There is a way that SEEMS RIGHT to a man, but the end is the way of death. Proverbs 14:12 ESV
When doing a word search in the Bible of the word feel, you will find verses referring to how a person feels when describing a particular situation. This teaching is not to debunk the fact that feelings are an important part of who we are as people. Are there times, however, when we should not trust our feelings concerning matters or situations in our lives?
The short answer is….yes. Feelings are the way we describe emotional times such as happiness, sadness, excitement, concern, confidence, love, hate, etc. We must be careful to make sure our emotions / feelings aline with biblical truth. For a feeling to be a healthy feeling, it will and must aline with biblical truth. Biblical truth will keep you in check by not letting you live your life just by your emotions / feelings. Again, feelings are important, but be careful because there is such a thing as unhealthy feelings disguised as good. What makes them unhealthy? Let me use a scripture that will answer that: There is a way that SEEMS RIGHT to a man, but the end is the way of death. Proverbs 14:12 ESV. So how do we live life having feelings, yet know that we are living in the truth of God’s way?
STUDY, STUDY, STUDY:
Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needed not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15 KJV
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15 ESV
If a person really wants to be accomplished in something, they will study that subject. If a person wants to build something, they will study the plans or blueprints for that project. I have observed many people who are accomplished in their work and enjoy doing what they do. In fact some of those people are enthusiastic about what they do to the point that they are willing to tell you everything they can about what it is they do. The reason they are able to do so is because they have given their life to that occupation or task, and they love what they do.
As Christians we are challenged to study God’s word to be able to relay truth to the world. To study the Bible is to grow in your knowledge of God. To grow in the knowledge of God, as a Christian, is to love him more. It is the blueprint for life in how to build your life for kingdom purpose…. His purpose. You will dedicate yourself to what or who you love.
Jesus experienced emotions just as we do today. He cried concerning Lazarus’s death. (John 11:35) He wept over Jerusalem. (Luke 19:41) He experience agony. (Luke 22:44) I believe he laughed with children and rejoiced with others, and of course we know he felt and feels love for us. He was totally God and totally man, thus he experienced all we experience yet without sin. (Hebrews 4:15)
My point in all I just wrote is to show that Jesus has strong emotional feelings, yet feelings did not take him to the cross. Obedience to His Father’s will did. Note, when praying in the garden the night before his crucifixion, He said, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours be done. Luke 22:42 ESV If he acted upon what he was feeling…. agony… he would not have followed his father’s will.
The point is this. What we feel does not need to govern our life when it is not in line with God’s will. Jesus said this, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23 ESV What are we denying ? -Ourselves and the mind set, “It is all about me.” John the Baptist said it best, “He must increase but I must decrease” John 3:30 ESV
So you ask, “How do I take up my cross and follow daily?” Answer- I appeal to you therefore brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is you spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by TESTING you may discern WHAT IS THE WILL OF GOD, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12: 1-2 ESV……..And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Galatians 5:24 ESV This, with study and the desire to live in obedience, is how we live by truth and not feelings.
It does not mean the transformation will be painless, for we can be self-centered by nature. If Jesus had been self- centered, he would have had the disciples wash his feet instead of washing theirs. With this example, let us remember Jesus’s teaching. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, John 13:16a ESV Joy… happiness in the Lord … is a result of obedient living no matter the cost- no matter the feeling.
Don’t just read the Bible. Memorize it. Dwell and meditate upon it. Remember the teaching of Psalm 1: 1-3 and Psalm 119:11 Examine everything you feel as a person, that involves your life. Is there anything that you feel that contradicts scripture? If so, crucify that feeling on the cross of repentance. Memorize the scripture that revealed the inconsistency of that feeling and use it to battle that feeling. Again, let me make clear that we are people of emotion and feelings, and sometimes we have a feeling that something isn’t right but cannot put our finger on it. I believe the Holy Spirit guards our hearts and minds and when you experience this, search the scriptures and pray for wisdom. There was a reason for Proverbs 14:12…. because we can be deceived if we don’t pay heed to it.
Because of HIs Grace ~ Pastor David