Friday, 3 January 2014

But This Is How I Feel...

Have you heard that one before? Of course you have if you are living on this planet. I hear that one, and read about it, every day...whether the topic is abortion, atheism, homosexuality, or even simply facing the hardships of every day life and death of loved ones being sick, committing suicide, getting murdered, being lied to, etc, etc, etc. I believe it is why "the love of many is growing cold" (Matthew 24:12). People are more concerned about "personal rights" and "personal agendas" than they are about what God has to say about it. It doesn't fit in with their feelings or their plans and "it is all about me" after all...

 Jesus told us about a different way of life. He told us a way that would get us hated by the world, and where we would put ourselves and our precious feelings last, and other people's feelings first. I've had it  asked of me "But how does that apply to my current situation? Tell me how that applies TO ME?" What does it look like? How does IT work? It sounds nice to talk in Biblical platitudes, and there are many who listen to it and "live it" on Sundays and forget about it on Mondays - Saturdays. Is THAT how it's supposed to work? Some people come to realize their religious hypocrisy and give up altogether and gravitate towards Buddhism...or worse (what could be worse?), as in fact many "Christian" churches are doing today. They are trying to get in touch with their true inner feelings (we used to jokingly refer to this as contemplating their navel, which is truly what it actually boils down to, isn't it?).

Is THAT what it is all about? Jesus said to "deny yourself" (Mark 8:34) and follow Him...Sometimes that doesn't feel so good, crucifying the flesh (Galatians 5:24) means not following everything our "inner tyrant" or our feelings (and the flesh) tells us to do but rather to seek what Jesus desires of us instead. None of us are able to do that on our own (Matthew 19:26), but God didn't leave us alone, He gave us the Holy Spirit to be our teacher, our helper, our strengthener, so none of us will have any excuse. Jesus being God made Himself flesh with no special abilities to save His own flesh or help Himself out through supernatural abilities. He used His super powers only to help others...and then (incredibly) He allowed Himself to be killed in the most humiliating and painful fashion possible, getting punished for our sins, not His (He didn't have any, remember?) He told us that if we followed Him, we would have hardships like He did (Mark 13:9) for standing for what is right, but we are to love those who hate us (Matthew 5:44), and be forgiving (Luke 17:4).

It is so much easier to give in to our "inner tyrant" and "make peace with ourselves" than it is to live as Christ taught us to live. We pretend that we do not understand Him, because doing what He said means laying down our lives in service to others no matter how uncomfortable it makes us "feel"...and we will know it if that is what the Holy Spirit is calling us to do, He will provide the strength and abilities needed for any task He desires from us.

In the parable of the four soils Jesus tells us that only a few of His seeds (words) falls on "good soil"...the rest fall on hard ground (hard selfish hearts), or get choked out by weeds (love for worldly things), or get trampled on the wayside, like dirt under their feet. Only a few see the wisdom in valuing Jesus words over what this world has to offer. (Matthew 13:3-23; Mark 4:2-20;  Luke 8:4-15) I was there in each of those types of soil, and the Lord was merciful to me; He gave me a desire to seek Him; to repent and make my rocky, weedy ground into good ground. Notice the part in the parable about needing to come to maturity... Jesus grows us and He gets all the glory.

So does it matter how we feel? Certainly God understands our pain? Yes He does, He suffered it like we did. However He tells us to not let our sufferings cause us to run in the wrong direction by looking for help from those who cannot help us (perhaps their help seems to pacify us in the short run, but in the long run their "help" will send many to hell). He said to overcome the world as He overcame the world. What does that mean? Seek Him to understand what that means, seek the answer to that with all of your heart and He will show you. (Matthew 7:7; Luke 11:9). Trust Him, He will do it I assure you. He has done it for me.

Jesus says "come unto me all who labor, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28). When we find "that place" of true rest, not as the world gives, but that He gives, everything else in this world can (and eventually will) fall apart, but it won't matter because He has us safely in His hands, and the plans that He has for us will be eternal and will have nothing to do with what we are going through now, except for the fact that we will be praising Him forever for saving us out of this horrible trap of self-delusion and suffering. He is the way, the truth and the life, and NO ONE comes to the Father except through Him.

It doesn't matter how we feel about it, it's true whether we want it to be or not. That gives me a very good feeling knowing there is always Someone that I can trust. He is a GOOD God, thank the Lord.


  1. Yes. Good post. I think we also have a hard time identifying some of our feelings as flesh. It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith...We won't always feel right, but by faith we do right. Thank you for your kind comments on my blog.

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