We don’t see those things we hope for yet, but we believe we have obtained them. We don’t always feel righteous but we believe we are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. We don’t question what God will do, we just accept it, why? Because the God in whom we believe has either spoken to us directly or through others and His word.
When we come to Christ, we are declared a new creation because old things have passed away and all things have become new. We may not feel like “a new creation” sometimes during our Christian lives, but who are we going to believe our feelings or God? That is the fundamental question right there!
In the journey of sanctification as a child of God, the old or carnal nature is raging wild because it is losing its battle to stay alive, it’s agreement with Satan and his demons is no longer effective in controlling our soul (mind, intellect and emotions) as before.
This is because as we live a life of praise, prayerfulness and bible study, we become totally surrendered to God and develop a “Spiritual man into God” nature. Living in the Spirit daily our soul learns to distinguish between what we do that is motivated by Satan and what is motivated by God and we are empowered by the indwelling Holy Spirit to reject satan’s control of our mind, intellect and emotions.
The carnal or natural man cannot know the things of God because they are spiritually discerned (1 Corinth.2:14)
“For to be carnally minded [is] death; but to be spiritually minded [is] life and peace.7Because the carnal mind [is] enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.8So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.9But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.10And if Christ [be] in you, the body [is] dead because of sin; but the Spirit [is] life because of righteousness” (Romans 8:6-10 KJV)
Praise the Lord that with sanctification and maturity comes the dying of self so that the natural tendency to act out our feelings at a whim or quickly declines increasingly. If we are still struggling in these areas, our God is faithful to help us when we acknowledge our weaknesses and sins before him.
By God’s revelation we know that our feelings are naturally under the influence of our soul (mind, intellect and emotions) and reveal the condition of our soul most of the time. The degree of sanctification of our soul nature is dependent on the degree in which we are surrendered to God. How we feel about ourselves, others and situations is therefore often a reflection of the state of our soul.
When we live by the Apostle Paul’s following admonition based on the word of God: “whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Phil. 4:8 KJV),
it also means we are living in obedience to what Paul said to the Romans (Romans 12:1-3) that we should not be conformed to this world but rather be transformed by the renewing of our minds. It is therefore inevitable that our souls will be transformed and aligned with how God feels about us and our feelings serve as an outlet to affirm the changes we are experiencing to the glory of God.
While our soul is being transformed daily, maintaining an attitude of reverential fear of God is important as well as remembering that our dependence is always on God. This is regardless of our spiritual gifts or an advanced knowledge of the bible. In short, an attitude of humility before God is important.
Why? This is because our feelings must be kept in check as we can still be deceived into believing something that is untrue and so be misled. For instance, when I feel a certain way, it does not necessarily mean that is a true indication of the circumstances. As believers in Christ, if we have not already done so, we must awaken to the fact that in the Christian journey there may be areas of our souls that are not yet completely surrendered to God. This is because in our lives before Christ the enemy reinforced his might in those areas due to things we may have got involved in or we had no control over.
This is why however much sanctified or close to God we think we are, we should still be cautious in trusting our feelings, for they could be giving us signals contrary to what God is saying. How do I know for sure what the reality is? I must wait patiently on the LORD in prayer or speak to Him about the way I feel. I need to ask Him to give me clarity and understanding directly or through His word. This is because quick decisions based on the way I feel are likely to cost me heartache or distress because they could be rooted in deception.
Dear brothers and sisters let us remember that it is what God says about us that defines us not our feelings. It is important to meditate regularly on what the word of God says about who we are as children of God.
You may feel insignificant because of how you were treated in your formative years by family or peers at some point in your life. However as a child of God, He says that He loves you, you are precious and his delight and this is why He sent Jesus for you.
“I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee” (Jer 31:3 KJV).
“Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God.4 Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah: for the Lord delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married” (Is.62:3-4 KJV).
Jesus spoke of how the greatness of his love for mankind compelled him to give up his life for us, his friends (John 15:13 KJV).
You may be plagued with guilt about a certain area of your life, but God says
-When you came to Christ, he blotted out all your sins and remembers them no more (Is. 43:25 KJV).
-There is no condemnation for you because you are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1-3)
My prayer for you is that you may “abound in knowledge and … insight” and be able to discern the truth as concerns your feelings and their alignment with the will of God in Jesus’ name. Amen. (Phil. 1:9-10 NIV)
You are blessed, determine to stay blessed
©Deborah E. Nyamekye 10/12/2015
(originally blogged on 10/12/2015, then 21/02/2016)