Feelings . . . hmm,
Feelings, nothing more than feelings
Trying to forget my feelings of love
Teardrops rolling down on my face
Trying to forget my feelings of love
No, no. I am not talking about Morris Albert’s song. This is something different, all together. But when I mention, “Feelings,” what am I talking about? What are Feelings? Can we control our feelings? Are we prisoners of them? These are honest questions because some consider feelings to be anathema to faith. Now, I don’t know that I have all the answers but I would like to attempt to explain their role in our walk of Faith.
Now I have heard them referred to as being “The Messengers of Satan,” which is a bit too extreme for me, but I do feel that they are not always beneficial to our Faith. Maybe I should explain what I am referring to.
If you grab your dictionary, it will tell you that “Feelings” are:
- An emotional state or reaction.
- The emotional side of someones character; emotional responses or tendencies to respond.
Does that help? I bet not. Well according to Michael E. Metz, Ph.D, who wrote a paper entitled, Understanding Feelings:
“Feeling can be confusing, distracting, irritating, or frustrating unless you understand what they are about. Because many people—especially men—rely more on reason than emotions for direction in life, feelings are often viewed as irritants, distractions, or even enemies; they offer you important information that your reason might overlook. Feelings offer data about yourself, your experiences, and your situation that are not available to you from logic or thinking alone.”
In his paper, Metz gave an interesting metaphor for “Feelings,” and compared them to “Loyal Buddies.” Here is where the confusion lies. Your feelings are not “Loyal Buddies,” nor are they even casual acquaintances. When you are fighting the “Good fight of Faith,” your “feelings” are going to confuse and frustrate you. That is not the sign of a “good buddy”!
I won’t go so far as to say that your feelings have no meaning. I mean, they do not affect your salvation or your relationship to your Lord. But they do have their value. Now, I should say outright that many confuse “senses” with “feelings.” I mean, sometimes you will have a “sense” about someone, or something, and you will say, “I have a feeling about that person . . .” No. That is completely different. That is actually a valuable spiritual gift, and one my wife was quite adept at using (which came in quite handy for a Pastor’s wife).
The confusion enters when the enemy comes in like a flood, as he is prone to do, and tries to drown you in depressing feelings and negative thoughts. Feelings that you aren’t “smart” enough, too old, too short, too fat, being foolish believing the Lord will do “such-and-so.” These are the times when we blame ourselves — or blame our God.
What you have to do is take the attitude of the Psalmist when he asks, “Why am I cast down, O my soul? Why am I suddenly disquieted in spirit? Why am I so restless and irritable—when I don’t want to be? What evil thing have I done to deserve these negative, depressing feelings?”
Our negative feelings do not come from our Lord, so you do not have to put up with them! I love the old ditty, taken from II Timothy 1:7:
God’s not given us a spirit of fear,
But of love,
and of power,
and a sound mind
We have the ability to reject every negative feeling because none of them are from God. Feelings that make us afraid are not sent from heaven! They are to be rejected and bound through the power of prayer and faith. Our Father is trying to say, “I didn’t give you these feelings of fear and doubt. Instead, I have given you a spirit of power, and authority.” He is calling us to abolish these unwanted thoughts, bringing them into captivity and obedience to His Word and to Himself. Don’t allow your feelings to be your master. Do not permit them to linger and grow into roots of bitterness and doubt. Come against them in the name of Jesus the Lord and cast them down. We are commanded to do so!
Read II Corinthians 10:5:
“Refute arguments and theories and reasoning and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the true knowledge of God; and lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ” (II Corinthians 10:5).
If you read that correctly, that verse is telling you to treat any thought or reasoning as a prisoner and to force it into obedience to Christ. Every downcast feeling is the fruit of mistrust. You can view it as the old serpent at work trying to make us question our Father’s faithfulness, question His care, question Yahweh, Himself! These lies are the seeds of negative feelings and our Lord commands us, literally commands us, to war against them. Quit entertaining them! Quit meditating of those Thought, Ideas and Suggestions! Begin living in victory.
With these Morning Messages, I take you on guided tours to, as Bunyan described, the Celestial City. At times we linger at corners familiar and unseen. And explore the depths of our faith along the way.
The trail is long, but there’s no hurry. Though we do need to stock up on supplies for the way, and that’s where I need your help. If you enjoy these messages, please consider becoming a contributing member of this tour group. It will be very much appreciated.