Part 1 – Anger
Pastor Glen Johnson
We’re starting a new series both here and in Kelso. And, we’re doing a six-week series called “MOOD”. We’re going to be talking about greed, joy, depression, fear, love and today, we’re going to be talking about – ‘anger’. Let’s roll the video.
**Series of video compilation**
Wow! So many good movies out there! I wish they were to have the one with; he’s punching out Bob Barker. That was my favorite.. That’s my favorite one of all time. And, Bob Barker beats him and that’s really a good one.
Let me tell you… Let me tell you, let’s get on the serious side, let me tell you a story. Theresa and I were married a couple years and back then, when Theresa and I first got married, we decided that we could save the whole world. I mean, so we decided that our home was open to anybody that could stay, you know we let people stay there. So, I had a nephew that was.. My sister wasn’t in a great way. She’s an amazing person today and doing great today. But, back then she just wasn’t in a good spot in her life and so, we decided; and I was probably.. Theresa was probably 23-24, I’m probably 25; and we decided to bring my nephew, who was 7 years old at the time, into our home and live with us. And, I had the visions of being the perfect dad to this 7-year old boy and I’m going to take him in and him and I are going to be just father and son, and we’re going to, you know kind of adopt him into our lives and I’d like to say I’m 25-26 years old. And, I brought him into our home and we just you know, we’re going to live happily ever after. Yeah! You get it!
And so, one day I decided we are going to have steak for dinner. So, remember this day? Oh yeah! Yeah! She remembers. So, we decided we’re going to have steak for dinner while, little 7-year old Michael decides, he doesn’t like steak. Well, I was brought up that you ate whatever’s in front of you, you know! Now, I don’t care, you know, you eat ice-cream, I don’t care, whatever you want to do, just do it.. I don’t care, you know. But, it’s like back then, I’m going to be the perfect dad, I’m going to make him eat steak! So, he said, “Well, I don’t like steak!” I said, “Well, that’s fine! But, you’re going to eat steak.” He said, “I don’t like steak.”. “Well, I don’t mind but you’re going to eat steak!”
And so we went back and forth and I had never met such a strong-willed person in all my life because; I am so pliable and this never happened exactly. I just knew that I mean.
So and this kid just was defiant and I mean it was like to that steak. I’m not going to chew that steak. Put that steak in your mouth. You.. you’re going to hurt bad, if you don’t eat that steak because I’m your uncle but I’m now your dad and I will put the left foot of fellowship on you really hard, you know.. I will I will put my foot where the sun don’t shine. And, we went around and we went around, and we went around, and we went around, we went around, we went around and we were hours and hours and hours fighting that kid to eat the steak.
You know something happened to me, during that time. I’m being, I’m transparent; I’m being honest with you. I understood for the first time and this is not funny, I don’t mean this to be funny, I’m getting serious; I understood for a second, why parents abuse kids. No, I’m not this isn’t funny. I was on the verge of so much anger, that I could have hurt that kid. That’s how mad I was, I was on the verge of doing something that I would regret, for a long time. And, it was a teaching moment in my life because I knew that if I didn’t get control of that part of me because; it doesn’t matter what the name you place on the person or the situation, it’s not about them, it’s about my limit that I had to deal with. And, I had to say, “Look! I am not going to allow a seven-year-old boy, I’m not going to allow the seven-year-old boy to cause me to go to prison for 8 years. But, I could see for the first time, I had never been that mad before but, for the first time in my life, I was on the verge of something that I would regret the less, the rest of my life. And, I reeled it in, sent him to bed and gave up that part of it, because not for his sake but for my sake. And, I thank God for that teaching moment that I had because I remember where that edge is and I never allow myself to even get close to that edge again, because; that edge could be a dangerous place.
We get to the place in that anger where, when we’re angry.. when we’re an angry person, we are.. we get to a place where, we have a tendency to, you know sometimes it’s generally caused from hurt and we have this false protection thing, that comes about us. But, you can in a moment’s time, you can have a friendship; in a moment’s time, you know, in in a second, in a moment’s time you can ruin a lifelong friendship or a marriage or a job situation because; you allow the emotion of anger to take you out past the point that you’re supposed to be. Now, I’m being vulnerable to you and everybody’s out there going, “Oh my god! Why did I come this morning? I was so mad on my way to church.”
