God gave you emotions. Part 7
If you are what we call a “Bible Believing Christian”, (believe what that the Bible tells us is true), you often know what it says, but because you do not always feel that what it says is true, you do not really believe what the truth it is saying. Even if you are a Christian, you have almost certainly been affected by this emotionally ruled world we live in. This world tells us that you should not believe something is true before you feel or see it. But that is a lie, and certainly not faith.
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The feeling of fear
Fear is a spirit (2Tim 1:7) who will try to produce negative feelings in you, and by these feelings he, (the spirit of fear), will try to move you to do and believe things that are not logical or against the truth.
A person has the fear of forgetting to lock the door before he leaves home. He goes out the door, checks that he has locked it, and goes hundred meters, and has to go back again to check it. He goes to the car, but again he feels that he has not locked the door, so again he goes back. He can finally start to drive the car, but on the way to his job he is again uncertain about if he really locked the door, and must go back to check it again.
What is the problem to this person? Is it that he is forgetful, absentminded and always forgets to lock the door? No it is not. He knows he has locked it, he knows it as a fact, but his problem is that he does not feel that he has locked it, and he must go back to check again.
This was an example, but I know that today there are many who have a similar phobia. It might be: fear of heights, fear of confined space, or fear of being around people, fear of flying and so on. It can also be the fear of not being accepted that can lead to eating disorders, fear of rejection, fears of people, fears of disease, etc.
Although some of these fears may have some truth in them, but they are often much, much bigger than what is logical. Take fear of flying for example. It is a truth that a plane crashes now and then, but it is highly unlikely that you will be in one. It is more likely that you will be killed in a car accident on the way to and from the airport than die in a plane crash. What is the cause of this phobia and fear? We can feel it is so, therefore; we believe it.
Although we may know what the truth is, the feelings and emotions we have are more real to us than what is true. In some cases, there are also those people that are so ensnared by their emotions that they do not even know what is true anymore. I have seen an increase of fear and phobias in the last few years, and in many strange forms, and I think it has much to do with the fact that we live in a society that more and more people allow themselves to be ruled by their emotions. And it becomes much harder to distinguish what is or isn’t true, especially if you are not a Christian and don’t believe in the Bible.
Do not let fear control your life and move you out of the good plan God has for you! Find out what God’s truth says about you, and you will be able to fight against fear with the truth (GOD’S WORD)! A fear, (you can also call this next one a phobia) that many Christians have is that God is not pleased with them and condemns them when they have done something wrong.
I want to say some more about this now.
The feeling of condemnation
Condemnation is a form of fear, it is a fear of rejection, and also a feeling that the spirit of fear diligently uses against Christians. Condemnation comes when we know we have done something wrong. As a Christian you have heard the truth about that God is good, He is love and is full of grace, but because you don’t feel it, you have trouble believing it.
For when we commit a sin, we feel that God becomes angry with us, and that He will reject us, and even dislikes or hate us.
This is what we feel, but is this true? No.
We also feel that we must suffer for a while when we have committed sin, and that we really need to feel condemnation and shame for what we have done, at least for a week or so. And when we do like this, maybe God may forgive us, or give us a second chance. Again, we might know that this is not so, but that is what we feel.
I remember I was in a meeting once, and there was a girl who said: “When I’ve committed a sin, I will get myself to feel bad for a few days as a punishment so that I can really show to God that I regret this sin (action or event in my life).»
This could perhaps sounds a bit spiritual, but it is completely wrong! Why should you suffer for something that Jesus suffered for on the cross? He has taken your sin and your guilt and shame; you do not need feel condemned any longer!
Even if it was just five minutes ago you committed a sin!
What was God’s motivation so that we should not sin again? Was it condemnation? Was it guilt and shame? As we saw earlier, in the story about the woman who was caught in adultery, (Feel free to read John 8:1-11 again) Jesus is giving forgiveness and love, not blame and shame. The reason that we feel condemnation or shame is often our experience. Maybe you’ve had a mother or father who has done so when you did something wrong against them. And they have tried to use shame, guilt, punishment and condemnation to scare you away from doing that wrong thing again. But this is not God’s tactics.
Let me just show you two more scriptures:
11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people.
12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,
Rom 2:4 (ESV)
4 Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance.
What is training or leading us to repentance? Is it condemnation, shame and guilt? Here it clearly says that it is God’s mercy and His goodness and kindness that will lead us to repentance. Why do we have shame, guilt and condemnation? Is it God who sends them? Is it normal for the Christian to have these feelings? No it is not! But this is what the devil wants you to feel. One of his names is the accuser, and he wants to accuse you and give you thoughts about condemnation and shame.
Emotions start with our thoughts, and when we think of one thing we will begin to feel it, and our emotions can confirm what we think, therefore, we believe that what our emotion tells us is the truth.
What does the truth tell us when we have done something wrong?
That we are forgiven!
32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins,
14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.
(GW) “Christ carried our sins in his body on the cross so that freed from our sins; we could live a life that has God’s approval. His wounds have healed you. God is love (the love), and he will never reject you!”
(AMP) “All whom My Father gives [entrusts] to Me will come to Me; and the one who comes to Me I will most certainly not cast out [I will never, no never, reject one of them who comes to Me].”
1Cor. 13:4-8 (NIV)
“Love is patient, is kind. Is not selfish, is not bitter, it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it. Is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything. Love never fails.” (excerpts)
Holiness and feelings
Many believe that holiness is also a feeling. If I’ve managed to read the Bible every day for one week or a year, fast often, not commit any major sins, then I feel more holy. But what is it that makes you holy? Is it your good works or feelings? Is it how many times you have read the Bible?
The truth is that you are made holy, even if you do not feel so. You got your holiness not because of your good deeds, and you also are not maintaining it by your good works, but because of grace. So you do not lose your holiness or righteousness when you do a sin. You get your righteousness by faith not by your works. And faith is not a feeling but a choice, as I have already mentioned.