(Romans 12:2 NLT) Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
(1 Thessalonians 5:23 NIV) (23) 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.
How do we undo wrong thinking?
- Spend enough time in God’s Word for Him to make a suggestion of faith to you.
- Meditate on that suggestion over and over. (“You are a mighty man of valor”)
- Contradict boldly every one of those thoughts that are contrary with the Word of God.
- Imagine your life being experienced that way that God wants you to live.
Imagine breakthroughs. Imagine getting a raise. Imagine a great marriage. Imagine good, strong, godly children.
Begin to put your words to it.
Behavior will follow!
Don’t Let Emotions Dictate Your Faith
By Sarah Hahn for Relevant Magazine
Growing up having attended numerous Christian conferences, retreats and the like, I’ve heard the following phrases repeatedly by many of my Christian brothers and sisters:
“I feel so close to God.”
“My relationship with God is really strong right now.”
“I can definitely feel the Holy Spirit at work in my life.”
These expressions can also commonly be heard from recent born-again Christians who are newly on fire for God or right after someone has experienced some divine encounter, such as a miraculous healing.
It’s so easy for Christians to get fired up for God when we are surrounded by other Christians or when things are going well. Emotions run high. We really feel God’s presence. However, once we leave that place and return to our regular lives filled with distractions and responsibilities or circumstances begin to take a turn for the worse, quality time with God tends to get put on the back burner.
Feelings are inconsistent. They’re unreliable. We can’t base our relationship with God on some wavering feeling or connection.
Thus, the above expressions are often followed by one or more of the following several weeks later:
“I feel so spiritually dry right now.”
“Why can’t I hear God’s voice?”
“I’m unable to feel God’s presence in my life.”
The problem with so many Christians is that when this so-called spiritual high begins to wane, we immediately go back to doing the exact same things we did prior to that “feeling” we had. We prioritize our books over our Bible, we would rather connect to the Internet than connect to God, and we become too “lazy,” too “tired” or too “busy” that we run out of time for quiet time. As a result, that spiritual high you couldn’t stop talking about just a few weeks ago gradually starts to dissipate only to regain strength at the next retreat. This is what happens when we base our relationship with Jesus on our emotions.
God does not want us to learn how to suppress or even kill our emotions and become like Mr. Spock of Star Trek.
Feelings Really Do Matter!
Your feelings provide the impetus behind your decision making process.
God’s plan for us is that our faith and our feelings work hand in hand.
God designed you that way. He designed you to “feel something” about whatever it is you are making a decision about and then those feelings are designed to give you the moving force or stimulus to move forward.
It is only when our feelings are contrary to what God’s Word says are we to adjust or ignore our feelings.
Three areas of our lives that uncontrolled feelings can have a disastrous effect:
- Uncontrolled feelings will kill your faith.
You can strongly believe something but react to certain impulses differently from what you believe.
Example of knowing and believing that “love never fails” but responding out of anger or resentment incorrectly will kill what you believe about walking in love.
Unless I can control my emotion, I will not be able to act in correspondence with my faith and it will kill my faith.
(James 2:17 AMP) So also faith, if it does not have works (deeds and actions of obedience to back it up), by itself is destitute of power (inoperative, dead).
- Uncontrolled feelings corrupt the decision making process.
Feelings are never to be the basis for your decision.
We do some things because “I felt like it.”
We don’t do some things because we don’t feel like it.
Example of military training for dogs in combat environment, determines how they will respond to certain stimulus, which generate responses. They can learn not to bark in combat situations when their instincts want them to bark.
- Uncontrolled feelings will cause you to improperly judge other people.
(Matthew 7:15-20 NIV) “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. (16) By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? (17) Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. (18) A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. (19) Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. (20) Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
The danger for us is to judge people’s hearts and not their fruit. We must judge their fruit.
You must judge the fruit of someone’s life to determine if you can fellowship with someone or not.
We try and judge someone’s motives (heart) by our emotions and determine whether a person can speak into our life or not, thus closing off channels of blessing that God is trying to bring into our life.
How do you cultivate the correct feelings that you need?
- What you think about the most is what you feel the strongest about.
Feeling is generated by thought.
Your feelings confirm and support your thought processes.
(Proverbs 23:7a BBE) For as the thoughts of his heart are, so is he:
- Renew your mind to the Word if you feel differently from what you are renewing your mind to.
- The mind renewal process is not complete until your desire and feelings line up with what you are renewing your mind to.
(Psalms 37:4 NKJV) Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
- Start your day by creating feelings that line up with the Word of God.