James chapter 3 says this in verse 2, he says, “For we all stumble on many things, anyone does not stumble in word, he’s a perfect man.” the word ‘’perfect’’ means mature. Able also to bridle the whole body, indeed we put bits in the horse’s mouth, they may obey us and we turn their whole body. Look also at the ship’s, although they are large and driven by fierce winds, they are turned by the very small rudder where the pilot desires, even so the tongue is a little member and most great things.
You see when we get angry, to a place where we’re out of control, we are really putting ourselves on the devil’s territory. We really put ourselves into a position, of really the enemy possibly destroying our marriage, possibly destroying our kids, possibly destroying our whole destiny can be virtually changed in a second, in the blink of an eye, we can get out there with controlled anger, with uncontrolled anger and it messes you up.
Proverbs says it this way, he says, “The beginning of strife is like releasing of water, therefore, stop contention before quarrel starts.”
Erick come up here, let me… Where’s Erick? I don’t want to… where be Erick? Come up here! I want to share just a thought with you about.. give you an example of what anger does to other people, when we get angry. Just come right up here bro, I want to show you something. When we get super angry with people just keep coming keep coming!
I didn’t realize I was going to get all wet! I had to bring a change of clothes just for that. I didn’t tell him 5 minutes before the service but, the reality is when we, I got to clean my glasses. When we get angry to a place, what we do is when we throw our anger on somebody else, they walk away and their life is, his life has changed forever. He’ll never forget this day. No! He won’t! He’ll never forget this day, his parents will never forget this day, you will never.. you may not remember his name but, you will never forget this day and, a lot of times anger is like that, it’s like the releasing of water and if you don’t deal with it, BOOM! There you go!
Now, anger is, can cause you to lose your destiny. I was thinking about this, when we were putting this message together. Moses was one of the greatest guys in the Bible. He was the guy, I mean, he was, I mean you know he was on the Mount of Transfiguration with Jesus, he came back from the, well, probably never died but, came back and was, I mean the guy was in the New Testament, the Old Testament; Old Testament spirits before him, Old Testament, he was led millions of people out of the.. out of Egypt. But, Moses dealt with an anger problem. God used him anyway, thank God! But, Moses dealt with an anger problem. And, let’s start off, we have the story of in Acts chapter 7, it tells you a little story about Moses. And, he is a, he’s actually an Egyptian or he’s actually Hebrew but he’s raised in an Egyptian household and he’s kind of like, you know big shot guy, right there with Pharaoh, big time guy and yet he was a Hebrew. And, the Hebrew’s were in slavery for many, many years, hundreds of years. So, in Acts chapter 7 verse 24, it says, “When we saw one of them treated unjustly, he defended him and took vengeance for the oppressed by striking down the Egyptian”. So, in other words, Moses killed this Egyptian.
So, this Egyptian guy is picking on the Hebrew guy, he goes up and kills him and Moses fled and after 40 years had passed, the angel appeared to him in the wilderness in the.. in the flame of a burning bush. So, here he was, he’s got, I mean this guy has got everything and one fit of anger cost him to kill this guy and he knows, that he’s in trouble from that point forward so, he flees and he’s literally given up his life and said I could never go back, I had everything, I was the guy, I was the palace guy. I was the golden child and he threw it all away because of his anger, his fit of anger caused him to kill an Egyptian. He goes on the backside desert, God so redemptive and so powerful that he says, “Yeah! I’m going to give you a burning bush” And, here he is now 80 years old, probably 80 years old when the burning bush happens; somewhere right around there, probably 40 probably, close to 40 when he kills this guy, goes out the back side of the desert for 40 years and then God says, “Hey! I want to use you to let my people go. I want.. I want to help you, I want to use you to let my people go”.
So then, all through this time then, you know the story and I don’t, you know, you can go back and read it, but you know the story; you know, the plagues and the Moses and Aaron go in there and they’re all going in and they’re winning battles and they’re you know, talking to Pharaoh and that finally, they let the people go. And, Moses gets out there and he starts dealing with people. And, when Moses starts deal with people on a regular basis, he’s ticked off all the time. I mean he’s like, I am mad at these people, I am ticked off at these people, he’s got an anger problem and he’d never dealt with his anger problem. He’s out there, he’s leading people and he never dealt with his anger problem. So, one day, he gets up there, and God says.. Okay! We said, “Well, we need water, there’s no water out in this desert” So God says, “Go speak to that rock and water will come out of that rock”. And, Moses gets mad at God, so he doesn’t speak to the rock, he goes up and he whacks it with his with his rod, he whacks that rock with his rod. And listen to me, God because of that incident right there, and I don’t think it was one of those isolated incidents but I think because of that incident right there, God said, “You know what, because I told you to do this, you didn’t do this and you will never enter the Promised Land that I promised you. You’ll never enter the Promised Land and you’ll never be the leader to take the children of Israel into the Promised Land.”
