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Mastering Our Emotions

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Would you like to get control over your emotions, rather than their having control over you? I am talking about fear, anger, anxiety, depression, frustration and more. Some of these emotions try to control our life and our future, but it’s time we stop them.

We can have condemnation that comes against us because before when we were facing some problem we lashed out at someone else, whether our spouse or our kids, family, friends or neighbor, saying things we didn’t really mean and that made us feel terrible later because we know we were wrong and should not have allowed ourselves to get out of control.

But nothing just happens. Everything in life begins as a seed. Emotions began as a seed. Depression isn’t just a something that comes on us one day. There is a process that causes depression. There is a seed that begins to grow and the emotion of depression, anger, sadness and countless other emotions can begin to overtake you. Your emotions are not out of control because at some time you are vulnerable or you loose it. But we can learn how to make decisions based on God’s Word rather than how we feel.

Let us see how emotions have power over our lives. Emotions can determine whether we walk in the blessing of God or under a curse. Emotions will determine what kind of decision we make. Look at Cain and Abel in Genesis 4:1-5And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD. And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.”

In this verse we see that God accepted and was pleased with Abel’s sacrifice, but not with Cain’s sacrifice. Why? First, Abel came God’s way. He gave the best he had, the first of what he had and he shed the blood which was the only acceptable offering. God Himself had showed Adam and Eve the acceptable sacrifice for sin. It is God’s law that says “without shedding of blood is no remission” (Hebrews 9:22).

Cain came his own way, in rebellion, brought God bloodless vegetables which cannot atone for sin. Cain was bringing his leftovers, what he was willing to give God, rather than what God wanted and required. The result was God didn’t accept his offering and Cain was wroth, mad, angry at God. Cain’s attitude changed when anger came into his life and he submitted to that anger. Then that anger influenced everything about him including how he looked, his countenance, his attitude, his body and his actions and therefore his destiny was changed because he gave in to his anger.

Then God speaks to Cain. Genesis 4:6-7And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? (What right have you got to be angry at me? Who are we to get angry at God?) and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.” If you obey my commandment, if you do what is right before me, if you come with the right heart and attitude and make the required sacrifice, you will be okay; I’ll accept you and therefore your sacrifice.

But sin is crouching at the door of your heart and its desire is for you. But you must master it, you must take control and put this sin down and not give into this destructive emotion. Romans 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you…” or it shall not be your master. We are not supposed to allow anything to be our master, but God. Romans 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, (if you obey anger, then your its servant and it is your master. If you obey, if you follow any emotion, it will become your master and make you its servant and) his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” We are only to submit to righteousness, to the spirit of God and His Lordship and obey Him.

God doesn’t want sin to be our master but know that if emotions are your master, then sin will be your master. If emotions are controlling you, sin will be your master. Jesus paid the price for your sins, but you have to crucify your flesh and make your emotions submit to you rather than you submitting to your emotions. Romans 8:12-14 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify (put to death) the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.”

There is a pattern. First there came the anger. Then after Cain submitted to that anger it affected his physical body. The Lord warned him to get control of his emotions and if he didn’t, sin was crouching at the door of his life. When we yield to our emotions, when we allow our emotions to rule our life, then they will bring sin into our life because emotions out of control always operate in the fleshly realm, leading you to do that which is contrary to the spirit and the Word of God. So here we see sin becomes the result of uncontrolled emotions.

Then God told Cain to master his emotions. God would not have told Cain to do that which he was not able to do. God told him he could master his emotions and Cain was not born again by the spirit of God. So if God said he could take control of and be master over his emotions, what excuse do we have to let our emotions rule over us rather than our ruling over them? Yes, I have been guilty of missing the mark at times on that one, but there is simply no excuse before the Lord. Cain wasn’t filled with the Spirit and didn’t have a new heart and spirit. So, being recreated in the image of  Christ, how much more should we be able to obey God’s command to take control over our emotions, for if we do not, then our emotions will bring forth sin and sin will bring forth death, spiritual death.

James 1:14-15But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” Lust is that which you desire or long for, what your heart wants to follow and go after. Though it especially relates to that which is forbidden, it is not limited to that. Even in the English language lust can be any intense longing. It can be anger, vengeance, as well as what we think of as lustful thinking. When we desire that which is forbidden by God, no matter what it is, it is sin that will bring forth death in the end.

