One of our greatest weaknesses is the very thing that hangs out with us 100% of the time…. feelings. They nag at us until we either give in and give way, or we push through to choose faith above all. Feelings can be so fake, and therefore, cannot be trusted. Seems like a crazy thing for God to give us all if we can’t go by them, but He did- and we can choose to live by feelings or we can choose to live by faith.
Freewill is one of the greatest gifts the LORD sought to bestow on humankind. With freewill, we have choices. With choices, we choose LIFE or DEATH in the power of the tongue, and we choose FAITH (SPIRIT) or FEELINGS (FLESH) in every choice we are faced with.
Don’t get me wrong- feelings have some good qualities. I mean, they let us feel, right? We definitely need to be able to “feel” in order to be clothed with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (all the fruit of the spirit) … not to mention the good and not-so-good feelings of- compassion, passion, desire, lust, anger, sadness, satisfaction, confusion, gratitude, shame, guilt, anxiety, disgust, fear, excitement, awkwardness, happiness, aggression, apathy, boredom, contempt, depression, doubt, empathy, envy, hope, loneliness, euphoria, pity, pride, sympathy, pleasure, rage, shock, regret, horror, grief, hatred, embarrassment, frustration, paranoia, suffering, hostility, pride, hunger, shame, remorse, hysteria, and pleasure.
These feelings are very real and valid feelings that every single human in all of humanity has, does, and will experience at one point or another in their lifetimes. The beauty of the indwelling Spirit of God is that it can quench those feelings with a covering of protection, much like that of a blanket covering over something. It becomes a safeguard, a layer of protection that helps us to navigate from “feeling” to “faith” and choose whether we let these feelings (even some that are considered “good”) over-ride God’s best for us or not.
Let’s look at marriage for example. Love is technically NOT A FEELING, it is a choice. We feel love, for sure. But in the context of marriage, what we have is a bunch of feelings mixed in the beginning of relationships that look a lot like passion, desire, lust, satisfaction, pleasure, etc. mixed with a possible dose of love. Real love = Commitment. Commitment = Choice. In marriage, there are those days you aren’t “feeling” it, but you are “choosing” it.
How about food? Looking at a box of donuts and feeling your stomach growl, almost tasting them gives way to your feelings. But when your spouse sets a large plate of eggs in front of you, your feelings are going to try and sway you, dictating what choice you will make. But then there’s those eggs, by golly. And you know the choice that leads to “life” (health) is the eggs. You’re not feeling it. It may even make your stomach churn. But there it is- that choice that has to be made. Can you never have a donut? That isn’t what is in question. It’s the idea that every choice we make leads us down one path or the other.
Have you ever heard the quote that goes something like this, “if you do the same things over and over, don’t expect a different result.” Where will you be in 5 years? Doing the same things, living your same life, making the same choices, wishing things were better and different? Now is a great time to realize that each choice we make leads us and we either go backwards, stay put, or we grow. And feelings and faith play a huge role in the end result.
Having faith requires trust in God Who says He is trustworthy. Realizing faith means we believe Him and what He says about Himself and what He says about us.
Some of the biggest “feelings” the enemy is trying to use in our lives today are those of fear and doubt and anxiety. Again- very real feelings. But feelings none the less that can be quenched by the covering of faith.
Next time your feelings try to sway you, check them against the goodness of our great God… against His Truth in the Word of God… and against your plan to grow. Whatever it will take for you to be further in your walk with the LORD, closer in your relationship with Jesus Christ, leaps and bounds past where you are today in your job, your relationships, your calling, your hopes + dreams, your faith…. take those steps towards choosing LIFE + FAITH by living in the light of the Spirit of God living inside you rather than that of death and feelings that lead down a darker path than you want to be on.
Today, I had to say goodbye to my baby-child as I questioned whether or not the decision to send her back to preschool was the right one, especially in the middle of the rising numbers of a horrid virus that holds our world in place as an emerged pandemic. My feelings are telling me one thing. They are nagging me so much so that I’m being dragged into more feelings of fear with a questioning spirit. They are real. They are valid. But after a good cry, I can choose to pray and hand her over to the God I trust and allow my faith to carry me, or I can choose to give way to the feelings and allow sadness and depressing thoughts to consume me.
When it comes to experiencing feelings, we can choose to stay in it or move from it. For far too much of my life I have stayed stuck in feelings that have kept me from realizing the LORD’s fullest for my life.
Today, I choose FAITH.
FAITH is and always will be- greater than FEELINGS.
Which is dictating your path today? It is never a moment too late to do a switcheroo.