Thursday, December 27, 2012

Controlling Our Feelings

(please only listen to the first 25 secs of the above song for the purpose of this lesson) 

"Feelings...whoa, whoa, whoa feelings...whoa, whoa, whoa feelings..."

How are you feeling?  What are you feeling?  Be honest with yourself.  Most of all, be truthful with God.  Yes!  We all have feelings.  We need to acknowledge our feelings.  We need to "own" our feelings.  We need to share our feelings.  However, we do not need to be ruled by our feelings.  We do not to be controlled by our feelings. 

We need to know that our feelings are not always accurate when it comes to our natural circumstances, other people, or even ourselves.  Most importantly, we need to know that our feelings do not always agree or line up with the word of God.  Therefore, we do not need to let our feelings get in the way of our obedience to our Father God or His word to us.  We do not need to allow our feelings to rule us, guide us, lead us, or direct us into disobedience to God.  We only need to be led by the Holy Spirit and allow God's word to be our "Instruction Book" or "Life Manual". 

King David poured out his heart and feelings in a lot of the Book of Psalms.  He wrote most of that particular book in the Bible.  In Psalm 22, for instance, David shared his feelings with God very openly and honestly about his situation.  We can see David as a good example for us when it comes to feelings.  The Book of Psalms is also a good primary part of Scripture to use and read when it comes to our feelings. 

In Psalm 22, David felt that God had left him.  He felt God had abandoned him.  He felt God had forsaken him.  Have you ever felt that way before?  You may feel that way now.  However, it is not true.  It is not accurate.  How do I know?  My Father God tells me otherwise in His word.  He says that He will not leave me nor forsake me.  (Deut 31:6, 8)  Therefore, do not allow your feelings to rule you.  That example is only one instance where someone's feelings did not line up with the word of God.

Our feelings can deceive us.  They can be used against us.  The devil can use our feelings against us to keep us from doing what God wants us to do, knowing what God wants us to know, having what God wants us to have, and being who God created us to be for Him, His purpose, and His plan for us.  (Jeremiah 29:11)

David is a prime example.  What if he had been ruled by his feelings?  What if he had said, "Oh, Lord...I feel like you have abandoned me.  Therefore, I am just going to stay here in the field and keep herding these sheep."  What if he had wallowed in self-pity...feeling like he was not worthy of doing what God had called him to do?  Then, David never would have come out of that field in order to kill the Philistine giant, Goliath.  (1 Samuel 17)  He made the choice not to allow his feelings to control him.  He decided that he would obey God.  He chose to surrender to God, His ways, and His will for him.  David chose to be the person God had created him to be...the person God had called him to be...the person God had chosen him to be for His purpose and plan.  (Jeremiah 29:11-13)

Now, I am not saying that David always made good and wise choices.  Nor am I saying that he always obeyed God or always surrendered to God and His will.  He did give in to his flesh and his feelings on occasion.  However, David eventually became known as a man after God's own heart.

Looking back in Psalm 22....After David talked to God about his feelings openly and honestly, notice what he did...look at what he said...throughout much of this particular one.  In the beginning of this Psalm, David talks about his feelings but then he talks about God.  If you notice, much of this Psalm is like that with David going back and forth between his feelings and God.  It is good that he shared his feelings. It is also good that he acknowledged his feelings. However, he always went back to God. In the same way, we can and should do that ourselves.  

We should not always give in to our feelings.  We definitely should not be led or ruled by our feelings.  When our feelings do not line up to the word of God, we need to submit ourselves to God.  As I mentioned earlier, the devil can deceive us and use our feelings to get us outside of God's will for us.  Therefore, resist those feelings which do not accurately line up with the word of God.  (James 4:7)  We must do our part by submitting to Him, surrendering to Him, listening to Him, and obeying Him.     

Copyright 2012 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.

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