Borrowed Truths

That Feeling

Borrowed Truths

That Feeling

Common experiences are not the same as a rare occurrence. Now, I know this is a statement that within just a few minutes and with the proper well thought out words could be explained to even a small child, but for the believer, they resound with more truth than for those who are still lost. These words tell us to rest in the everyday but to expect the miracle every moment. In other word’s my friends, it is not all about feeling better when serving Christ. Not feeling but knowing is what the world expects from those who are professing, obedient servants of God. They have had their fill of those who only attend church as some form of adornment, those who seem righteous, but only wear the cloak of spirituality, those whose words do not match their actions.

When the lost of this world meet a true follower of Jesus Christ, they are aware that they are in the presence of an ambassador of heaven, and the reactions they exude are nearly always reduced to one of two points, either reverence of fear. They fear the truth that comes from your lips, the truth of sin, judgement, repentance and mercy. These have tasted for a moment the love that our Lord has for them, and one of two things will occur, they will stay and listen, or they will leave. If God has called them in this moment, they will listen as you talk of the risen Savior, they will ask questions that come from deep within their very soul, and if you have been blessed by our Lord to be harvester in this hour of their life, (Luke 10:2) you along with all the angels in heaven will rejoice when that person becomes your brother in Christ. You will see a heart takes its first steps from stone to flesh. (Ezek. 36:26)

These, sadly though, are the rare occurrence, the common experiences are just that, much more common, these are they that fear, that have perhaps indeed been led to you by the Holy Spirit, and while they may listen for a short time, their minds will remain blinded, (2nd Cor. 4:4) even after they realize that the one speaking to them is a citizen of heaven sent by God for their sake. Whether from the external forces of our adversary, or because of the hardening of their heart, they listen, but they do not hear, and although it grieves our hearts, it is the common experience, for most of those that you meet and speak the truth of Scripture to will remain lost, for how long only our Lord knows. We must rest in the assurance that we have performed the task of expounding the Word of God to them in a coherent, proper and loving way, not in their response to it, and so this then leads us into the main topic of this letter to you, is it all about feeling better when serving Christ?

Some verses in the Word of God come to mind here on this statement, the first is “The just shall live by faith.” (Heb. 10:38) We have been created by our Lord not only with the capacity of emotions, but the ability to express them, and whether they are pressed upon us by circumstances, the words of others, or from our own thought processes, the vast majority of human beings are controlled by them, their current emotional state rules their lives. Many bury them deep down inside of themselves, unwilling to face them, much less bring them into the light for others to see, but at the other end of the spectrum we have those that wear them on their shoulders, as it were, letting all see every facet of their being, but for the Christian, neither one of these are the correct response, for the just shall live by faith, not feelings.

Although it is true that in these moments when we ponder deeply the incredible love that Christ has for us there rises up within us feelings that are inexpressible with words, tears of joy begin a wellspring of adoration that only the Holy Spirit can express to our Lord for us, much like Romans 8:26. For many believers though, that is where it stops, with their feelings, and the true expression of love is not followed through with, action. Love is an action my brothers and sisters, not only a feeling.

There are those that fully understand Matthew 5:6, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” Speaking for myself here, and hopefully many others, frustration seems to be the dominant emotion with this verse, with righteous anger not far behind it, for to understand this verse is to be able to understand sin and rebellion against the most Holy One and hate it. Notice here that I did not say hate them, but hate it, for we must always be able to see those who are denying Christ, who are in a life of open rebellion and sin against our Lord in their final state, screaming eternally in anguish and hopelessness, burning in an everlasting lake of fire. (Rev. 20:15) It is how our Lord has always worked, we are to have a deep love, an unending love for those that hate Him, and we are to do more than just “feel bad” for them, we are to warn them.

When we read how we are to keep our body under subjection, (1st Cor. 9:27) the implication is not just one of the outer flesh, but of the mind, our emotions must be tempered with wisdom, the believer must not only be spiritually discerning about the desires of their flesh, but about their emotions and how they will react to them. There is an intricate balance that must be strived for, and perhaps even beyond the tongue, (James 3:8) the mind, our thoughts, our emotions must be strained through the Word of God. Many times, how we react to any given situation is in tune with how we feel about that situation, and many have erred in this area.

To “Keep every thought captive for Christ,” (2nd Cor. 10:5) is to be in control of our emotions, to filter them through and compare them with the truths in the Scriptures, to keep them in subjection. This does not mean that we are to bury them within us, to deny them or count them as unnecessary, for we have been blessed with them by our Creator for a reason, but it does mean in a sense that we should engage our minds before we engage our mouths, to think proper thoughts, and to always be conscience that the person that we are speaking to more than likely has not taken these ideas into account within their own life. Besides those physical expressions we use with our body when we are speaking with others, our words are our tools, the inflection, intonation, in every way that they come out of our mouths is how we express ourselves, and thereby our feelings to those we meet. If we do not allow the Holy Spirit to control these, they will control us, our intentions will rarely be clear, our words will not convey the desires that we intended, and our emptions will be the driving force behind all that we say or do. If we try to control them ourselves, what will come out of us, or even reside within us, will not be the things of God, but our own personal response to the situation, and the emotions will spring to the forefront of our minds, and self will control not only the conversation, but us.

The lust of the flesh, (1st John 2:16) is not some abstract, unknown entity, it is us, and the driving force behind it is our emotional state, the will of the current state of the desires of our emotions to be fulfilled. Satan is deceiving many into believing in this age that if it feels good, do it, and not only that, but you should be allowed to do it without judgement or cost. “I will” means “I want,” and any mature believer knows full well that when the ‘I want’ is accomplished only in and for the flesh, the happiness that follows is only temporary, it is shown for what it is,  the worlds cheap imitation of the joy of the Lord. One of the fruits of the Spirt is temperance, self-control, and our emotional state is not to be abandoned in this endeavor.

It is foolishness in the eyes of the world to see submission to our Lord as the path to true happiness, as in inexpressible joy, to know the love that He has for us the only pure expression of emotion. “Show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.” (James 2:18) I m sorry to tell you this, but if you just ‘feel’ like you are saved, and you have no works to show that faith, you are probably not saved. Yes my friends, obeying and being submissive to our Lord and His commandments is the true expression of our emotions, but without our expression of them to others, in check and under control, we will be no more to those that we speak to about the love of Christ than those who only pretend to know Him.

We are to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord, (2nd Peter 3:18) we are to keep our flesh under subjection, and we are to not only  expound His truths to the lost and our brothers and sisters in Christ, but we are to be in control of our faculties at all times, our emotional state, as much as is in us. It is not all about felling better when serving Christ, it is about serving, it is about His glory, His will being done, if you feel good doing that, well, then that is just icing on the cake.

The truth is dogmatic, there is no connotation of either a positive or negative emotion connected to it, this truth is the Word of God, this truth is Jesus Christ our Lord. Our faith should not be a feeling, it should be a fact, but if there is one thing I never want to lose in my life, it is that feeling I get when I realize just how much he loves me.                      

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