Now, why did God do that? I don’t think it was because, just because of his anger but I think God looked ahead and said, “Look! I’d like to give you some more but I can’t trust your judgment because you get ticked off. I cannot trust your judgment towards success and I know that you’ll destroy my people because you’ll make bad judgments because of your anger problem. And therefore, you will not go into the Promise Land.
I wonder, if maybe God speaks to us about that sometimes and says, “I’d like to take your business on, I’d like to take your family on, I’d like to take parts of your life, I’d like to make you something amazing but, every time I do, you have an anger problem. Every time I do something, you just you are fly off the handle and do something stupid.” People pass it off as like, “Well, it’s just my heritage, I’m Irish!” You know, no, you’re stupid, not Irish, you’re stupid!
I’m just kidding! But, well kind of kidding. But, we can lose our promised land and we make excuses, we make excuses of our life because; we say things and we make excuses in our life and the reality is, it’s just that we’ve never dealt with it.
Now, parents please! If you’ve got young kids here, please, please, I beg of you! I beg of you! Don’t let your kids have fits of rage and get away with it. Because, when they become adults, I have to deal with them. And, don’t let your kids have fits of rage, please, I beg of you! Please don’t let them have fits of rage. I think about you know, going into a store and you know, if I went into a store, when I was a kid and had a fit of rage, yeah! You know what would have happened!
One time, I was in this classroom in eighth grade, Mr. Mageechi’s class. And, I was in a classroom where there was wood floor, it was old. It was in canvas and it was wood floors and Mr. Mageechi was an old logger. And, he had, he got hurt in the logging industry and so he memorized the Roberts English series and became an English teacher. And, he was boring! Oh my gosh! He was boring! But, he would you know, I mean he would drop f-bombs in our class and everything and one time, I got mad and I threw a piece of chalk down and broke it all over the floor. And he said, “Go to the office.” So, I went to the office and I can’t remember the name of the principal but I remember I got the Board of Education that day. And this is 8th grade, I’ve been over and I still feel the power of that Board of Education today.
I only happened to be twice in my, I deserved it 120 times but it only happened to me twice but, I got the Board of Education. And you know what; I never talked bad to Mr. McGee ever again in my life. Don’t know if that’s right or wrong but, whatever but it sure worked on my behalf. So, but you can lose your promised land if you’re not careful.
Now, let’s go to the other side of anger for a second. Anger is good! What? You just told us anger is bad! No! Anger is actually a gift from God, that God wants you to be angry because the Bible says be angry and sin not. So, you can be angry. I want.. I want a bunch of angry men around our church. I want.. I want guys that are ticked off about things.. I want guys that are that are motivated by anger to do something for the kingdom of God.
John, you know, did you ever think about this? John’s Gospel chapter 2, I love this scripture. It says, now the pass, this is chapter 2 verse 13 says, “Now, the Passover of the Jews was at hand and Jesus went up to Jerusalem and he found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves and the money changers doing business; and when he had made a whip out of cords, he drove them all out of the temple and the sheep and the oxen and poured out the changers and money and overturned the tables and he said to those who sold doves, “Take these things away. Do not make my father’s house a house of merchandise and his disciples remembered what has written, the zeal of our house has eaten him up.”
So, now here’s Jesus, he walks in and the church had become a commercial center. Now, you just understand you know people are so funny, how people get religious, “Oh, we can’t sell anything at church because” That’s not what they’re doing, they’re selling sacrifices the priests were making Bank because you had to have a sacrifice. It’s like me saying, “You got to be saved and the only thing that is going to save you is the oil that I produce from my oil place and there’s bottles of it for sale out here.” And, you go out and do it go and enrich me personally. That’s the kind of thing that was happening. So, the Bible says, Jesus made a whip out of cords.