We bring death into our life and into our relationships and God’s promises for our life when we don’t take control over our emotions. Going on - In Genesis 4:8 Cain got into a conversation with his brother. “And Cain talked with Abel his brother…”

How often have we gotten into a conversation with someone that we shouldn’t have? Cain should not have been having a conversation with Abel because he already had a problem in his heart and he should have been dealing with that problem that was in his heart first so that he could then properly deal with his relationship with Abel. But Cain thought the problem was with Abel and so he would go to Abel and work it out. But Cain needed to take control of his emotions, work out his problem with God and then he could have had a conversation with Abel and not given in to sin. But Cain didn’t get his emotions under control first and get his relationship with God worked out first, so there was no way he could work out things with his brother, when he was blaming his brother for that which was wrong in his own heart.

Do not call someone that you ‘feel’ like calling until your emotions are under control. Do not write a letter to somebody that you ‘feel’ like writing until you get your emotions under control. Do not engage into a relationship with somebody until your emotions are under control. We have to get our emotions under control before we engage in a conversation because if we do not, as soon as we engage in that conversation our emotions will take over and determine the decision we make about that situation. That is what happened to Cain in Genesis 4:8And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.” Cain rose up. Why did Cain rise up? Cain rose up physically because he had already risen up emotionally. Emotions had risen up in Cain; which were now moving Cain to operate in the realm of his flesh and emotions.

In reality, Cain took out on his brother Abel, the anger that was in his heart towards God. That is why he didn’t repent and turn from his anger, because his anger was not initially at his brother but God. Cain was jealous of his brother and that God accepted Abel and his sacrifice, but Cain was mad at God for rejecting him and then went to Abel, blaming him for God’s rejection and took out that anger which began against God.

Just like Adam and Eve had done when they sinned in the garden, Cain didn’t want to take responsibility for his actions and admit that what God said was true and that the problem was that he was not right before God in his heart and if he would make things right, and do what was right and acceptable to God, then God would be pleased with him and accept him as He (God) had accepted his brother Abel and his blood sacrifice. But Cain didn’t want to repent and offer the blood sacrifice to God, so instead he shed his brothers blood and also tried to refuse responsibility for killing his brother when God told him that Abel’s blood was crying out from the ground.

Genesis 4:9-10 And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper? And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground.” Cain even lied and tried to cover-up as if he thought God didn’t know and couldn’t see what he did. He tried to get out of his own personal responsibility, the character flaw that got him into trouble because he wouldn’t admit his guilt and wrong when God first talked to him.

Emotional instability is a flesh problem. It is a person controlled by their flesh and not controlled by their spirit. You have to make a decision before you get into that conversation with your brother, or your husband or wife or whoever, that you will follow and walk in the spirit and not in your flesh or your emotions. You must make a decision to walk in love. You must make a decision that you’re going to forgive. You must make a decision not to hold anything against that person. You must make a decision that you’re not going to be sarcastic. Then you can have a positive and constructive conversation.

Many physical problems are the result of emotional problems. If you have a bad heart, you most likely don’t have a butter problem but a bitter problem. You can also have a butter problem, but that is not the source of your problem, but the bitterness in your heart. You must get better rather than bitter.

It’s not about physical circumstances but your emotional circumstances. How are your emotions? What condition are they in? No, not how would you describe them or think they are but how would others describe your emotional condition. You may see yourself one way but others see you another. Also the reality is that in most cases the emotional condition of a person is the root of their physical condition. It is the root of the physical decision they will make in their life. Bad emotions produce bad decisions. And bad decisions ruin your life.

Is having emotional problems going to ruin your life? No, emotional problems will lead to bad decisions and bad decisions will ruin your life. The choices you make and the decisions you make determine the outcome of your life. What people do to you and what has been done to you is not what determines the outcome of your life, but how you respond to it and the decision you make after it happens.

