The Only Thing of Value

"The only thing of value you have to share with anyone else is what I have done for you."

Who controls your life? God

Bob We live by faith, not by sight ( 2 Cor 5:7 NIV)

Living by Feelings - In the beginning, God created man with will, reason, and emotions. He meant for them to be operative in that order, with "Will" as the primary faculty. This is why God always directs His commands to our will - never to our emotions or reason. And this is why God honors the decisions of our will, even when our emotions or reason are not fully in accord. But the Fall of Man threw everything into disorder. "Emotions" ended up leading the pack and "Will" trailed far behind in last place. Fortunately, we don't have to stay in this disordered condition. Once we are saved, we have the opportunity to restore our faculties to their proper working order. Yet the majority of Christians continue to live by their feelings, just like they did before they were saved. In fact, some are even proud of it! The world unashamedly proclaims

If it feels good, do it.
How can a love like ours be wrong when it feels so right?
Why forgive when I have a right to be angry?
I have a right to be happy.
Why stay in a marriage when I'm no longer in love?

Therein lies the shipwreck of many families, marriages, and lives. Our emotions clamor for gratification, regardless of the consequences. Christian author Catherine Marshall observes, “Feelings are at the bottom of most of our Christian difficulties. Our emotions are painfully misleading, and at best we have imperfect control over them." The basic purpose of the highly successful ‘Marriage Encounter’ program is to help couples realize that love is a decision, not a feeling. Similarly, pastors continually remind their congregation that salvation is a decision, not a feeling.

Living by Faith - Hannah Whiteall Smith likens the tension between our will vs. our emotions to a mother with a house full of young children. The fun-loving children would like to eat candy for all three meals, sleep late every morning, play all the time, and leave all the chores for mother to do. Although she loves them, no wise mother will allow her children to control the affairs of her household. Neither will any wise Christian allow their emotions to control the affairs of their life. God specifically warns us against living by our emotions (living by sight), because He knows that sooner or later, they will lead us astray. For our own good, He commands us to live by faith, obedient to the truth of His Word and the leading of the Holy Spirit. Practically speaking, this means that there will be times when each of us must counsel his heart with the truth of God’s Word . . . refusing to follow thoughts and desires that are contrary to God's will. Only Christians have the ability to make such "contrary decisions." But not all are willing to do so.

She lives by her feelings. She lives by her thoughts. What she thinks is her strength is precisely what the enemy turns around and uses against her, to deceive her. You must NOT live like that!

Learn to Say "No!" - We tend to believe our emotions because they are powerful and persuasive. How can they be wrong when they "feel" so right? But we are a fallen race, and oft times our emotions are not Godly. Therefore, our Christian walk will never rise above mediocrity until we develop the ability to say "No!" to our emotions when warranted. If you have the Holy Spirit, you have what it takes. Even the unsaved world (in sports, business, the military, etc.) understands the necessity of living out of the "Will" - not out of changeable moods, feelings, or circumstances. Should the children of darkness be wiser than the children of light? What freedom when we take charge of our emotions, instead of allowing them to take charge of us!