Feelings, Nothing More than Feelings, Part 2
Galatians 5:16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
On one end of the human (and Christian) spectrum are the folks so led by feelings that they’re a virtual slave to them, allowing how they feel to determine how they act. On the other end are those who deny all feelings, and are dedicated to not feeling at all, usually because of pain avoidance or a false idea that feelings aren’t of the Lord.
But just because some folks take things to extremes doesn’t mean that we are to ignore our feelings. Even the worst of them can be touched by God and redeemed as we put the name and power of Jesus on them. As we walk in faith, it’s healthy to be aware of how we feel, as our feelings can point us to areas that may need healing and deliverance. If we consistently feel something negative about a circumstance or person, or are constantly resisting something, it may be that like a physical pain, these emotions are calling attention to an area that needs help and ministry.
Usually we feel a strong negative feeling when we have an issue connected to and supporting the feeling. For instance, if we’re jealous, we may need to know how much He loves us individually and has a unique and loving plan for our lives. If we’re feeling fearful at regular intervals, perhaps we need to build up our faith in the area of God’s sovereignty and remind ourselves how much He is in control. We may also need to read Romans 8:28 again and again until we believe it. The feeling, if presented prayerfully to God, can help us see areas of weakness in our faith that need building up.
The central issue for us as believers is not whether to have emotions or not. They are inevitable. The question is who is boss. We are called to live by faith, not by feelings, and to let God’s word be our guide. The great news is that we in Christ don’t have to be led around by how we feel; we are free in Christ to obey Him, even if that means we have to deny our feelings when we do.
More good news is that God doesn’t want us to ignore or suppress our feelings as much as allow Him to redeem and transform them. We may have to deny some feelings at times to show them that we in Christ are the boss, and that we are going to obey the Lord no matter how we feel. But this denial of feelings is only temporary, and is actually a step on the way to replacing our negative feelings with His peace.
As an early teacher once expressed to the author, faith is the engine on the train and feelings are the caboose. Where the engine goes, the caboose inevitably follows. God doesn’t want you to deny your feelings—He wants to free you from them, put them under Your feet in His name, and ultimately redeem and transform them!
Prayer: Father, open my eyes and my heart to see how You want me to cooperate with Your Holy Spirit in doing battle against the enemy’s emotional attacks. Help me to know the victory I have in You, and teach me to stand in the power of Your word and Your name.