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OBEDIENCE over FEELINGS

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What are you led by? What directs your decisions, actions, words, and thoughts? As believers, we’re called to live by faith. And yet so many of us choose to live by something else—our feelings. Have you ever decided just because it simply “felt right”? Have you ever said something because it “felt like the perfect moment”? I know I have. Before I became a believer, I lived fully by feeling. My feelings informed my reactions to life and directed my every step. If a pathway wasn’t accompanied by a nice feeling, it wasn’t the one I took. The Bible is quick to tell us that our feelings (or hearts, more accurately) can’t be trusted. Prov. 3:5, Prov. 28:26, Jer. 17:9. But please read {Matt. 1:18-25}.

Joseph thought Mary had betrayed him and yet surrendered his personal feelings to obey God’s commands. We must submit to God’s Word to experience God’s peace. Every believer must choose whether he will live by the principle of obedience or follow his preferences. When a person commits to doing the Lord’s will, then every situation and decision is sifted through the standard of “God said it, so I’m going to do it—and that’s the end of it.” He or she may complain, weep, or try to argue. But in the end, the individual will be obedient, no matter what.

I recall being invited years ago to interview for a Finance Manager with a Firm in Virginia Beach. They flew me down, and during the entire trip, I told the Lord that I didn’t know if I should move or if this was the right position for me at the time? I fussed and carried on a good while, but the Lord said to have faith & go through the process. I didn’t like the idea; the only true feelings I had was a blown EGO! (being flown across the country because someone wanted to meet me! #AWESOME!). But looking back the alternative of not going would have been unimaginable. Like dominos that were only the first step God had me to go through. But ironically three positions & 13 years later, I am currently working for a firm that purchased that Virginia Beach-based company. But I did not have to move, and I am the Manager over department & two positions higher than what I had previously interviewed for.

Submitting to God’s plan can often involve surrendering your ideas & plans Jeremiah 29:11 says, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'”. The Lord certainly understands our need to question, cry out, and petition Him for the strength to do what He commands. As we often allow our feelings to dictate our stance with God rather than what His Word already declares about us. Take the example of Noah:

By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith (Heb. 11:7).

Noah was living in a world of pagans who hated God and loved sin. He was building an ark because God was going to send rain—something never seen before this time. Noah was already old, and he spent many years building this ark. Do you think he felt like building it? Do you think he felt fearful of the sinful people around him—what they might think or do? Do you think he was tempted to give up or to not trust God? Probably. But he chose to live by faith in God. His faith in God propelled him forward, not his fickle feelings. We’re faced with the same decision today, friends. We can live by our feelings or by our faith. If your faith is in Christ, it’s solid and trustworthy. Your feelings are forever shifting and influenced. Which will you look to?

In the end, it is God and His Word that should inform our feelings, not the other way around. When you are tempted to listen to your feelings or your feelings are overwhelming you, stop and look to God’s Word. Compare what you are feeling to what He says. Do your feelings line up? Great—follow what God’s Word says. But if your feelings contradict God’s Word, you need to say “no” to them. Those are the feelings we put off and ignore. Though they may feel strong, they’re not that trustworthy. God’s Word is your source and foundation. Live by it, not your feelings.

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