- (Courtesy of Joyce Meyer Ministries)
Our feelings are extremely unreliable, yet it is amazing to me how often we rely on them. I believe that feelings are often a Christian's number one enemy, and they can keep us from truly living in the perfect will of God because the enemy can so easily use them against us. Now, I'm not saying that our feelings are evil; they just dwell in a part of us that is so easily attacked by the enemy – our soul. So it's vitally important for us to learn how to manage them.
We are complex people, made up of three parts: spirit, soul and body. Our spirit is where God comes to live when we are born again; it is our connection to Him and the Holy Spirit. The soul is made up of our mind, will and emotions and tells all about us. In other words, our soul tells us what we want, think or feel. Since the spirit and soul are so closely connected, it can be a challenge to know when what you want is something God wants or something you want. In order to live beyond our feelings and follow God's will for our lives, we need to follow something that is much wiser and more dependable than feelings-the Word of God.
Sometimes we can confuse feelings with the will of God, but there is one thing that can help us divide between spirit and soul. Hebrews 4:12 says it best: "For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart." This scripture is showing us that we can never be led by the Holy Spirit, who lives in our spirit as born-again believers, until we allow ourselves to be led by God's Word. When you get confused trying to decide what you should do in any situation, always look to His Word. Because if that feeling or desire does not agree with the Word, it is wrong.
The Bible is our instruction book for life! It teaches us godly principles so we can think, talk and act like God. Jesus said in John 8:31-32, "…If you abide in My word [hold fast to My teachings and live in accordance with them], you are truly My disciples. And you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free." It's so wonderful to know there is an answer for every problem in the Word of God. Even when there isn't a specific answer for a situation, you can find the wisdom and discernment you need from God to make a specific decision according to His will. God's Word sets us free from wondering if something is God's will or our own.
For example, we all have times when we get offended because people do things that hurt us or are just wrong. It's not always easy to forgive, but Luke 11:4 says, "…If you have anything against anyone, forgive him and let it drop (leave it, let it go)…" (AMP). So we don't have to wonder if we should forgive others. It's also God's will for us to live free of anxiety and worry. First Peter 5:7 says to cast "the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully" (AMP). When we trust God and "cast our cares" on Him, we can walk by faith and not feelings of anxiety and fear.
God's Word is our reliable source when our emotions flip-flop, but we have to know the Word for ourselves for it to be useful.
Know His Word
The Word is our tool to help us separate the truth from the lies of our flesh or the enemy, but we need to do more than just read the Bible; we have to study it. While it's good to go to church and hear teaching from the Word or listen to it on TV, CDs, online, et cetera, you can't just be spoon-fed the Word and think that is all there is. See, when you invest time studying the Word for yourself, that's when you really get a deeper understanding about God's direction for your life personally.
I want to encourage you to make it a priority to spend time with God, studying His Word. It's absolutely the best thing you can do. And as you begin to follow the Word of God, you'll find it becomes easier to stop relying on your feelings for the direction you need. Remember that God is never unreliable because He is the Almighty God who is perfect, and He never changes. He loves you so much and has great plans for your life. It is time for you to gain freedom from your emotions by trusting in the Word of God!
© 2014 Printed with permission of Joyce Meyer Ministries