Now notice this, I can just see him walking in there going, ta-da-da-da-da, and he is like, “What’s going go here man?” “What’s going on here? This is happening in the temple of God!” So, now he starts getting riled up. I mean Jesus wasn’t like, “Oh! Let’s all just say kumbaya and let’s take a vote to see whether we should do anything about this or not!” No! He walks over and says, in one translation, it says, “he fashioned a whip” Which means, he was in control, he went over took time. We don’t know if it was 5 minutes-10 minutes, we don’t know if it was two days or whatever it was, but he went out and, “Yeah! I’m going to kick these suckers’ rear end here… I’m going to [Music]… not quite.. mhmmm choo-choo-choo, you know make that a little bit stiffer or just for that!” And then he walks in, “Hi guys! Selling that in my temple?” (Whip noise)
And, they’re like, “Oh my god! Crazy man is here!” And, I’m sure he just went up there and started whipping… I mean, “Well! I don’t know if he whipped people!” No, he whipped people, get them, get your out of my house and he starts whipping. But, you know what, it was controlled and it was righteous. Anger is a God-given ability for us as people of God.
I go to the Philippines and I’ll do a pastors conference. And, I’ll say things like, you know I was walking down the road and a young man came up to me and offered me his 11-year old sister for me to come and jump her bones. And, I say, “Where are your pastors? How come you’re letting that go on in your city? How come you’re letting that, if you don’t have some old people over that, you’re never going to accomplish anything in your life?” So, the very essence of anger is a good thing, channeled in the right direction. So, if you’re given to anger, lift your hands and rejoice that God has given you this amazing ability to change things but, you need to channel it in the right direction, instead of just being condemned all the time and feeling bad about the thing; channel it in the right direction. Take time out of your life and say, “Okay Lord! What do you want me to change? What.. I’m so passionate about thing, I’m so mad all time, what do you want me to change about things?”
We do that with recovery ministry here and Bill and Vicky and different things. And, and for me though, I just got mad like, “Who dare take our kids through heroin addiction and different things like that?” It’s like finally a church just rose up and said, “Enough is enough in this city. Enough is enough! I have had it with just addiction taking our kids. What’s your passion? What drives you? “Well! Nothing seems to anger me.” Then you need to get around God because he’s now… I’m telling you, if you get a cause in your life man, you’ll fight to the death for a cause!”
You know, if somebody comes into my house at nighttime, that doesn’t belong there, they’re going to feel the wrath of Pastor G! PG is on the scene and PG’s not going to worry about, “Oh! What’s this going to do to my reputation? Now, it’s what’s this going to do to your body?” Because; I’m going be angry and, I’m just using as an extreme example because you guys have to get this, that there’s nothing wrong with anger. There’s a gap between verse 14 and 15, when Jesus fashioned that whip in control. He controlled his anger, he was righteous about it. You know, there are lots of things in our life, what makes you mad, you know. What are the things that tick you off? Sometimes, anger can be a motivator or can also be an indication of your lack of trust of God in that area!
I’ll tell you what; it’s kind of amazing to me. How many times you mentioned the tie then people get furious about it, except for the Tigers. But, you mention the tie the people just, “I will tell you what blah, blah (In an angry voice)” You know, you throw a rock at a dog of parking lots, the one that gets hit barks.. Whatever it is, you know. You get the hang of it! You know what I’m saying. But, there’s something about it, what.. what.. what ticks you off? And, you know, someone walks up to you and says, “Is that glorifying to God, what you’re doing?” And, you just get mad about it.
The reality is, you got nailed as what you got! Usually comes from your wife, that’s a bad thing about it. But, there’s something about anger can be a motivator you know. You can get so mad at yourself and just say, “You know what! I’m going to go get in shape man. Look at my body; I have let myself get out of shape. I’m going to do something about it because the doctors are telling me this!” Well! Anger can be a motivator. I’ll tell you what, just sometimes; we need to just think about some of this stuff sometimes and what motivates us to do something. The last one is this and we’re going to bring this to a ministry type close. Anger is controllable; the Spirit of the Lord can control that and use it for his glory but how? How do you do that?
I remember one time, Theresa and I went to a house of somebody, that this was, one of the spouse, I won’t tell you him or her or whatever. They were so out of control, they were throwing things and they were literally almost like curled up in a ball. So mad and out of control, that their anger this anger just took over their life. And, I’m not sure they’ve ever got a hold of that. I’m not sure they’ve ever dealt with it. But, I’m telling you if you deal with this, God has made you a powerful, powerful person but, you have to learn to deal with anger and channel it.
