We live in a culture that revolves around feelings and emotions. The popular interview question of the day is ‘how did that make you feel?’ It is as if our feelings have become more important than the revealed truth of God’s Word. “Follow your heart,” is a frequent admonition. And yet, Jesus said: “A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.” How do you know if your heart is in tune with the purpose of God? “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man.”
Much ministry is aimed at stirring emotions or feelings. In a similar fashion, much advertising does the same. The goal is to make you ‘feel’ successful, encouraged, accepted and smart. (Am I talking about ministry or advertising?). Some teach us to be led by our feelings. It is assumed that feelings can never be wrong.
Feelings are certainly real in the sense that they exist, but can they always be trusted? Should we only do good when we feel like it? Should we only give when we ‘feel led.’ To what extent should our feelings govern our lives? Have we become so self-centered that we view any exhortation to sacrifice or go the extra mile as legalism? What about laying down our lives for others? Is that a feeling or an act of faith in spite of feelings?
Kenneth Hagin writes: “If our faith is based upon feelings, then we are just using a natural human faith. We cannot get spiritual results with natural human faith. We have to use scriptural faith, Bible faith, believing in God’s Word. If our faith is based upon the Word of God, then we believe the Word regardless of evidences that would satisfy our physical senses.”
Consider Abraham. “And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah's womb: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God.”
Faith trumped his feelings. The promise of God was more certain than circumstances and emotions. Even though years passed by, Abraham did not stagger. No doubt many feelings came and went, but Abraham was strong in faith.
Being strong in faith will often contradict our feelings. We must learn to stand on the Word. Let your feelings follow your faith, not lead it.