We sometimes have a tendency to want to let our feelings lead the way in our obedience to the Lord.
- I’ll forgive when my feelings change.
- I’ll spend time with God when He seems more interesting than the internet.
- I’ll pray when I feel close to God.
- I’ll be kind, loving, and respectful when I start to really feel it.
- I feel like being with this guy, even though I know that he is not God’s will for me.
- I’ll honor my parents when they stop being so annoying.
- I’ll speak gently when other people speak gently to me.
But that is not how love for God, spiritual growth, or abiding in Christ work.
QUOTE BY CORRIE TEN BOOM
She was a believer in Christ whose family hid Jews in their home from Nazis in World War 2. She later was imprisoned, herself.
“Even as the angry vengeful thoughts boiled through me, I saw the sin of them. Jesus Christ had died for this man; was I going to ask for more? Lord Jesus, I prayed, forgive me and help me to forgive him….Jesus, I cannot forgive him. Give me your forgiveness….And so I discovered that it is not on our forgiveness any more than on our goodness that the world’s healing hinges, but on his. When he tells us to love our enemies, he gives along with the command, the love itself.”
Our feelings do not always lead us in what is best for us.
But when God gives us directions, He has our ultimate good in mind. We can trust Him.
Jesus is now our Lord, if we are in Christ. Not our feelings. When He calls us to do anything, we say, “Yes, Lord!” This is SO freeing! We don’t have to be slaves to our emotions any longer! PRAISE GOD!
Feelings are important. They are kind of like an indicator light on a car dashboard. We can pour them out before the Lord like David did in the Psalms. They can be a flag we need to deal with something. But they are no longer the most important thing. They do not necessarily need to dictate our behavior. And they are not our source of absolute truth. God’s Word is our source of absolute truth.
In reality, our obedience to God must lead the way and feelings tend to follow along later.
Jesus equates our love for Him with our obedience to Him. Love is a choice – not a feeling. And real love involves action.
Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching.”John 14:23-24
We obey God, because He is Lord and He is worthy. We don’t obey to earn salvation. Jesus earned our salvation on the cross and did all the work to make us right with the Lord. We receive His work on our behalf as a gift. We obey because we love Him and are so thankful for His incredible love and sacrifice for us.
As we take that step into obedience in faith, He provides us the very power we need to obey and He produces the fruit of His Spirit – His love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control in us. It is all about us allowing Him to do the work in us and through us as we trust and follow Him, seeking His will far above our own.
NOTE – If you are experiencing abuse from someone, God can give you the power to forgive, although it may be a process. But none of us are required to trust people who are untrustworthy and who have not repented and shown significant fruit of repentance. If you are being mistreated and you are confused about what to do, please seek one-on-one help with a trusted, godly, experienced counselor.
What has the Lord been showing you in this area of your life?