Dealing with Feeling

Audio: mp3

Luke 9:23 And he said to [them] all, If any [man] will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

What we need are very practical lessons on being ready for Jesus to come. Often we think that we have to tell the world all the facts so they can be ready for His coming. We should all be involved in preparing the people for the second coming. Should we just concentrate on the facts of the Bible? No we need practical lessons to take home and implement into our daily lives. What are the nuts and bolts and the mechanics of the Christian walk? How can we be successful Christians? One of the biggest difficulties of the Christian walk is dealing with our feelings. How we feel effects our walk with the Lord. When we don’t feel like doing something, do we want to do it? Our generation is taught that if it feels good do it. In other words if it doesn’t feel good don’t do it. How many of us have a Christian experience that goes up and down? Is it meant to go like that? Why does it go up and down? How heavily do we rely upon our senses? When you walk down the street are you relying on your senses? We have grown up relying on our senses telling us things and we do what we sense. When it comes to walking with the Lord, this poses a problem because we are not to rely on our sense but on Gods sense. Little children have to rely on the parent’s senses. A little child can run across the road feeling no sense of danger but the parent does so who is right? Do we rely on our own senses or on God’s? Do we sense no problem in doing certain things when God says yes there is a problem? We are blind and we cannot see the problems that God sees.

Jude 1:18 How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.

1:19 These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.

Here is a class of people who walk after their own lusts. The modern understanding of lust is associated with sexual desire but it actually means any desire, inclination or feeling. There are a class of people who walk after their own feelings. They are sensual. That means they function on their senses. They work around how they feel things. What does the Bible say? What is that? It is devilish having not the Spirit. Is the Spirit of God and my feelings or my desires the things that I’m inclined to, are they different? For me to follow my feelings, lusts or inclinations means that I don’t have the Spirit.

James 3:14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.

3:15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but [is] earthly, sensual, devilish.

Is bitterness a feeling? Yes. We can walk after that bitter feeling. If we do that it is sensual. What about envy? That is also a feeling. According to the scriptures if we walk according to these feelings it is devilish.

There are thoughts and feelings suggested and aroused by Satan that annoy even the best of men, but if they are not cherished, if they are repulsed as hateful, the soul is not contaminated with guilt, and no other is defiled by their influence. {TMK 140.2}

Satan has the ability to stir up thoughts and feelings. If we function on certain thoughts and feeling we are functioning according to the devil. But if we push those devilish feelings away we are functioning according to the Spirit of God and are not contaminated by them. The battle is over our feelings. Upon this point comes all the strife of the world.

James 4:1 From whence [come] wars and fightings among you? [come they] not hence, [even] of your lusts that war in your members?

Why do we get upset with people? Why do we engage in fighting? Because we feel annoyed or there is an injustice and we act on what our senses tell us. F from this comes every fight with in the church, nation and on the planet. Everyone has an opinion on something and they will fight for that at the costs of other people. Today’s mentality is who cares how others feel its what I feel that right. This is devilish.

James 4:2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.

4:3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume [it] upon your lusts.

Do we go to the Lord and ask for things because we feel like those things? How many of us operate like children that if we feel like something we ask the Lord for it and he doesn’t give it to us? Why doesn’t he give it to us? Because we will consume it upon our feelings, our lusts and desires.

James 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

This element here of adulterers and adulteresses is a relationship between God and the world. The world, the flesh and the devil have one thing in common, they work upon our feelings. Today’s marketing is designed to make us feel that we need things so we will buy them. Christians commit spiritual adultery because they rely on their feelings and senses. This is the greatest hindrance to make us ready for Jesus to come. We need a practical lesson on how to be ready for Jesus to come and how to deal with the way we feel. What a tremendous impact it has upon our readiness for the coming of Jesus Christ.

Galatians 5:14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, [even] in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

If you loved your neighbour as yourself and your feelings conflicted, whose feelings would you seek to supply? No one has any problem with loving yourselves. We have problems loving others.

Galatians 5:15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.

If you act on how you feel at the expense of others you need to be careful because they will act on the way they feel at the expense of you. Every one is living on their feelings and this is the source of the destruction of the world.

Galatians 5:16 [This] I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

5:17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

It is saying because my feelings go contrary to God’s ways I fail as a Christian. If my feelings and inclinations were according to God’s I would have no problems following the Lord because His will would be my will but because his will is different to the way I feel I can’t do what I would like. Part of me wants to do his will and the other part wants to do my own will. This is the situation of adultery, trying to serve two masters. You cannot serve two masters as one will always dominate over the other. If we pay attention to how we feel about things, it will overtake our desire for the Bible. The opposite is true too if we pay attention to the Lord it will over take my own feelings.

Romans 6:12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.

