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He that is soon angry deals foolishly… (Prov. 14: 17)
God Himself, with all His power and glory, is slow to anger.
The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. (Psalm 145:8)
Temperance is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. Can the Spirit dwell in the heart together with anger? “What fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness?” “Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?” That is, does a heart indwelt by the Spirit get easily angered and harm?
Nay, “for the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.” Can one say that he has the Holy Spirit, yet he cannot rein his temper, and injure, inflicting wounds that leave an imprint not only on the body, but more in the heart and spirit? One hasn’t really learned Christ. One hasn’t really learned love.
Love is patient, love is kind… ( 1 Cor. 13: 4)
Love is never cruel. It breaks my heart just to think that the practice of its opposite – wrath – could hurt someone deeply.
What could be the problem? My only probable answer is that, the Holy Spirit was grieved, and the enemy, who is in constant prowl, has gained a foothold. Love, temperance, longsuffering – these are fruits of the Spirit. If the Holy Spirit is grieved, how can one grow and bear its fruit?
How can a Christian grieve the Holy Spirit? Here are some ways:
When he stimulates himself more of the world than of the Word.
That is, when one is absorbed with the things of this world and neglects to feed on the Word on a daily basis. Wasn’t the Word the Lord Jesus’ weapon when tempted by Satan in the wilderness? When the things of the world are more alive in us than the Word of God, we become an easy prey of the enemy.
When one has grown lukewarm in the spirit and has neglected to be fervent in praising and worshiping the Lord, from the rising of the sun to the going down of the same.
When one gets slack in prayer.
When one chooses to complain rather than to give thanks. Constant complaining offends God.
When one has not totally surrendered one’s life to the Lord, in all humility and without any trace of pride and self-righteousness.
In our daily walk, we must arm ourselves for spiritual battle. We are to put on the whole armor of God. This is how a Christian triumphs over all the works of the enemy and lives victoriously.
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. (Eph. 6: 11)
All that a Christian will ever need in his journey are found in the Holy Spirit. We live in the Spirit – it is the Spirit that gives us life. And if we live in the Spirit, we must also walk in the Spirit.
This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. (Gal. 5: 16)
Footnotes: 2 Cor. 6: 14; James 3: 11; James 1: 20
Related article: The 7 Habits of a Spirit-filled Christian