If I relied only on my feelings…then most of the time…
I would not work out,
I would not forgive at times,
I would strike back,
I would eat sweets all the time!
and many other things that I won’t take the time to list.
So how would that work out for me? I would be morbidly obese. I might have a few bruises from fighting, and probably would have terrible relationships.
It has taken me a lifetime to “ignore my feelings” and act in total opposition to them!. And for the record…let me just say…I am a work in progress. Some days I have “invisible bruises” and “cuts” on my tongue from fighting with my feelings acting in opposition to them! It is an “inner war” that most don’t see…even though every once in a while…when in my car …I have been talking myself out of acting on my “feelings” and looked to my left only to have someone staring at me with a look of…”you are crazy!”
Thank God now for “blue tooth”. The stares have disappeared when I “self talk” in the car. But I know God sees. HE is the one, with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, who has equipped me to…convicted me of …and guided me to…”ignore my feelings” countless times…to act on His word, His instruction and His prompting instead of my “flesh”…”feelings”………..
My flesh often tells me (with encouragement from Satan)…
Don’t work out. Give yourself a break. Sleep in today.
Don’t treat that person well. They haven’t earned it. In fact, they hurt me. Or better yet, they hurt one of my kids.
Eat that chocolate in fact eat the whole box…it won’t hurt you.
Don’t go. They won’t miss you.
Tell them now. If I don’t tell them, no one will.
I could write pages on the “inner war” of fighting my feelings that are opposed to acting on God’s word and His will. God’s will many times conflicts with my feelings. The good news…is this…when I say “NO” to my flesh/feelings and “YES” to Godly principles, amazing things happen. There is a “manifestation” of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness and self control.
Sound familiar? Those are fruits of the spirit found in Galatians 5.
I also find a unique ability to see God in ways I wouldn’t otherwise. You see, when you say “yes” to God and His principles, it allows you to see “HIS” hand and not experience the “backlash” from your own hand.
Here are some but not all of the biblical principles I sometimes have to choose over my feelings:
“The prudent hold their tongue.” ~Proverbs 10:19b
“Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.” ~Proverbs 10:12
“Whoever heeds life-giving correction will be at home among the wise.” (Who likes correction?) ~Proverbs 15:31
“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” (Getting around people who will challenge me to move/to get better…not congratulate me for being the same) ~Proverbs 27:17
“Be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” ~James 1:19
I encourage you today…following feelings…can lead you to a crash. It’s like choosing to pass a transfer truck on a curve with a double yellow line….acting out of total impatience and no thought.
Establish in your mind a picture of “flashing yellow lights!”
Feelings are not reliable because they change based on circumstances that, most of the time, can’t be controlled. They are deceiving. Living your life based on “biblical principles” and becoming very aware of the fact that your “feelings” can play tricks on you, can lead to some awesome, forward direction in your life. Allow God’s principles to serve as a “flashing yellow light” of caution…that warns you there is trouble when feelings are stirred.
I have learned to “visualize” the blinking yellow light in my mind…that “visual” has truly helped me to slow down and pray…allowing the Holy Spirit to redirect me and my “would be actions!” In my “own strength” I fail!
“At the end of your feelings is nothing. But at the end of every principle is a promise.” ~Eric Thomas
“There is nothing so deluded as feelings. Christians cannot live by feelings. Let me further tell you that many feelings are the work of Satan, for they are not right feelings. What right have you to set up your feelings against the Word of Christ?” ~Charles Spurgeon