Sin has deranged our beings. Since sin we have had unstable emotional lives. Don’t let sin reign. Don’t let your feelings rule you that you should obey your lusts.

Romans 6:13 Neither yield ye your members [as] instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members [as] instruments of righteousness unto God.

All through our lives we must decide whether the sin, the feelings of the devil and the world or the flesh will reign as supreme or will we to yield ourselves to Jesus Christ the monarch. A temptation is when a decision comes that arouses our feelings and annoyances.

James 1:14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.

That is temptation.

James 1:15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

Christianity is simply dealing with temptation. Here is the way of salvation and the way of death. When we are drawn out and enticed by our lusts, how we feel. is the way of death. Often when we think of the word lust and our minds go to the perverse things of this world and the really bad people. As Christians do we have lusts? Lusts are simply our desires and feelings. For example if I’m in a business meeting and I get annoyed at someone, that is lust. Then if I gossip about them, that is yielding to that temptation of that lust and that is sin. Christianity is simply dealing with temptation. If we don’t know how to deal with temptation and come off victorious. Why are we Christians? Has Christ only come to tantalize us that we can overcome only a few problems to live a little bit better life but not a fully victorious life? The gospel has been given so we can be fully victorious. This is the victory that has overcome the world even our faith. We need this victory before he comes because he said will the Son of man find faith of the earth? Faith is dealing with our feelings. It doesn’t matter how long we have been religious or how holy we think we are, we all still have to deal with temptation but praise the Lord we don’t have the yield to it. If we don’t learn how to deal with our feels we will be crippled.

Feeling Paralyses Our Spiritual Walk

The feeling of loneliness makes us venture to social activities that are forbidden. What leads us there? That aching feeling leads us into forbidden paths. People can feel unloved. Then we are inclined to pursue a path good or bad to make people love us. We can feel ugly so we implement the fashions of the world to help how we feel about ourselves. That is a big issue in the world today. People can also be discouraged and they throw everything in because it’s too hard. They become happy with second best because the standard is too high and then wallow in self-pity. Some people are envious and they wish they could do something that someone else does or wish the other person wasn’t doing it. We are often motivated to do even good things through envy. That is not serving God. Some people get irritated and are tempted to retaliate. Little things can bother us. All these feelings are real every day feelings. Some people feel pride. That is a wonderful feeling isn’t it? To throw ourselves around with authority and say by our actions, look at me. That feeling while we think it is good, is the source of ill treatment towards other people and making them feel bad. All this is not from God, but all these things are a reality to a Christian life. How do we deal with all this?

Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as [we are, yet] without sin.

It’s a double negative. We have a high priest who can be touched with our feelings of our infirmities. Our feelings of loneliness, pride, annoyances, discouragements and irritations are all infirmities. The Bible says he was touched with the feelings of our infirmities He was in all points tempted like as we are yet without sin. Here is a person who has had the temptation, thoughts and feelings that had annoyed the best of men. If they are repulsed as hateful they do not contaminate the soul. How did this person do that?

In the heart of Christ, where reigned perfect harmony with God, there was perfect peace. He was never elated by applause, nor dejected by censure or disappointment. Amid the greatest opposition and the most cruel treatment, He was still of good courage. {DA 330.3}

That was in the heart of Jesus Christ. We need to guard our hearts and minds through Jesus Christ. We want to learn to discern our feelings that come through the flesh to keep our minds stable. He was touched with the feelings of our infirmities yet in his heart, elation, discouragements and disappointments had no effect.

Hebrews 5:7 Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;

5:8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;

Jesus learned obedience by the things which he suffered. We are to learn too by the things that we suffer. How?

Hebrews 2:18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

What were the sufferings of Jesus Christ? Temptation. Jesus was tempted to go contrary to the will of God. That was his suffering and He has to choose his desires and feelings or the will of God. Either way there is a difficulty and you will disappoint yourself or disappoint God. We have to learn to resign to what will please ourselves otherwise we will displease God.

Romans 15:3 For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.

Christ Pleased Not Himself

How did Christ have the ability not to please himself?

Hebrew 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of [our] faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

12:3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.

Christ met the most pathetic arguments and the temptation to be irritated at humanity was in Him. He endured it. This is the person who has walked the path and gone through our experience. This is how we are to do it to have the faith of Jesus Christ. Behold the joy that is set before us in order to endure the cross. We need a vision of what is ahead of us. That vision is not based on feeling but upon the word of God.

Does the Bible say we are not allowed to pay attention to our feelings? There is an automatic stress response of denial in order to cope. This is not what we are talking about. We need to understand how Jesus dealt with these feelings. We aren’t to be fascinated with how we feel or study them. What will that do?

They [young people] became so fascinated with human feelings and impulses that there was no desire to search the Bible and come into close relation to God. RH Jan 26 1886.

