"Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law." (Galatians 5:19-23)
In my mind, my work was supposed to be done by 5 pm, but here I was almost at 6 pm still trying to get my lesson plans sorted for the next day. To make matters worse, one of the websites I needed to complete my work was down. Frustrated, I mashed the refresh button on my web browser only to discover that the website issues were not resolved within 2 minutes. My heart became increasingly flustered as I remembered my other commitments to finish editing an article, eat dinner and get to bible study all before 7 pm! And as I became flustered, my productivity plateaued. And as my productivity plateaued the beginnings of internal panic started to bubble up.
Several things were left unfinished as I went to dinner. As we prayed before the meal, a spirit of conviction came over me. And as we ate I analysed out loud my anxieties at that moment, using a flowchart that I had just read about in Jeff Vanderstelt’s book Gospel Fluency: Speaking the Truths of Jesus into the Everyday Stuff of Life (p122-123).
Confession of sin:
What works of the flesh am I experiencing right now?
Anxiety, frustration, and panic about lack of control.
Who am I believing myself to be right now?
I am believing that I need to be on top of all my plans to be competent and valued.
What am I believing about what God has done?
I am believing that God is not in control of the uncertainties of daily life and has left me on my own to deal with them.
What am I believing about who God is right now?
I am believing that God is not powerful or loving.
Repentance & confession of faith:
What do I know to be true about who God is?
God is powerful and loving!
What has God done to demonstrate this?
He loves me to the point of sending Jesus to die for my sins. He is powerful enough to create all things and resurrect Jesus.
Who am I in light of this truth?
I am loved, even if I don’t finish all my work as planned. I can trust and rest in God that he is in control and will provide for me also when unexpected things happen.
What fruit of the Spirit am I experiencing now?
Peace, patience and trust in God.