“I just don’t feel up to it.” “I feel like giving up.” “I’ll get to it when I feel like it.” “I don’t feel like they like me.” How many times do we lean on our feelings; our emotions? Probably too many.
Feelings and emotions have their function- we don’t want to do away with them. However, far too many people in the body of Christ are ruled by their feelings. The problem with that is that feelings are not consistent, and they can be founded in untruth and circumstantial evidence.
Our emotions change constantly. One day we might be feeling great; ready to conquer the world. The next day we might be lower than a snake’s belly; looking for a rock to crawl under. Emotions can be triggered by and have their origin in many things. The weather, our physical health, the way others treat us, the thoughts we choose to dwell on, even what we may see on television, are just some things that can affect how we feel. What does that mean for us as Christians? We cannot permit our feelings to guide and direct our lives.
Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God. Psalms 42:11 (NKJV)
David knew that his emotions and his feelings would lead him astray and sabotage God’s plan for his life. He understood that he needed to focus on and hope in God despite how he felt. It has to be a conscious effort on our part. It does not happen automatically.
Our emotions are one of the components that make up our soul. Our soul is comprised of our mind, will, and emotions. And the soul is just one of three parts of the born-again person. A born-again person is spirit, soul, and body. As a child of God, we are to strengthen our spirit and allow it to take the lead in our lives. The body and soul are not to direct what we do. And since we are to be spirit-led, and not soul-led, the emotional part of us (soul) is not to be the primary influence in what we do and the decisions we make.
It requires us to make a dedicated effort to separate ourselves from our feelings and determine what the Lord would have us do in each and every situation. It takes discipline; we must mean business. Even Jesus had to pray and gain victory over emotions.
Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. Matthew 26:38(KJV)
When we wake up, it helps to start our day by talking to and directing our emotions. If we wake up and we feel sad or unmotivated, we can speak the Word, and say something like, “This the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it.” Statements like, “I know something good is about to happen to me today,” and other positive comments will help to change how we feel. It redirects our focus from how we feel to the promises of God.
David said about him: “I saw the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest in hope, Acts 2:25-26 (New International Version, NIV)
As we guide our thoughts along the right path, our emotions and feelings will follow.