“For we walk by faith, not by sight.”
2 Corinthians 5:7
God created us to be emotional. There is nothing wrong with our feelings, but they are extremely unpredictable—you can’t count on them. The ripple of our emotions were never meant to dictate the direction of our lives, but instead, our trust in God is.
All throughout your day, there will be opportunities to allow your emotions to rule you. You could be shocked by what a loved one said about you, or what they did. You could be tremendously hurt by a nasty, untrue rumor. You could then become frustrated, trying to defend yourself or plead your case. You might also have the chance to become furious over a dirty house, or you may even have the opportunity to have lustful, intimate feelings toward someone who shows you attention—who is not your spouse.
Whatever it may be, your feelings were never meant to guide your choices, but instead, God’s Spirit is.
Hate is a feeling we develop toward those whom we allow ourselves to loathe. Extreme fear, depression, or even anxiety can pop up on the inside of us, and override the medication that was supposed to help stop those feelings. Then we are even more fearful, depressed, and anxious because the pills didn’t work.
Soon enough, we can begin to allow our feelings to lead our lives—not to a good spot—but instead, down a path of making choices that God does not approve of; choices that do not match up with our perfect spirit.
So what do we do? Should we just fly by the seat of our fuzzy feelings? Or should we “follow our hearts”? That’s a very popular saying. However, the problem with following our hearts is this: if Christ doesn’t live in our hearts, our hearts will lead us into a lot of trouble, eventually into severe pain (see Jeremiah 17:9).
What we must do is begin to make choices that match up with the Holy Spirit’s guidance. This is how you will enjoy your life despite how you feel. Emotions–your feelings–do not define you. As Christians, when we have an emotion, that emotion isn’t sinful, it just is what it is. Now, if we make a poor choice based on that emotion, that’s another story. This is why we must walk by God’s Spirit in us, who will always lead us into peace (see 2 Corinthians 5:7, Galatians 5:22-23).
So today, my friends, know this: We must begin to allow Jesus to help us make the right choices about our feelings. If we don’t, then we will be “tossed back and forth like the waves of the sea” (see Ephesians 4:14). Jesus knows how we feel, and even better, He always wants to help us with our feelings. Just ask Him to, and He will!
A prayer for you: Heavenly Father I want to thank you for teaching me how to NOT live by my feelings. Because of your Spirit guiding me, I’m learning how to stand up to unacceptable behavior, which I’ve been giving in to for years because of fear. But you’ve taught me that fear is just a feeling! Right now, I lift up all who are reading this, directly to you. For those who struggle with allowing their feelings to lead their lives in the wrong direction, help them begin to let YOU lead them! Through your Holy Spirit, I ask that you give them wisdom, strength, confidence, and hope–all day long! Bless them in every area of their lives! In Christ’s name I pray, amen.
This devotional is from 60 Days for Jesus, Volume 1. Get your copy here!