Bible Ballistics: Feelings? July 14, 2013 Vol. 2 No.09
I hope this day finds you rejoicing in the Lord. We had a lovely time with the brethren today and pray that you did as well. I would like us to look at a curious subject this week—feelings. We use the word in many ways—how do you feel? She hurt my feelings! I Feel like a million dollars!….etc. Let’s consider the contrast between what I know and how I feel. Is there a difference and is it significant? I believe both (I could have said I “feel” like there is…), but let’s look at God’s Word.
Often in scripture the word “feel” is used for the physical sense of touch, one use of the word; but the word can also mean, ‘having an experience or emotion’, and/or ‘to have a belief or impression without an identifiable reason’. The latter two will be our focus this week—emotions and impressions. Hebrews 4:15, “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”. We have a Savior who KNOWS how we feel. This verse also connects our “infirmities” to sin (not that infirmities[weakness or sickness] are sin, but they can lead us to sin when we don’t respond to them in the Spirit), and declares that Jesus overcame sin in the flesh and knows the temptations that we face, and that HE OVERCAME the very power of sin in HIS flesh. And remember John 17:3, tells us that eternal life is KNOWING GOD and JESUS in salvation—through the cross by faith.
Confidence comes when we KNOW this. And knowledge builds the confidence that brings us deliverance from the plague of fleeting and changing feelings. Paul gives great insight into this question of ‘feelings’ in Ephesians 4, and describes those who have gone past acceptable ‘feelings’ and have lost their own conscience and rejected their only hope—JESUS. Eph 4:17-24, “This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, 18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: 19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. 20 But ye have not so learned Christ; 21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” Be sure and note the contrast of our confidence in the LORD—and if we have been born again by the Spirit of Christ, we are to put on the newness that God has enabled us to walk in. As the children’s song says, “Jesus loves me, THIS I KNOW” !!!! What do you KNOW? Where is your confidence?
How do I gain this kind of confidence and how does it look in practical terms? Philippians 3:8-10 “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, 9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: 10 That I may know him, and the powerof his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;” Let’s consider what Paul speaks to us from the Lord—that he counts all things but loss to gain Christ. Not simply Christ, but the “excellency of the knowledge of Christ”—to KNOW not only our Lord Jesus, but to KNOW His power (see Eph 6:10), to join in His sufferings AS we are made conformable unto HIS death. This leads us to Galatians 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me, and the life with I now live, I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.” True and growing KNOWLEDGE of Christ is found in our dying to ourselves, and being made alive IN CHRIST (see Rom. 8:28-29 — being conformed to HIS image by all that comes into our lives). Am I yielded unto HIM in all that comes into my life? We are called to share in HIS sufferings. Colossians 1:23-24 “If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister; 24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church;” We are called to be one with Jesus, and willing to share in the suffering that comes when we walk faithfully in/with HIM. (See 2 Timothy 3:12). John 15:20-21 “Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. 21 But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.” Jesus himself, reminds us that when we identify with Him through salvation we will receive the same rejection that He experienced. And not only rejection but general suffering in our lives from the warfare in which we are engaged daily.
Now what does all this have to do with feelings? Well, we must understand that we, and our feelings, are in a battle with unseen forces and only when we remember the source of our strength and power will we walk in victory—and YES we can have victory even in suffering. How? By being “strong in the Lord and the power of His might” ” (see Ehp 6:10), and in that power to “stand fast…..and having done all to stand. Stand therefore…” (Eph 6:13-14) I must stand and walk in what I KNOW about the Savior not how I “feel” about my circumstances. One way to do this is to memorize scripture. This renews my mind with the knowledge of what is mine in Christ. When the enemy comes with thoughts of discouragement—“you should feel better”, “you shouldn’t feel this way or that ”, “your family should feel healthier… feel wealthier… feel smarter…..feel more successful, ….” , on and on the list could go, what do we do? What about your own life? What have you let stay in your mind to disturb you? Are you waiting to feel better? Have more money? Have no problems? Are you waiting until you can ‘run faster, jump higher”, be “faster than a speeding bullet”, “jump tall buildings”? Or are you taking control of your emotions and feelings and BEING all that God has called you to be, where you are RIGHT NOW?
We must live by what we KNOW, not how we FEEL, to be victorious. We must keep “looking unto Jesus” (Heb 12:1-2), thinking on “these things” (Phil 4:8), remembering that we can pull down the “strongholds” (2 Cor. 10:3-5). We can stand in this knowledge. I hope this will give you some concrete suggestions and enable you to walk in “KNOWLEDGE” not ‘feeling’! Camp out on what you KNOW–NOW!!