Feelings Or Faith?
It is impossible to please God without faith (Hebrews 11:6).
Question: If you have prayed and asked God to fill you with His Holy Spirit, on what authority do you know that God has answered your prayer?
Do not depend upon feelings. The promise of God's Word, not our feelings, is our authority. The Christian lives by faith (trust) in the trustworthiness of God Himself and His Word. In my diagram at http://www.greatcom.org/spirit/languages.html, I show a train, with an engine (fact), a fuel car (faith) and a caboose (feeling). This train diagram illustrates the relationship between fact (God and His Word), faith (our trust in God and His Word), and feeling (the result of our faith and obedience -- John 14:21).
The train will run with or without the caboose. However, it would be futile to attempt to pull the train by the caboose. In the same way, we, as Christians, do not depend upon feelings or emotions, but we place our faith (trust) in fact -- the trustworthiness of God and the promises of His Word. Feelings are valid but not always trustworthy. God's Word is.
If you become aware of an area of your life (an attitude or an action) that is displeasing to the Lord and you want to please Him, simply thank God that He has forgiven your sins -- past, present and future -- on the basis of Christ's death on the cross. Claim His love and forgiveness, by faith, and continue to have fellowship with Him.
If you retake the throne of your life through sin -- a definite act of disobedience -- do what I call "spiritual breathing." Exhaling the impure and inhaling the pure is an exercise in faith that enables you to continue to experience God's love and forgiveness.
1. Exhale -- confess your sin -- agree with God concerning your sin and thank Him for His forgiveness of it, according to 1 John 1:9 and Hebrews 10:1-25. Confession involves repentance -- a change in attitude and action.
2. Inhale -- surrender the control of your life to Christ, and by faith appropriate (receive) the fullness of the Holy Spirit by faith. Trust that He now directs and empowers you; according to the command of Ephesians 5:18, and the promise of 1 John 5:14, 15.
Yours for fulfilling the Great Commission each year until our Lord returns,
The late Dr. Bill Bright was Founder and President/Chairman Emeritus of Campus Crusade for Christ, an organization which began as a campus ministry in 1951 and now has more than 27,000 full-time staff and up to 500,000 trained volunteer staff in 196 countries in areas representing 99.6 percent of the world's population. In the past 50 years, Campus Crusade for Christ has seen approximately 6 billion exposures to the gospel worldwide. The film, "JESUS," which Bright conceived and funded through Campus Crusade for Christ, is the most widely translated and viewed film of any type ever produced. Since its use began in 1980, the film has been translated into 839 languages and viewed or listened to by over 5.7 billion people in 228 countries. Dr. Bright was also the author of more than fifty books. Visit campuscrusade.com for more details
Copyright (c) 2003, Bill Bright. All rights reserved. However, readers may copy and distribute this message as desired, without restrictions in number, as long as the content is not altered. Forwarding this e-mail to friends is encouraged. For many evangelistic and spiritual growth materials, visit the Campus Crusade for Christ Web site at ccci.org. See campuscrusade.com for Bill Bright's own materials.