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We live in a world dominated by feelings and that is not by accident. It is God’s ordained trial for us (and as such, Satan’s most prized strategy). Here then is what we need to know:

1. Getting to heaven requires that we stop living by our feelings[1] and become characterized by a life of obedience to Jesus’ words (i.e., God’s will [Law and mission]): 1) the terms “flesh”, “fleshly”, “passion”, and “sensuality” or commands to deny ourselves are often a reference to our feelings (Mat 16:24; Col 3:5-7; Gal 5:19 w/24; Rom 8:12-13 w/13:13-14; Tit 2:11-12; 1Pe 2:11, 4:1-3; Consider also Mat 7:24-27 = The “sand” or foundation of the second man’s house – the man not living in obedience to Jesus’ words, more than likely represents his feelings. He lives according to his feelings. As a result, when the storms or trials of life come, he is fickle and falls apart). 2) the command for self-control is a call to have command over our feelings (i.e., emotional intelligence) (Act 24:25; Gal 5:23; 2Pe 1:5-6; lack of s-c is what brings “difficult times” -2Ti 3:3). 3) living in obedience to Jesus’ words is what it means to live by the Spirit (which is always contrasted w/living by our feelings) (Joh 16:13-15 w/[Gal 5:16, 24-25; Rom 8:5]). 4) it is impossible to live faithfully for Jesus and be under the control of your feelings (Gal 5:17; Rom 8:6-8). 5) Feelings are weak and unreliable (Mat 26:41 and Rom 7:18; 2Co 1:17; Jer 17:7 in contrast to v9 “heart” = A reference to feelings). 6) Living by our feelings is sin (2Co 12:21).

2. Living by our feelings is associated w/loving the world and the message/enticement of false teachers and Satan which is why it is impossible to live according to our feelings and please God (1Jo 2:15-16; 2Pe 2:1-2, 7, 10, 18-20; Eph 2:1-3).

3. Everybody has the ability to win the war over their feelings, some however exacerbate their situation because of their choices, making it nearly impossible (Deu 30:11-14; 1Co 10:13; Mat 19:24-26).

 

4. Overcoming our feelings (i.e., possessing self-control or emotional intelligence) will require that: 1) we are self-programmed robots (we start like animals limited to feelings, afraid and unwise to everything [feelings don’t think – e.g., Teyve barks at boxes] and become self-programmed robots [programming our feelings thru conditioning/reinforced action that results in us becoming either adult animals or proper image-bearers -2Pe 2:12]. 2) as we get older/more removed from learning, we resort back to feelings as the main driver in decision-making and as a result, more averse to change/taking risks and fearful (Ecc 12:3-5). 3) we practice extreme degradation and desertion of our feelings as a guide for truth (1Co 9:27 [Modern translation: “I make it my b**ch”] = Degradation; Rom 8:13 “putting to death” = Desertion – treating how we feel as irrelevant to what is true/false; Mat 5:29-30, 18:7-10 = Completely ignore/dessert those things convincing you of rebellion so that you do not despise [lead astray] those looking to you for guidance [e.g., your children]; Important not to miss: when considering our approach to living the Christian life, analogies are never from the business world [i.e., it is not business etiquette or best practices that we are to employ], but rather the military or sports – which uses extreme degradation and desertion to be successful [e.g., boot camp instructor; David Goggins]; 2Co 10:1-5 = Fighting for God’s kingdom requires desertion in relation to our feelings). 4) we start with our tongues (Jam 3:1-2 “bridle the whole body” = Bridle your feelings).

5. Everyone is born welcome to God and will by their response to their feelings, either solidify themselves in that state – or a state of rebellion (Gen 22:16-18; Rom 1:18-26 = God eventually gives people over to their feelings [leading to His wrath] b/c of their choice to continue living according them [“gave them over in the lusts of their hearts…to degrading passions” = You can’t give someone over to something unless this was already present and in practice. This then is the source of their unrighteousness/ungodliness – v18]; Eph 4:17-22 = Living according to our feelings will eventually corrupt our souls – and once it is corrupted, there is no fix, even for Christians. Hence Heb 6:1-6 and 10:26-30).

6. The kind of preaching or proclamation (teaching and evangelism) practiced by Jesus and the apostles and prescribed by God and the Holy Spirit was always controversial and polarizing b/c it was never sensitive to the feelings of the audience since feelings won’t cause us to live for God (What you win them with is what you win them to; 1Th 2:1-5; 2Ti 4:2; Heb 4:12; Hence Paul can say 2Co 2:15-17 e.g., Mat 15:11-14; Act 4:1-2 w/18; Act 6:9-14 w/51-53; Act 9:22-23; Act 13:5-10, 14-16 w/44-51; Act 14:1-2 w/18-19; Act 17:1-6; Act 18:4-6; Act 28:20-24).

7. God will see to it that those who hate His truth- including His life purpose and plan for humanity (i.e., this life is a test of overcoming our feelings in favor of God and His ways that will determine who is worthy of heaven), are duped by Satan at His reveal (2Th 1:3-5 w/2Th 2:1-10).

 

8. There is only one feeling that is safe and sb promoted in our life and that is genuine heartfelt love for God and for others (a choice that results also in a feeling) since this is what overcomes the feelings most responsible for our failures as a Christian, fear, jealousy and pride [i.e., caring what others think] (Joh 21:15-17 [18:25-27]; 1Jo 4:12, 16-21; Love creates lasting commitment and consistency whereas fear, jealousy and pride, nothing but posers and pansies).

 

9. The feelings associated with our conscience – or our conscience and General Revelation, were never designed to be enough when it comes to determining right and wrong (IOW: we also need God’s Word – Special Revelation) (Gen 2:16-17).

 

 

CLOSING CONTEMPLATION/CHALLENGE: One of the sticky wickets associated w/the subject of feelings is that most people who are living according to their feelings (versus the Spirit/in obedience to Jesus) are completely blind to it – or in absolute denial. IOW: they don’t think they are that kind of person –or they do not they see it—which is what makes it difficult—and why we need to pick up on those objective cues (or signs) from Scripture so that we can see it and make the proper spiritual diagnosis of who we are before it is too late.

 

The objective signs that you are living according to your feelings: 1) what most determines your free time is what pleases you versus what pleases God, prospers His people or prepares you to better serve and advance His kingdom (Phi 1:21). 2) you are averse to change (change creates negative feelings). 3) you are constantly fighting doubt/suspicion w/regard to God, God’s Word, church, leaders or people though you possess no sound evidence to do so (1Ti 6:1-4). 4) you struggle w/fear, pride and jealousy or wanting to be in positions of importance so that people will look up to you (Jam 3:14-15 “natural” = “fleshly or animalistic – i.e., the basis for all judgment or actions is our feelings). 5) you are prone to insurrection against God’s leaders or causing division in the Body of Christ (Jud 1:18-19 “following ungodly lusts” [their feelings] –“these are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded [Literally, natural or animalistic – same word as Jam 3:15 referring to creatures operating off their feelings]). 6) Jesus is your sponsor rather than your Lord (i.e., He serves/fulfills your Christian vision for yourself [i.e., where you feel you wb most happy]). 7) you are sloppy w/your words (e.g., “I was making fun of my coat but it actually does a good job of blocking the wind” versus “I was being negative about my coat…”; Pro 15:28 = The Righteous are committed to making sure their communication is accurate [truth] versus just letting whatever they feel in the moment roll off their tongue. Sloppy in the little, sloppy in the big – Luk 16:10).

[1] Living by our feelings = Truth, morality [right and wrong], our actions and speech are predominately determined by our feelings.