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Not How I Felt

Not How I Felt

03 September 2010

Today’s Reading: Ezekiel 20-21; Psalm 11; Revelation 8

Scripture:

Then I thought better of it. I acted out of who I was, not by how I felt. And I acted in a way that would evoke honor, not blasphemy, from the nations around them, nations who had seen me reveal myself by promising to lead my people out of Egypt. (Ezekiel 20:9 MSG)

Four times in Ezekiel 20 God speaks to Israel and Judah about the anger and frustration he feels over their sinful behavior and idolatry – first in Egypt, then in the wilderness, then after they lived in the land he gave them, and once more in the future. God felt anger and “…seriously considered dumping my anger on them right there!”

He then says: “But, dear Israel, you’ll also realize that I am God when I respond to you out of who I am, not by what I feel about the evil lives you’ve lived, the corrupt history you’ve compiled. Decree of God, the Master.” (Ezekiel 20:44 MSG)

But God doesn’t act out of his anger. God acts out of who he is. God is just, merciful, patient, compassionate, full of grace. That’s who God is. God feels anger, frustration, and disappointment when his people sin and reject his love. That’s what God feels.

God feels a whole range of emotions, just like I do. God even “seriously considers” acting out of his emotions when he gets really pushed by the stubbornness and stupidity of people who ought to know better. But God acts out of who he is, not out of how he feels.

Psalmist David says, “He gets angry once in a while, but across a lifetime there is only love…” (Psalm 30:5 MSG)

I need to be clear on who I am and I need to learn to act out of who I am and not out of how I feel at the moment. It seems as if knowing who I am comes out of revelation and faith and acting out of who I am rather than out of how I feel is a result of maturity and God’s grace working in me. What do you think?

Prayer:

Father, Please help me to know who I am and help me develop the maturity to speak and act out of who I am and not out of how I feel. I want to evoke honor for you and not dishonor who you are and who I am in Christ. By your grace! Amen.

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