Monday, April 13, 2015

feelings... nothing more than

"The most common mistake Christians make in worship today is seeking an EXPERIENCE rather than seeking God. They look for a FEELING, and if it happens, they conclude that they have worshiped." ~Rick Warren

Many years ago, I read the above quote and it stopped me dead in my tracks with this vitally important assessment: Is my worship to God genuine... or is it based upon an emotional response susceptible to my own sentiments and sensations? Do my personal feelings mandate my certainty and/or consistency in Jesus as God and Savior?

I've always enjoyed relating with other believers, reading inspirational truths, listening to profound sermons, singing songs that uplift... yes, these have always filled me up and made me "feel good" about my walk as a Christian. But are these forms of spiritual enjoyment an accurate representation of a heart truly in search of Christ's headship... or have I made them outlets for my selfish hunger to be "moved" or "enlightened" emotionally?

More directly stated, is my relationship with God centered around my ability to "feel good" about Him? Can I only find the time to glorify His name when I have an experience with a seemingly happy disposition about how close I seem to Him? If so, what about when He feels distant and my sense of security is in question? What about when I feel abandoned and estranged from His presence? Does that diminish WHO HE IS? Are His promises less true in those moments? Is my heavenly inheritance as His child compromised when life is uncomfortable and I don't feel warm and fuzzy all over?

Absolutely not!

In truth, I find that many Christian women (myself included) can sometimes become jaded by emotion. We insist that we are not growing in our faith unless there is some form of confirmation received mentally which stimulates our fragile egos. This could not be farther from the truth. In fact, sometimes God intentionally distances Himself so that we can be stretched and tested for greater spiritual oneness and maturity with Him. Look at Job. When Job couldn't sense God's presence in his life, he wisely said this: "But if I go to the east, he is not there; if I go to the west, I do not find him. When he is at work in the north, I do not see him; when he turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of him. But HE KNOWS THE WAY THAT I TAKE; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold." (Job 23:8-10)

Job understood that even though he felt insecure, forgotten and alone, that (1) God was still trustworthy; (2) God would always be present whether Job sensed Him or not; and (3) God's promises were certain. Period.

Ladies, this is key to know. God created our feelings and they are indeed valuable to us. However, they should never rule so strongly to distract us away from trusting His Word and following His Way. Just like Job, we should never hold back from God, but rather pour out all our emotions to Him in prayer and continue to seek and trust Him even when He is not apparent... especially when He is not apparent! Furthermore, we must never allow our emotions to sway our faith from God's unchanging nature. For He has told us that His character is good. Period. He is love. Period. He knows the ways that we will take. Period. He will remain faithful to those who follow Him. Period.

If you have accepted Jesus as Savior, your security is forever safe in His eternal promise. So, be wise and focus your eyes on believing Him - on seeking and following the Savior's path no matter how good or bad you may feel. Don't measure your success by emotion. Rather, treasure the words of your Creator and bank on his truth and trustworthiness. For to everything there is a season and an emotional response. But no matter what the season, God is ALWAYS perfect and faithful and unchanging! He is always in control of your life. Most importantly, He is all that you need. So, live in the wisdom and power of your Lord and give Him your heart, and focus, and glory. He will guide you better than any feeling. He will fill your cup! AMEN!



© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

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