The other day, I wrote about a day last week that qualified as "One of 'Those' Days". Click on the blue to read it if you missed it.
At the end of the previous post, I had just forgotten my wallet after shopping for school supplies for three children, had the ATM refuse my request twice before processing it, and was running late to church.
Note to self: Don't ever go to Walmart before church!
I had maintained composure during the entire ordeal at Walmart, but was on the edge of losing it towards the end of the trip. Thankful to have left Walmart with school supplies and seemingly passed the test, I headed to church with my darling five year old Sarah.
I was scheduled to be in charge of our children's department that night. All the regular "in charge" people were at camp with most of the kids. However, there was children's church that night for the kids who didn't go to camp and they needed someone to lead.
I arrived at church a little late as explained. However, not too late and there were only a couple kids waiting. "This is ok. I am here now and everything is fine," I thought as I sighed another sign of relief.
Then, my sweet Sarah started crying. She didn't want to go to her class. She didn't want to leave her mamma.
You have got to be kidding me! She never does this, not now!
She clenched my leg with all her might. It is surprising how strong a 40 pound five year old can be when it comes to holding onto her mamma.
Now, I know I am suppose to be a sweet mamma. I know I am suppose to be patient, loving, and understanding.
But Walmart. And the school supplies. The missing wallet. The stubborn ATM machine. And now this!
Yes, I was still in my test and I regret to say... I did not pass.
In that moment of the test, when I was tempted to lose my patience, I had a choice. I could have chosen to be patient with Sarah (yielding to the Holy Spirit) or I could lose my patience (give into my flesh).
"Yield" means to surrender or submit to another.
We have to decide in our "those" moments (the "everything is going wrong" moments) to whom we will yield (or submit to)--the Holy Spirit or our flesh. The flesh is our old sinful nature.
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. Romans 8:5-8
I mess up. I messed up that night. I let my emotions rule instead of yielding to the Spirit of God inside me. The good news is that God does give us the ability to follow the Spirit instead of our flesh.
The Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. Romans 8:26
In those moments of weakness, we can pray and ask the Holy Spirit to help us respond correctly. He will.
We have a battle going on inside us. It is our flesh versus our spirit. Our spirit is made new when we received Jesus. Jesus comes to live inside us, the Holy Spirit lives inside us. He is our new nature. However, we still have our old nature (the flesh) hanging around.
Walk in the Spirit and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. Galations 5:16-17
Whatever you feed becomes stronger.
Feed your Spirit with the Word of God. Pray. Memorize the Word so resides inside you. As you do these things, your Spirit becomes stronger and your flesh becomes weaker.
Does it mean you will never give into your flesh? No. We are human. We sin. We fail. However, it does mean that the next time you have one of "those" days, you will be better equipped to respond like Christ.
I know I need Him. I pray that next time I am tempted to lose my patience with one of my kids, that I would walk according to the Spirit and not give into my flesh.
How about you? Have you ever had one of "those" days? How did you respond? Did the Holy Spirit help you?