To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds. Ephesians 4:23 (ESV)
Emotions I hadn’t felt in a long, long time suddenly took over and I was angry. Seething rage, hurt and a sprinkling of unforgiveness came washing over me with a gush. The sad part is, my day hadn’t even started yet! I was just getting ready for the day, drying my hair, putting on my make-up (which is extremely hard to do when you keep crying) and wrestling down unruly emotions like a toddler with a temper.
There was a dress rehearsal in my mind of a recent offense and I kept replaying it with different outcomes where I said hurtful words to hurting people. Not my best moment. My soul was riled up and my stomach was in knots. So much chaos so early in the day.
In the midst of the angry madness, God spoke to my heart with a phrase that settled and righted my upended emotions. Just like when Jesus calmed the weather related storm on the Sea of Galilee, I felt a whisper and calming in my heart that brought about almost immediate peace.
He said, “There is no room in your spirit for this.”
I could almost feel my tears dry and my anger come to a screeching halt. “There is no room in your spirit for this.” It took me a moment but it was as if God was saying that I am too precious for Him to stand by and watch me have all this emotional struggle. He was reminding me of my value to Him. I may not feel valuable to others at times, but to God I am always priceless.
We often allow something to settle in our spirit that pushes us down, draws us away from God or makes us feel less than. The replay of those feelings just makes it worse. There IS room in our spirit for that which helps us to be humble, wise and draw near to our Heavenly Father. When we have something in our spirit and thought life causes us to live and think opposite of Scripture, there is no room for that.
It’s not easy to keep our spirits squeaky clean. It’s actually impossible. But we are given a sweet, helpful reminder in Romans 8:5 about living according to the Spirit. We are reminded that, “Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.”
That day when things got off to such a rough start for me I had my focus on hard, hurtful feelings and how to get revenge. This was definitely not of the Spirit. However, Galatians 5:22 provides a list of a good diet for our Spiritual nourishment. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” This verse goes on to remind us that, “Against such things there is no law.”
There is room in our spirit for that because it’s from the Lord. When your spirit is full of anything that holds you down, sets you off God’s course and just has your emotions in a tangle, it can be helpful to fill it with the characteristics listed in Galatians 5:22. Each time I have a little “moment” whether it’s feeling sorry for myself, fear, anger or impatience I can take something from the Galatians 5:22 list and replace it and it’s truly helpful. Do I always remember to do that?! No. But it helps to remember if there is room in our spirit for hate, sadness, strife, and impatience, then there’s room for love, joy, peace and patience.
Father God, the way You know my soul and spirit is a gift. Thank You for knowing what to tell my heart and how to encourage me to not stay stuck in a spiral of past, negative emotions. Please continue to stretch my spirit and make room for You, Your Spirit and the truth of Your Word. Help me to empty my spirit of all the elements that weigh me down, are unnecessary and draw me away from You. There is room in my spirit for more of You! In the Name of Jesus, Amen!