Our town is going through several street repairs of late. On one section there has been a flagman waving people along. He had a red flag and held it up to get people to pay attention to him. I realized while watching him that the red flag was an indication of what was going on. It was a clear picture of a spiritual truth we can look at today.
Like the red flags, I recognized that our feelings command us to notice them. They are so ‘in your face’ that we really can’t ignore them. I believe they are a God-given gift to our souls.
Feelings themselves are neither good nor bad, right nor wrong. They just ARE. However, their existence has a purpose. Without them, life would be extremely boring and static.
God knew before He ever created us that we would have feelings. They are never a surprise to Him. In fact, I believe they are one of the many ways we, as humankind, can identify with our Maker.
It may surprise you, but God has feelings as widely ranging as we do. In Genesis 6:6 it says, “The Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.”
In this verse, we glimpse the deepest sadness of a Holy God. Now read Psalm 105:43, “And He brought forth His people with joy, His chosen ones with a joyful shout.” Those two extremes show us the range of emotions God has. They are only two examples of God’s feelings being expressed. There are many more.
The point is, we must not forget that God has feelings and can identify with us on a deeply intimate level. I haven’t even mentioned the emotions Jesus experienced while He was on the earth. The difference with Jesus was that He never simply followed His feelings, but always surrendered and submitted them to His Father.
Feelings, then, should be seen as indicators, not only of our humanity, but of our being created in God’s image. They should not be frowned upon, squelched, ignored, or feared. They should be expressed, but in a godly way. They are what I call ‘Red Flags of the Soul.’
Just like physical pain or adrenaline is to the body, feelings indicate to the soul that something is out of the ordinary. It may be something wonderful, something horrible, or anywhere in between. If you will take the time to examine what your feelings are, I believe you’ll be able to learn to deal with them in godly ways.
First, identify your feelings, and then draw near to your Heavenly Father and share the feelings with Him. Ask Him to show you what the feelings indicate. Then ask Him to bring your feelings into line with His truth in the Word.
Galatians 5:17 says, “For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature.” Verse 24 goes on to say, “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.”
What this means to me is that Feelings are not GOD. Many people seem to treat them as if they are. I know I used to act as if they were. Sadly, even Christians often allow themselves to be mastered by them.
Instead, I encourage you to train yourself to identify them, bring them to the Lord, and submit them to the truth. I believe this is what Jesus meant when He prayed before His crucifixion, “Sanctify them by the truth, Your word is truth.” John 17:17.
In other words, the more you can submit your feelings to God and have them line up with Scripture, the more godly you will become.
If you will practice becoming aware of what you are feeling instead of allowing yourself to be overwhelmed by feelings, you’ll be on your way to dealing with them in a healthy manner.
If you will allow Jesus, our Intercessor and High Priest, to wash them with the purity of His word, then you won’t run the risk of being overwhelmed by them. When we allow our feelings to determine our behavior instead of the Holy Spirit, then we are actually walking by the flesh and not the Spirit.
When you examine your feelings and bring them before the Lord and the truth of His word, I believe you’ll discover a greater intimacy with Him.
Don’t be afraid to share each feeling intimately with God. Allow Him to soothe, comfort, encourage and correct you.
My prayer for you today is that you will get into the habit of bringing every feeling to Him and lay them at His feet. This is the reality of what it means to surrender.
God didn’t give you feelings so you’d be overwhelmed and incapable of functioning. No, He gave you feelings so you could fully experience this amazing abundant life and so you would learn to share every tiny detail with your beloved Savior.
The more you practice this intimacy, the sooner you’ll find yourself dependent on Him and soon you’ll be walking fully in the Spirit and not be mastered any longer by the bright red flags of the soul.
Hebrews 4:15 “For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.”
Always in Jesus,
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