Subconsciously, in the sneakiest of ways, our faith is under attack. So much so, that the enemy invests a great deal of time and planning to damage, discourage, denounce, and defeat us in this area. Often when faced with challenges, our faith is put to the ultimate test, and the caliber of our God trusting ability is revealed. For instance, you stepped out by faith into the unknown; however, upon arrival, you are filled with feelings that do not reflect your faith. Regardless of God’s creditability for doing what He promised, our emotions holler “this is too hard”, “I cannot do this”, “I’m outnumbered!” The error in emotional reasoning is that our feelings, that is our emotional response to our perceptions of situations and challenges, are tainted with lies from Satan, cognitive distortions, fear, shame, and guilt. How can these feelings be trusted when they are under such negative influence? The real answer is that feelings cannot be trusted.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6
Some may self-righteously claim that their emotions are trustworthy. I oppose that belief on this basis, if your emotions are trustworthy why do they contradict the word of God? An example would be an individual who fears for their life after being delivered from the dangers of this world into God’s safety. Consider the Israelites, who were miraculously brought out of bondage in Egypt, abundantly provided for, yet complained and actually longed for their days of slavery.
“All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, “’If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this wilderness! 3Why is the Lord bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?’” Numbers 14:2-3
God brought me out of prison on a day when people are not released, helped me pay bills without a job, gave me a wonderful little boy when the doctor’s said that I was barren, restored my decayed marriage, kept my mind amid the turmoil’s of life, helped me stay sober for 7 years, provided me with a job that I thought would take another 5 years to get. So why do I faint in the presence of challenges after I have seen all that God can, will, and does do on my behalf? Inadvertently, I removed my trust from God and placed my trust in my feelings. Emotionally, I looked for logical explanations to spiritual problems. When I lacked a logical solution, fear, panic, and anxiety came to my house for tea. The problem with letting feelings rule in our hearts is that our feelings will drag us from God’s presence, where our confidence rests, and chain us to statistics, science, appearances, and ultimately into Lucifer’s trap.
Emotions compete with the word, works, and promises of God in our lives. That’s where those defeatist mindsets are birthed, in the womb of emotional reasoning. Emotional reasoning is the “I feel it so it must be true,” belief. I remembered when I was bullied; I felt like a loser. Because I felt like a loser I started to live as one cast down, consequently, I positioned myself downward in the world based on my feelings. But praise be unto God when we came to Christ our position in the world changed because our beliefs about who we are changed. Situationally, when we view these occurrences as opportunities for growth and maturation, we approach them with faith and victory. Conversely, when we use our feelings as our lens when often approach situations with overwhelming emotions. Not all feelings are inaccurate, some feelings line up with the word of God, but due to their inconsistency, I would rather put all of my trust in the inerrant promises of God.
My feelings are telling me to stop blogging because I do not know enough. Emotions tell me that my job is too hard and I do not deserve the title. Feelings chant, “everybody thinks your dumb” But the word of God says,
“I, yes I, am the one who comforts you. So why are you afraid of mere humans, who wither like the grass and disappear? Isaiah 51:12
“For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13
It is cumbersome to chase down thoughts and feelings and correct them with the word of God, no doubt. However, when we do not put the work in our emotions reign and God’s throne becomes preoccupied with falsehood. The following scripture spells out our responsibility to apply the word to our thoughts, attitudes, and erroneous beliefs to maintain victory in our minds and continue to walk by faith.
“We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
We are also commanded to walk by faith and not by sight. Our sight is based upon our perceptions which are muddied by our feelings and past experiences. Today, may we war against emotions, forgetting what we see, thus wrapping ourselves up in God’s love and exercising faith.
“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7
Lord God, certainly, you made me for war
Defeating negative thinking, challenging fallacies core
You let me out the boat, why am I back on shore?
My feet tasted the water, surely, I want more
You promised exceedingly great, victories galore
Fighting for my life so I can take heavens tour
Let’s war for our territory, pick ourselves off the floor
Let’s take God at His word, adventure in His love, and explore
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