Have you ever noticed that the same thing can happen to two people and each will respond differently? So what happened to them did not determine how they responded, because two people who had the same thing happen to them responded two different ways, made two different decisions and got two different results which means that it had nothing to do with what happened to them but had everything to do with the emotional response and the decision that they made as the result of what happened to them. So when you sit there and say, “Well, I was abused as a child, or I had this or that happen to me and that is why I am this way. I am this way because I was born on the wrong side of the tracks, because I was born poor, because I didn’t get a good education, or whatever and that is the cause of my actions or behavior; baloney!” Any excuse to avoid taking personal responsibility for our decisions.

What does any of that have to do with the real issue and what does any of that matter to the outcome of your life and where you are today? What does all that matter when you get down to reality? You are not the product of what came into your life or what you experienced in life that came again you as much as you are the product of your decisions that resulted from those things in life and experiences. That fact and reality is that either you made your decisions based on faulty feelings and emotions or you made your decisions based on logic and truth. We have to stop responding to emotions and that which doesn’t make any difference in our lives in reality and make decisions based upon the truth of God’s Word.   

Your emotions want to control you and to master you and when they do; sin comes knocking at your door. Sin will come into your life when you are emotionally unstable, just like with Cain. You may not kill your brother, but you will make wrong decisions. So we can easily see how it is that bad emotions, emotions out of control produce bad decisions and bad decisions will produce a bad life.

So you have decided to start making good decisions, right decisions. Good. But you need to first get your emotions under control so your emotions are not what is determining your decisions. Your thinking determines and controls your emotions.

Depression is not a feeling first, but a thought first. It comes to you in the form of a thought, ‘your not going to make it, life is not worth living.’ It comes as a thought and as you meditate upon that thought that thought becomes an emotion, then that emotion begins to rise up inside of you until you make a decision based upon that emotion. So you have to stop long before you get to that point, you have to stop when the thought comes. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, (they come from images in the mind) and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”

Take every thought captive. No exceptions. Anything, any thought that is contrary to the Word of God, “you have no reason to live” you have to take it captive. How do you take a thought captive? You have to take your thoughts captive by something greater than a thought. What is greater than a thought? The Word and your words! Revelation 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony…” Your words have more authority than your thoughts and if you speak what God says, then you are speaking that which is spiritual for God’s Word is spirit and life. When your testimony becomes God’s Word, then you speak power.

Also, when you start speaking, that takes precedence over your thinking. You can be thinking one thing, but then when you start speaking something else, it stops that thinking, it takes precedence over the thinking. For instance, you can be sitting there thinking about what you are going to do this afternoon and if I come and ask you a question, as you stop and begin to answer me, that takes precedence over what you were thinking and you will no longer be on that line of thought. Speaking words, especially the word of God can subdue thoughts and take thoughts captive. So when a thought come to your mind and says, “you’re not going to make it, your going to fail” start speaking the truth “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” and “No weapon formed against me shall prosper.”

Now I am stopping the thought process that is designed by the devil to produce an emotional response that will cause my body to release chemicals that make me stressed and depressed and sick. For which then most go to the doctor to get a drug to stop or mask the affects of those chemicals released within the body because of bad emotions. All this then just dulls you to the reason why you felt the way you did to begin with, which is because of bad emotions. But of course the drug companies want you to keep having those bad thoughts and bad emotions that produce the bad physical affects so that you can keep taking their drugs to mask the reason you feel bad to begin with so they can make money off of you.

It all centers around your thought life and that is why you have to take every thought captive. When you think, “I’m not going to make it” then take those thoughts captive with words, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Romans 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” Life and death are determined by your thought life. And peace is the emotion that comes from calm cool assurance. Peace in scripture, means whole, nothing missing and nothing broken. When my mind is set on the flesh and wrong things it will result in death. When my mind is set on that which is spiritual, that which is good, then I will have life and peace. When you think of the things of God, His peace comes into your life. Isaiah 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” Nothing will be missing or broken in my life. If you put you mind on the things of the flesh, you will not have life and peace, but turmoil, unrest and death. It is all a matter of what you choose to set your mind upon, the things of the world or the things of God, things that are bad and negative and harmful to your body, or good things, positive things, healing things.

Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” Again, Proverbs 23:7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” What are you meditating upon in your heart? That will determine your future, blessing and success or failure. Joshua 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” What you meditate on you will act upon, what you act upon repeatedly will form your habits and your habits will determine your destiny.

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