lost.
If we give Anger full reign even for a moment, it will only bring destruction and trouble to our relationships. Yet, even then, the LORD is patiently waiting, ready and willing to help us when we surrender the controls back to Him.
So , here’s the checklist, short and sweet:
- Have you made Jesus Christ the Lord/Boss/Master-Controller of your life?
- Are you allowing the Holy Spirit to stand at the controls today? (Are you taking your thoughts captive, filling your mind with the Word of God for counsel, and looking to Him for direction in how to respond to people and circumstances?
And, one bonus, precautionary question to help you avoid disaster:
- What feeling/emotion are you most tempted to allow to run your life?
Some of us aren’t just “pretending” to be controlled by Anger and Disgust. We are angry and disgusted, and it’s ruling our lives!
(So, what’s your weakness? Anger, Fear, “happiness” – which is often confused with true Joy, Disgust, Sadness? — What about bitterness or unforgiveness? … judgment or criticalness? … discontent and envy? … insecurity and comparison? … perfectionism or laziness?)
When you became a child of God, you were given so much more than Joy, and I’m talking the real Joy that isn’t just stubborn optimism or based on circumstances. In Christ, you have the Fruit of the Spirit as well as Faith, Hope, Righteousness, Truth, Holiness, Perseverance, Acceptance, Purpose, Calling, Salvation, Insight, Eternal-Perspective, Wisdom, Understanding, Discernment, Generosity, Hospitality, … and so much more; because we have God Himself. And, God is Love.
We have Him, and He is all those things. He is also Grace. He is Mercy, and He is perfect Justice, godly Wrath, and holy Vengeance. We are His, and He is ours. We can believe what He has said, and we can trust Him completely with our lives through all the changes and the seemingly upside-down, inside-out seasons.
He knows you Inside Out. He remembers every moment of your life, even the hazy-early days that you’ve nearly forgotten. Nothing is lost with Him ever. He not only knows everything, but He has a purpose for everything and is able to work all things together for good, even those past mistakes and the hurtful memories, too.
And, just like me with my Little One, He only wants the best for you. He won’t tolerate little compromises that may later turn into excuses, mindsets, and strongholds. He wants you to live is VICTORY and FREEDOM!
Once He is “inside”, He is there to stay. Now, we just need to let Him, with all His attributes, have full control; so He can display His character through us as He renews our mind and transforms us from the Inside Out.