Imagine spending a majority of your adult life working towards a goal or destination only for one mistake to disqualify you. One instance of sudden anger is all it takes to wipe out an entire life’s work. Unchecked anger is a wildfire that will consume you and everything and everyone around you; the life you’ve built irretrievably turned to ash because of offense and hurt. But you don’t have to let anger get the best of you.
Moses is recognized as one of the greatest leaders in the Old Testament. He was selected by God to lead his people out of captivity and into a land flowing with milk and honey. But a single moment of anger and bitterness caused him to miss out on the very thing he’d dedicated his entire life towards. My hope is that we can learn from the life of Moses and keep anger and frustration from holding us back from God’s best for us!
Numbers 20 tells how the people Moses was leading became angry towards him because of the lack of water. These are the very same people that Moses had led from captivity. They had crossed the Red Sea on dry land and eaten from the manna God provided. Yet, and still, they were not satisfied with where Moses had led them.
Any leader knows this frustration. But when the crowd begins to turn on you, that’s the moment we have to press closer to God than ever before. That’s the moment we have to know we’re hearing from God and not reacting out of our own frustration or offence.
God had a simple solution. He instructed to Moses to speak to the rock and the water would flow out of it. Previously, God had provided a similar solution. In that case, Moses was told to strike the rock for the water to flow.
In His mercy and grace, God provided the water for the Children of Israel, but with severe consequences for Moses.
Everything rises and falls on leadership. As a leader, there is less room for error. Moses didn’t just get angry and respond inappropriately. God called Moses actions unbelief because he didn’t trust enough in what God said to simply obey. In his frustration and anger with the people, Moses acted rashly and it disqualified him from ever entering the Promised Land. The very place he’d spent his life working to lead his people to was now off-limits to him.
The lesson for us is that nobody can make you mad. People always want to point to what their spouse did or what someone else did as a reason for them to be angry. I’ve learned that I get to choose my response. Just because somebody says something to me doesn’t mean I have the right or the occasion to lose my self-control. What I’ve found is that when we ask for help, when we acknowledge the hurt and frustration caused when your husband or wife walked out or by what your parents did or did not do, when we get real about the offense we carry, we’ll find healing for our hearts. That healing will deal with that internal source of anger.
This is not meant as a condemnation or a judgment, but rather insight as to how we allow anger to disrupt our focus. I don’t want you to miss the great things that God has for you! If you want to learn more about overcoming anger in your life, I encourage you to take advantage of my latest message series. I’ll show you how to put an end to cycles of dysfunction and pain for you and your loved ones; discover the awesome power and strength available for you to walk in total freedom and forgiveness, and cut loose the chains of your past and step into a new day of liberty!
We need to deal with the root causes of our anger and keep it from being recalled. Let’s be honest and real with God and ask Him to heal those places of hurt in our hearts. I want you to find your Promised Land.
God bless you!
Living in Grace and Peace,
Dr. Derek Grier
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