Today’s guest blogger is Karen Gaul. Karen has been a biblical counsellor since 1994 and is certified by the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC). She is dedicated to bringing the Word of God to light in the lives of his hurting children. She considers it an awesome privilege and honour to be able to walk with brothers and sisters in Christ to find healing, contentment, joy and peace in the Lord. This material is reposted with permission by the author. You can find this post and more of her writing here.
More and more this “feels right, must be right” theme that runs throughout our society and even many of our churches dominates. More and more relationships are broken because feelings
lead the charge. More and more twisted and deviant behavior is acceptable because, well, it just feels
because they no longer “feel” the love they once had, and they are certain God would want them to pursue happiness.
Addictive behavior is acceptable because, again, it feels
right and good. Pastors have condonedpornography
and masturbation because it is “normal” and can “benefit a marriage relationship”.
Over indulgences are acceptable again because if it makes you feel good, then go for it.
The whole sexual orientation, transgender focus that is prevalent right now is another one of those areas. If I feel like I am a boy, well I should just act like one then and have the opportunity to “be” one because it is the way I was born. How does this work with “I am fearfully and wonderfully made, in the image of God”?
We can even say things like “it feels so natural”, “it’s who I am”. I would agree with those statements too.
Feelings do seem natural, it is who I am.
Feelings rule! I get that! Feelings can be very strong and going against what we feel just somehow seems wrong. I understand that one too. And living apart from the Lord, not having a living relationship with Him feelings are one of the only measuring sticks available.
Feelings were also leading the way for people often in the Bible. Eve ate the apple because it appealed to her. It felt right so she ate. How did it turn out?
Saul didn’t wait for Samuel and built an altar to the Lord because it seemed like the right thing to do. His feelings led the way. How did things turn out for him?
Samson lusted after a Philistine woman, when he was to choose a wife from among his own people. Instead he let his feelings dictate where his eyes would wander and they landed on a beautiful Philistine woman, he then said to his father “get her for me, for she is right in my eyes.” (Judges 14:3) and we know how things turned out for Sam eh?
Elimelech in Ruth chapter one does a similar thing. Instead of trusting in God to provide he instead goes to a foreign land away from God because it felt like the right thing to do, but it cost him his life.
“In those days Israel had no king. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” Judges 21:25
Judas did the same thing. It felt like the right thing to do so he sold out the Messiah for 30 pieces of silver.
I believe we are also living more and more “in those days”. The difference is believers in Jesus have a King.
As a follower of Christ I am called to live a different life. I am not to live in my natural state, I have been called, equipped and empowered to live supernaturally. My measuring stick changes at new birth.
No longer are my feelings the standard for measure, rather God’s Word and the Spirit become the measuring stick.
“For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh.” (Romans 7:18) (that is in my natural state nothing good dwells in me, do we get that?) Should I trust my feelings?
At birth I am sinful and filled with bends toward all manner of sin, it is the way we were born, that is truth. But living that out is contrary to the Gospel message.
I am not to be driven by my feelings, they will toss me to and fro and I will be unstable (James 1). I am to be instead motivated by the same thing that motivated our Lord, and that was obedience.
I hate ironing, I will never “feel” like ironing, does that mean I never iron a shirt again? God told Cain to literally “do right and he would feel right”.
Romans 1 tells us in verse 21 that “although they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks to Him…” Honoring God means to make much of Him, to make His name great, to do all that would bring glory to Him. Romans 3:18 “there is no fear of God before their eyes”.
It isn’t wrong to have feelings, we all have them. Feelings can be a very good thing, but feelings can also lead us into dangerous and unholy places both in our thoughts and in our deeds if we allow them to be in charge.
Feelings are an opening to a greater problem and that is “what is going on in my heart”.
If you are convinced that God can never bring change into who you are then you will have to resign yourself in your heart that this is as good as it can get, and I just have to “make the best of it” because it is “who I am”. That is contrary to the Good News we have in Jesus.
- He came to make us whole, and holy.
- He came to make us new,
- to change us into people who reflect and look more and more like Jesus.
- He came to free us from the specific sin bends we all have.
- He came to give us a super natural life, one that enables us to live beyond the natural man.
What happens when people refuse to acknowledge and depend on God as God? We will do what seems right in our own eyes.
If we look we can all find things that say that what we are doing is fine and acceptable, so instead of trying to solidify your corner spend some time deepening your relationship with the Lord Jesus. Know Him, mediate on Him and He by the Spirit will guide you into all truth. He will set you free. He will make you look more like Himself.
Yes we all struggle with sin, it’s in us, it’s around us, we are all under it (Romans 3:9b – 12). We can’t escape it, but we can acknowledge we need a Redeemer, one to rescue us from this body of death.
“Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” Romans 7:24,25a