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Sunday July 31st
My Feelings Or God's Word

What a joy to be with all of you today.  I’m Pastor Paris of The Journey Church.

 

Last week we were challenged to believe in the God of miracles and see that someone coming to saving faith in Jesus Christ was the ultimate miracle.  This week we are going to attempt to have God open our eyes and hearts to something that runs rampant in our present culture today.  People are angry, unforgiving, disrespectful, rude, independent and discourteous because they have a feeling and act on it.

 

Today I want to speak to you about the voices that you listen to.  The two I will focus on today are our feelings as one voice and God’s word as the other voice.

 

Over and over the Old Testament follower of God was reminded to trust in the Lord with all their heart.  Why do you think they needed so much reminding?  It’s because they vacillated on this topic.  Remember the three voices: God, Man and Satan.  Don’t complicate it.  The voices you hear can only come from one of these sources and you must decide which, by learning from God who these three are.  My Bible tells me as your pastor that I am actually here to help you in the process of knowing what God’s voice sounds like, so that you won’t miss it when you hear it or read it.

 

Ephesians 4:11–16 (NIV)  So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

 

Who in this account are the mature and who are the babies?  The mature are those who become more like Jesus and the babies are those who are tossed around by other voices than God’s.

 

Maybe I should first start by addressing where our feelings live.  Most of you know, as we teach at The Journey, that we humans are spiritual beings, who have a soul and we live inside a physical body while on this earthly planet. 

 

1 Thessalonians 5:23 (NIV)  May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Well our feelings reside inside our soul along with our thoughts, emotions, and our willpower.  Our soul is the most volatile part of who we are and it is the playground for Satan’s strategies.  Our feelings are often spoken of as our heart which is our soul, but way too often our heart is dictated to by our emotions.  But our soul must become ruled by God’s word and our will.  Our soul can be and must be transformed.

 

Romans 12:2 (NIV) Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

 

Are you transforming your mind at this moment, or just politely listening to someone preach?  Far too many folks are entrapped by their feelings because their mind is not transformed.  We encourage our children to be led by their feelings.  If they feel like an outburst, then don’t control it, rather let it rip.  If they feel like a girl when their body tells them they are male then they believe their feelings over God’s design. 

 

We have created entire industry’s that rotate around feeling issues.  Our world  encourages people to immerse themselves in their feelings of hatred, anger, fear and disappointment by digging up their remembered past and even their relative’s past.  Do you feel trapped by an unexpected pregnancy? Then get an abortion feel better.  Do you feel sad?  Then you are stuck with being sad and depression is your lot in life.  But God tells us that we must change our minds or maybe better said, allow God to change our minds about who we are. 

 

Colossians 3:12–14 (NIV) Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

 

Notice you play a part in your circumstances and your feelings; you are not a victim.  His joy, not our feelings is our strength.

 

Nehemiah 8:10 (NIV) …This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

 

Your feelings make a very poor judge and guidance counselor.  God is our Father and we should turn to him when our feelings start to speak.

 

Jeremiah 17:9 (NIV) The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?

 

Proverbs 28:26 (NIV) Those who trust in themselves are fools, but those who walk in wisdom are kept safe.

 

So then what do we do when our feelings speak to our thoughts?

 

Proverbs 3:5–8 (NIV)  Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.  7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. 8 This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.

 

Your feeling will profit you little, but God’s truth can change everything.  Turn on your faith in God and seek His wisdom, all the while resisting the voice of your feelings when it condemns you or depresses you.

 

James 1:5–6 (NIV) If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.

 

Your feelings will tell you that you are subject to your past, but God refutes that lie with His truth.  He speaks to us of what His son did on the cross so that our past was made powerless.  If your feelings tell you to hate someone because of their skin tone then combat that with the knowledge that human beings are made in God’s image.  If your feelings want to spew anger toward another road warrior take a deep breath and bless them.  And by all means if your feelings tell you that you are a victim you should categorically refute that with God’s powerful truth of being more than a conqueror in Christ.  No weapon formed against you can prosper.  Take that feelings!

 

Early in my faith development I was encouraged to read scripture, memorize scripture and use scripture as a weapon against my unbelieving feelings.  I learned that God is true and every man a liar when it came to who I am and how my life is to be.  I memorized that word and carried it with me so that when my feelings barked loudly, I could silence them.

 

Romans 3:4 (NIV) Not at all! Let God be true, and every human being a liar.

 

This includes the voices running around in my head.  Now I’m not talking about simple denial but rather overriding the ungodly feeling with God’s word of truth.  I’m also not saying that every feeling should be ignored.  My feelings that line up with God’s word are valid and should be heeded.  To feel compassion, mercy, love, determination, hope, and power are all from God, so feel away and enjoy the flow and fruit of those righteous feelings.

 

So the next time you have a contest between your feelings or God’s word, you should weigh it out, determine where it might have come from, test it against God’s written word and when you find it lacking just put it on the shelf until it passes the smell test.  God created righteous feelings to be enjoyed and used as a blessing to all who surround us.

 

Let’s pray for our renewed mind together.

 

Next week we will address the topic of judgement of others