Ephesians, chapter 4 says this, I’m going to read, I think this is a New Living Translation but whatever they put up on this thing it says verse 17 says, “With the Lord’s authority I say this, live no longer as the Gentiles do, for they hopelessly are confused. Their minds are full of darkness and they wander far from the life of God because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him. They have no sense of shame, they live lustful pleasures and eagerly practice every kind of impurity but, that is.. this isn’t what you have learned Christ since you have heard about Jesus and heard the truth that comes from him. Throw off your old sinful nature and your formal way of life, which is corrupt by lust and deception. Instead let the spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes, put on the new nature created to be like God with true righteousness and holy. So, stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth for we are all parts of the same body and don’t sin by letting anger control you. Let not the sun go down upon your wrath or why you’re still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil.”
I’m just going to stop right there but there’s something about, if he says.. if the Bible says, “don’t let anger control you”, it means that there’s power in that scripture to not let anger control you. If the Bible says, his stripes are healed, then there’s power in that scripture to get healed. If the Bible says, don’t be angry. You can be angry and sin not, then there’s power and that to deal with it. But you have to deal with it.
Now, in the Old Testament, and bring this to an altar call close here. In the Old Testament, when there was this, and Moses got angry something like that, the snakes were biting everybody and there was this, you know I mean people get bit by snakes. I’ve never been bit by a snake but I hate snakes I don’t want to be bit by snake, can’t think of anything worse. But God gave them a cure for every healing and this is for anger, for cancer. I was walking up and I was backpacking into an elk hunting spot, a couple weeks ago and I was just meditating on this verse, I’m just thinking about this verse, what I’m about ready to tell you. I’ve been dealing with a knee issue and I’ve had this little knee thing, I was lifting weights and it popped, my knee popped and I’ve been about three months now, didn’t deal with a knee issue and I’m just, I’m making this a generic thing today because; I think God, I believe God’s going to do some amazing miracles here this morning. I believe God’s going to do some amazing things this morning, if you’ll let him.
Verse, number is chapter 21 and verse 8, it says, “Then the Lord said to Moses make a fiery Serpent and set it on a pole and it shall be that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it shall live.” So, Moses made a bronze serpent, put it on a pole and so it was if the serpent had bitten anyone, when they looked on the bronze serpent he lived. Now, we have this little pole you see, you recognize this go ahead, put that up guys. This is the universal, this is the universal symbol for what? For the medical field, where do we get that? We get that from this verse right here. The universal symbol for medical, the reason why there’s snakes on that pole, is because; it’s a type of Jesus that all the sin of the world was laid.. all the thing that you’ll ever need, desire, want; everything that you’ll need to crucify, the flesh and everything was laid upon Jesus. And, that’s the medical symbol that we have today, is a symbol of the cross of Jesus from the Old Testament. As a matter of fact, we bring it over into John chapter 3 and it says, in verse 14 it says, “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so much the son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
Hebrews chapter 12 verse 2 says this, “Looking unto Jesus, the author and the finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross despising the shame and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” So, I’m walking along, I’m hiking in this elk hunting spot and my backpack and I’ve got this weight and I’m going up these hills and my knees bother me and I’m saying, “I’m looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of my faith. I’m looking to him as my healer. Jesus is my healer. I’m looking under him for the author; he’s the author and the finisher of my faith.”
And, when we look upon the Savior, see I think so many times we’re striving, striving, striving to get over anger. Well, if I could just, I’m gritting my teeth. I’m just trying to do, I’m trying to get healed.. I’m trying.. (Angry voice).. Oh man I’m speaking the word.. Grr! I’m doing always because…
And, we almost get into a level of works in our life, but when we just look to Jesus, he said, “when they looked at that pole” he said, “everybody that stared at that pole, everybody looked at the Serpent’s on that pole, which is a type of a Jesus been and all the sin of the world laid upon him and they look up at that and they just gaze and their focus was on the king of kings and the Lord of lords and their focus was on that thing in the New Testament and the Old Testament was a serpent’s. If he just looked upon it and it they would just gaze at it, they’d be healed but a minute they start looking at their own circumstances, the healing power of God wouldn’t flow.
Today my brothers and sisters, what do you need? What do you need from the Lord? What do you need to crucify? What is it in your life that you need to grab a hold off and attain? It might be anger, it might be I got cancer in my body, it might be I’ve got a knee problem, might be I’m cut into whatever it might be I believe the Lord’s going to do some miracles here this morning. I sense the power of the Lord here as I was preparing this message, I sense the Lord just saying, “I want to do miracles that people look to me, the author and the finisher of their faith, the joy that was set before him.” Man, I’ll tell you, God wants to do something powerful!
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