If I am so fascinated and absorbed with the way I feel about things it will draw me away from God and take away my desire to study and search the Bible.

Luke 9:23 And he said to [them] all, If any [man] will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

How often are we to deny ourselves? Daily. To deny is to refuse to satisfy a desire or to disown and disapprove of it. If any man wants to follow the Lord we have to refuse certain feelings. We refuse it with a power, a weapon that is given to us not in our own might. What is that weapon?

The Bible is Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. We want to get these basic instructions, the nuts and bolts of Christianity.

2 Corinthians 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:

We’re not to inflict our bodies because we feel a certain way.

Strongholds

2 Corinthians 10:4 (For the weapons of our warfare [are] not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)

Is feeling a strong hold? Have you ever experienced strong feelings as if they would strangle you and pull you under? We read that we have weapons that are mighty to the pulling down of strong holds. What are these strong holds?


2 Corinthians 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

If we feel lonely, is that exalting ourselves against the knowledge of Jesus? Has not Jesus said I will not leave you comfortless, alone or as orphans? So if we feel alone He says you are not alone. Is your feeling exalting itself against the knowledge of God? What seems more real? Regardless of what feels real we have His Word to deal with that feeling. Who is our God? Our feelings or what God says? If God says we must deal with our feelings but we like the emotion of Christianity better, we will not get to Heaven.

Wrestling with the Angel

If we act on our feelings we won’t wrestle with the angel all night as Jacob did. Jacob got his hip dislocated and still clung on all night for a blessing. If feelings were important to us we wouldn’t hang on to the angel for the blessing when we have just been hurt by the angel. If we run on feelings, we will not cope. When the sun is out we can worship the Lord and clap our hands but when the clouds are dark and when I get annoyed and irritated then where is Christianity? Is it only in the apology afterwards? Obey is better than sacrifice and to hearken is better than the fat of rams. It is better to deal with the feeling than to act on it and have to apologize afterward because you are a Christian. Does the stronghold of feeling I am unloved exalt itself against the knowledge of God that he loved me so much that he gave his son for me? God is calling us and says if you want to follow me you have to deny some things. We have to cast down imaginations. The feeling of being unloved is an imagination, it is not real. Don’t look around but you read the Bible and believe what God has said.

What is this mighty weapon?

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Here is a sword that cuts to what we are motivated by. Do our feeling motivate us even in our religious experience? This same weapon is mighty even to the pulling down of strong holds.

2 Peter 1:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

Worldly corruption is a result of people acting upon feeling. God has given his Word, His promises (without feeling good or bad) that we can escape the corruption that is in the world through lust not by running away from people but by dealing with our own lustful wicked feelings. We must give ourselves entirely to Jesus Christ to be able to apply these promises so that whatever he says goes.

Hebrews 4:1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left [us] of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.

We should be afraid lest we don’t have the Word that is going to help us through our feelings. If we don’t store these treasures in our minds, what will we have to deal with our feelings? Nothing and then we cannot resist. We need to fear that we don’t know the promises that will help us over come our battles. The Word of God can only deal with our feelings. We need to find all the promises in the Word so that when the feelings come, we can tell our feelings where to go.

Amid the awful darkness, apparently forsaken of God, Christ had drained the last dregs in the cup of human woe. In those dreadful hours He had relied upon the evidence of His Father’s acceptance heretofore given Him. He was acquainted with the character of His Father; He understood His justice, His mercy, and His great love. By faith He rested in Him whom it had ever been His joy to obey. And as in submission He committed Himself to God, the sense of the loss of His Father’s favor was withdrawn. By faith, Christ was victor. {DA 756.3}

Christ had an awful shadow that came upon him. It was apparent to all his senses that God had left him. Feelings were telling him that he was lost. What did his mind do? He relied on the Father’s acceptance and the word of God given before hand. He understood God because he knew his words. He rested and hung on that. He submitted himself to a God that forsook him. Would you do that? Feeling would say no but faith says yes. As he submitted to His Father’s will the sense
of the loss of his Father went away. The feeling went away and He was victorious. We have bitter cups to drink too.

God has shown me that He gave His people a bitter cup to drink, to purify and cleanse them. It is a bitter draught, and they can make it still more bitter by murmuring, complaining, and repining. But those who receive it thus must have another draught, for the first does not have its designed effect upon the heart. And if the second does not effect the work, then they must have another, and another, until it does have its designed effect, or they will be left filthy, impure in heart. I saw that this bitter cup can be sweetened by patience, endurance, and prayer, and that it will have its designed effect upon the hearts of those who thus receive it, and God will be honored and glorified. It is no small thing to be a Christian and to be owned and approved of God. {EW 47.1}

God is going to give us bitter experiences. God is going to allow you to be places and in situations where your feelings will be utterly tested. Will you whinge, complain and yield to your feelings or are you going to have patience? How do we have patience?

