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Equipping Your Reimagine Journey

Just a brief word today, but God gave it to me a month ago and I’ve found it really helpful, so I’m passing it on. I’m not sure how it may play out in your life specifically, but I suspect it does, and will.

And it’s this: Your feelings are not your faithfulness.

I’ve let this word percolate enough to see it play out in a couple general directions. First, when we’re down: It gets easy to want to “self-medicate” in any number of ways to avoid the pain of living—or more accurately, to delay the pain then have to pay it back with interest. But again, your feelings are not your faithfulness. God’s not judging you by how difficult (or happy) your life is right now, but by how you’re responding to it right now. Are you putting Him first, no matter what you’re feeling?

And how about when things are going better (or you’re at least feeling better about your circumstances)? It’s real easy to let down our guards after the black cloud has passed. Satan used fear, depression and insecurity to take out Saul, and used prosperity and success to take down David and Solomon—he’s not picky about how he gets the job done. Therefore, we need to be vigilant at both ends, and to stay obedient to God—no matter what our feelings are saying to us. Even when we’re happy, our feelings are not our faithfulness.

It’s interesting that we always like to reference 1 Corinthians 10:13 without the backdrop, so let me close by starting at verse 12 for the sake of you guys that are in “a good place,” then circle back to verse 13 for the sake of us melancholy types:

Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

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Comment by Carol A. Brown on March 30, 2014 at 4:04pm

Enjoyed reading this whole thread. My take on feelings and their relationship to God's reality is that feelings are like farts--they pass! Sometimes they cause a real stink but there is nothing eternal about them. I believe feelings tell us about our state of being at the moment. Sometimes they are accurate, but sometimes they are not. They can inform our prayers however. In the end we should come into agreement with God's will and affirm His goodness and purposes toward us regardless of feelings.

Comment by Carl Simmons on June 2, 2013 at 4:49pm

Thank YOU, Sarah. :)

 

Comment by Sarah Edwards on May 30, 2013 at 2:45pm

Such a great post! Thank you!

Comment by Carl Simmons on May 29, 2013 at 9:11pm

Thanks, Ken. It's good to get confirmation/perspective from another angle.

Comment by Ken Rapp on May 29, 2013 at 7:46pm
Carl, good post. Reminded me of the following, which I'm copying from the Campus Crusde for Christ website. Here's the website, hope thy don't mind me sharing this...

http://www.cru.org/training-and-growth/classics/transferable-concep...

Do not depend upon feelings. Tied as they are to your ever-changing circumstances, feelings are unreliable in evaluating your relationship with God. The unchanging promises of God's Word, not your feelings, are your authority. The Christian is to live by faith, trusting in the trustworthiness of God Himself and His Word. A train is a good illustration of the relationship between fact, faith and feeling.

Let us call the train engine "fact" -- the fact of God's promises found in His Word. The fuel car we will call "faith" -- your trust in God and His Word. The caboose we will call "feelings."

As fuel flows into the engine, the train runs. It would be futile and, of course, ridiculous to attempt to pull the train by the caboose. In the same way you, as a Christian, should not depend upon feelings or emotion to live a Spirit-filled life. Rather, God wants you to simply place your faith in his trustworthiness and the promises of His Word.

Feelings are like the caboose - they are important but are designed to follow a life of faith and obedience. Jesus promised all who obey Him, "Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him." So, you can expect to have a valid emotional relationship with our Lord when you trust and obey Him. But you should never depend on feelings or seek after an emotional experience.

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