Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Religious Affections?!?

Emotions are powerful and dangerous things! This is especially true when the emotions pertain to our love for and devotion to God. Throughout my years as a Christian I have try to stay away from the emotional side of my relationship with God. Emotions can't be trusted. I have seen them fail me far to many times. I could be watching a video about foreign missions and hear of the suffering occurring in that country, or I hear a poignant song at an opportune time and these things set my heart aflame, only to be quenched back to ambers the next morning when "life" starts back. The emotions never last. But I am currently learning that they are very necessary.

God is dealing with me on some major issues and fanning the flame of my heart in some very real ways. Not in the ways of the stirring song or touching video, but in a way where my emotions are linked directly to my relationship with my God. This very different experience for me. I can relate to and deal with the fair-weather emotions that rise and fall with my circumstances and situations, because I know that they don't last. But, with this new work of God, I am finding my TRUE joy, happiness, hope, sadness, and grief in Christ alone. This, I'm having a hard time getting used to and wrapping my head around. Before the flippant emotions called for no "real" change for the sake of the gospel. The moving video would cause me to desire for a day or so to go to the unreached people or to give abundantly to the work of missions, but the feeling would burn out. This was very frustrating to me, because these things are the desire of God and therefore must be my desire as well. I just couldn't muster up or sustain the feeling. The fact though is that emotions should play a very real part of our relationship with God. I believe that every jot and tittle of the Bible is true and meant for a purpose in our lives. Therefore, when Jesus declared that, "true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth," he was showing us that our emotions should be included in our faith in Him. But, it also shows us that our emotions are not to be running on their on. They must be coupled and founded on truth, the Bible. This has been the difference in these current emotions felt for God and His word. They have not come by some video or song, but by seeing Jesus in my time with Him. I have not been studying the word to gain knowledge about HIm, which we should do, but that's another post, but studying to see HIm, to know Him. These times of seeing Jesus has transformed into a continual communing with the Him. When my mind is not engaged in some task with work or daily life, it is finding it's way back to Him. I thank God for this work he is doing in my heart, and at the time it scares me. I was comfortable with the way my relationship with God was going, not very happy, but comfortable. I am now finding great joy in a life of uncomfortableness.

So, even though emotions are dangerous, they are important. I just have to remember to filter them with God's word. And better yet, I must seek the emotions that are found in a life focused on Him, His word and His purposes, not trying to live off the fast burning flames that is ignited by a video or song.

Note: This is not the way I originally thought this post would come out. I had plan to write more about the issue of the disconnection of our emotions (spirit) and doctrine (truth) and why they must go together. But, as I have been muling this post around for the last few weeks, I could not really bring together what God is currently doing in my life. I guess He brought it together for me. :) May God use this for His glory and our good.

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