James 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;

1:3 Knowing [this], that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

1:4 But let patience have [her] perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

Can you exercise your faith if you don’t have opposed feelings? If you always feel like doing the Lord’s work, is that faith? No. So the only way we can exercise faith is if we feel negative. Right there and only there can we exercise faith? To exercise faith is to rely only on God’s word. If we exercise faith relying on the Word regardless of feeling then we can be victorious. Just because you feel something it does not mean it is you. If you allow your feelings to mould you, you will never be saved. Do you run by what you feel or by God’s word regardless of what you feel? If we do this we will be blessed.

The powers of darkness gather about the soul and shut Jesus from our sight, and at times we can only wait in sorrow and amazement until the cloud passes over.
{AG 114.2}

This is a good experience as now we can exercise our faith. Do feelings last forever? The glory of man pops up and fades away. It’s like a cloud that passes over quickly but the word of the Lord lasts forever. At times I can only wait till the clouds pass over. My feelings may not go like magic, they will go away in their time but God has allowed it to happen so I can exercise my faith and in doing so the cloud will pass quicker than if I didn’t exercise faith but whinged and complained. When we do this we have to go over the same ground many times until I learn how to rely on God’s word regardless about how I feel.

Hope seems to fail, and despair seizes upon us. In these dreadful hours we must learn to trust, to depend solely upon the merits of the atonement, and in all our helpless unworthiness cast ourselves upon the merits of the crucified and risen Saviour. We shall never perish while we do this–never! When light shines on our pathway, it is no great thing to be strong in the strength of grace. But to wait patiently in hope when clouds envelop us and all is dark, requires faith and submission which causes our will to be swallowed up in the will of God. We are too quickly discouraged, and earnestly cry for the trial to be removed from us, when we should plead for patience to endure and grace to overcome. {AG 114.2}

How many of us asked the Lord to take away the trial and take away the feeling? We should pray for patience, perseverance and endurance. When we are irritated that is when we do it not afterward. It must be a living, active principle in the trial.

I have frequently seen that the children of the Lord neglect prayer, especially secret prayer, altogether too much; that many do not exercise that faith which it is their privilege and duty to exercise, often waiting for that feeling which faith alone can bring. Feeling is not faith; the two are distinct. Faith is ours to exercise, but joyful feeling and the blessing are God’s to give. The grace of God comes to the soul through the channel of living faith, and that faith it is in our power to exercise. {CET 126.1}

Faith can bring feeling but feeling cannot bring faith therefore I need to have faith first. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be happy and to feel good but if I act on my feelings in order to get good feelings that will never happen for God is not mocked for whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap. Our feelings are not to be our religion or our God. Faith alone is to be our religion. True faith will bring the feeling.

True faith lays hold of and claims the promised blessing before it is realized and felt. {CET 126.2}

If we ask and plead to God for the Holy Spirit but we don’t feel the Holy Spirit, does that mean God didn’t answer my prayer? Faith will thank God even before we feel or realise it because He said it.

Here is faith, naked faith, to believe that we receive the blessing, even before we realize it. When the promised blessing is realized and enjoyed, faith is swallowed up. But many suppose they have much faith when sharing largely of the Holy Spirit, and that they cannot have faith unless they feel the power of the Spirit. Such confound faith with the blessing that comes through faith. {CET 126.2}

How do we deal with our feelings? When we have feelings we are to turn our back upon them. If we feel lonely, annoyed and frustrated we must consciously say we do not want it, deny it and refuse it. The pain we suffer at that point because of the feeling, we are to take up the cross and follow the Lord because of what he has said. As our mind focuses on the precious promises that we learnt before the trial, the cloud of our feelings will ebb away. Give it time, it will go and then faith will bring a positive feeling. What is that called? That is called a victory over sin because what I was feeling in doing wrong I’ve not done it and neither have I harboured the love of it. I have not liked it; I’ve turned my back on it and refused it. I have put the word of the Lord in my mind and I have born the pain it brought me and as I bear the pain with the love of Jesus in my mind with no feeling, it will change the weather. I can testify this works. When discouragements and obstacles come up and I feel like I can’t be bothered anymore, it is way too hard, I have to practice what I preach. It changes the way that I feel. Not straight away but I give it time and I bear the pain of the cross of Jesus Christ and as I bear the cross and pain, I am having fellowship with the sufferings of Jesus. As I dwell on that it does go away and courage comes in its place and I keep going. I pray that we can all do this and maintain it as just because I’ve done it once does it mean I will do it again. We need to go from victory onto victory all the way in our Christian walk. I pray we can be practical Christians and be ready for Jesus’ coming.

Amen.

 

Posted on August 22, 2011, in Divine Service Sermons, Sermons For Sabbath. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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