Would you like to have a deeper relationship with God? Would you like your spiritual life to be more meaningful and more intimate than it is right now? Over the course of my life, I've found that there is one thing you must do if you want to deepen your relationship with God: You must stop living by your feelings because feelings don't always tell the truth.
It's impossible to live a life totally free of feelings. God created all of us to be emotional creatures, and feelings are a big part of our lives. But when you begin to base decisions or base your attitudes and actions on those feelings, you can get into serious trouble.
So if you really want to commit yourself to a deeper relationship, you must take a stand. You must no longer be content to be led around by how you feel and what you think. Your emotions are very unstable and should never be the foundation for direction in your life.
I can't give you any keys to keep you from experiencing negative feelings, like life is not fair, or God doesn't love you, or your prayers aren't being answered. These negative feelings are an easy trap to fall into, but it's important to remember that just because you feel something, doesn't make it true.
Do you realize that there is a difference between what is fact and what is true? Let me give you an example of what I mean. It might be a fact that you were married to someone who left you for someone else. That fact cannot change. It happened. But while that might be the fact, the truth is that God is still in control. He has a plan for your life, and He desires that you prosper and succeed. That's the truth!
I want to let you in on a little secret: I don't always feel like I'm a success. That's right. There are plenty of times when I feel like I've just totally messed up and failed to connect with the people I'm trying to communicate with. It doesn't happen too often, but there are times when I feel as though my ministry is totally ineffective. But I've learned not to base my attitude or my actions on how I feel.
I remember a situation in one of my meetings when there was a woman sitting right down in the front on the second row. I had just begun to preach when she got up, gathered all of her belongings, and walked out of the service. Wow! What a blow! This woman walked out just when I began to preach. I was miserable for the rest of the evening with thoughts of inadequacy. I felt like a complete failure and my confidence was shot.
But later that evening one of the volunteers approached me and said she had a message for me. She said, "There was a lady who wanted me to give you a message. She was the lady who was sitting right down front but had to leave just as the service was about to begin. She said to tell you that she loves you so much, but she had to go to work this afternoon. She drove a long way just to be here even though it was only for a few minutes. She was so sorry she had to leave." My confidence went from an all-time low to an all-time high!
So the fact was that she left the service after only a few minutes. But the truth was that she wanted to come and hear me preach so much that she traveled many miles just to be able to be here for a few minutes.
If you want your relationship with God to go deeper and be more intimate, you must stop living your life based on your feelings and emotions. Your feelings can vary wildly day-to-day, or even minute by minute, but the truth never changes. When you know the truth—that God loves you and He desires the very best for you—it is a sure foundation that will never fail. When you build your life on that, you'll have a deeper relationship with God.