Enjoying the Journey
Emotions are a gift from God. They are also marred with the sin nature of Adam. When they are under God’s reign they feel as He feels, but when they are “out of control” they are both deceptive and destructive.
The longer I work with people, the more I come to see my own depraved heart, I am convinced that emotions are the devils playground. For some reason – perhaps because he knows how susceptible we are to suggestion – much spiritual warfare takes place at the soul level. In our emotions.
Think of it. Depression. Anxiety. Fear. Anger. Guilt. Envy. Jealousy. Pride. Hatred. Despair. All emotions.
Many times those who are most careful to avoid sins of the flesh fail to recognize the subtle entrance of a sin of the spirit. It is also interesting that so much false religion is built on emotion.
Recently I spoke with a young lady about Christ. She knew little about the Lord but said that she was a Mormon. When I inquired as to how she became a Mormon, her response was very revealing. Consumed with a certain “feeling” she spoke to a lady who was a member of a Baptist church. When the woman dismissed her feelings as silly she spoke to two Mormon missionaries about them. They confirmed her feelings as truth and led her into a false system of belief. All based on emotion.
The ecstatic experiences of the charismatics, the guilt driven works of Roman Catholicism, and the mystique of countless eastern religions – all are driven by emotion.
Bible believers are not immune to it. Well intentioned Christians often make decisions and choose direction for life based on a “feeling.” This is very subjective, and very dangerous. Adrian Rogers said, “God does not do His deepest work in the shallowest part of our heart.”
We must judge every emotion by truth. Every “feeling” must be examined under the microscope of God’s Word and Spirit. All emotion must be yielded to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Martin Luther wrote,
Feelings come and feelings go,
And feelings are deceiving;
My warrant is the Word of God–
Naught else is worth believing.
Though all my heart should feel condemned
For want of some sweet token,
There is One greater than my heart
Whose Word cannot be broken.
I’ll trust in God’s unchanging Word
Till soul and body sever,
For, though all things shall pass away,
His Word shall stand forever!
If you allow emotions to run your life, they will ruin your life. They come. They go. They ebb. They flow. Only God and God’s truth will last.
What is the opposite of feelings? Not lack of feelings. Faith! Faith does not rest upon our emotion – its object is much higher than our hearts. Faith looks at the reality of God and rests in His character.
I have learned from experience: emotions lie. Only God can be trusted. Choose against your emotions today. Exercise your will. Believe God. Your emotions will follow.
“And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:23).