Feelings— they are so fleeting. They are so unreliable. They are a major source for the devil to come right in and take over your life.
I still fall for it a lot. Things are going ok, and it seems like the Spirit is in control—– and then someone disrespects me, someone cuts me off while driving, or the dentist tells me how I should raise my child, or my husband agrees with the rude dentist—— and then feelings happen. Immediately.
Or how about when:
- your boss is driving you nuts
- your kids are driving you nuts—on purpose
- your washing machine breaks
- no one is helping you raise your kid
- the school keeps calling because your kid is getting in trouble
- you don’t get enough sleep
- you don’t get the time with God that you need
But the greatest risk of all is when you believe the lies in your own mind that are sent straight from the devil about your self, marriage, life, etc. This stirs up our emotions in a way that gives place to the devil when we act on them!
ARE YOU ABIDING IN YOUR FEELINGS OR IN CHRIST?
God calls us to abide in Christ—not in our own feelings! When we abide in our own feelings, we are the one who is tossed to and fro—- doubleminded—- we are walking in something that is unreliable! It can change depending on what is happening, and that is shaky ground! We are to be rooted in CHRIST—abiding in HIM—- which means that we do not react, decide, or think according to anything other than what the LORD will have us to do, say, think. That is a major difference.
In the heat of an argument, someone crossing you, or something happening that is out of our control—– and our emotions rise up——what can we honestly do to neutralize those feelings that are about to take over????
In my life, the only thing that I have seen actually work to neutralize my own emotions in any given situation is gaining control of my MIND and THOUGHTS in that moment and remembering the truth! And not running after my emotions. Once you give power to your feelings in the heat of it all, they will start running and you will not be able to stop once it gains control of you! It is SCARY!
- When my child is not listening and anger/rage start welling up in my heart—–I have learned to STOP, think about the fact that he is a child and I am not, and that the ENEMY is trying to get me to act OUT OF MY OWN SOUL, and then I am able to not let that anger/rage bubble up at ALL, and instead, I find calmness and the strength to handle that situation in the right way. This took purposeful practice in handling things right because it is really easy to forget in that moment!
- When my husband has slighted me or crossed me in some way and bitterness/anger/resentment start welling up in my heart—–I have learned to STOP, think about the fact that the enemy wants us to be divided, and that I can’t control how my husband acts or reacts in his life.
- When a stranger cuts me off on the road, I find it very difficult to not honk the horn at them in a momemt of pure rage—— I’m still working on this one 🙂
Where do negative feelings lead when we let them take over?
- regretful actions
What is the source of these negative feelings usually?
- our own mind/thoughts
- personal interests not being met
- expectations not being met
- desire for control not being met
Does anyone know how much power our own minds/thoughts really have?
It is really amazing how much power is in the mind. We can literally control how we feel if we control our own thoughts! But this takes a lot of hard work and I’m not sure it can even be mastered completely! I’m not there yet—not even close! But overcoming starts in the mind.
When we don’t allow the Spirit of God to control our minds/thoughts—- and we don’t purposefully watch our thoughts—- the enemy can sneak in unawares and totally wreck havoc in our life.
You may not even realize it, but the enemy will start suggesting things about your life, husband, child, etc. and you might not even question it because it seems to be true because it might match the actions/situation perfectly. So you start minding these thoughts, and then before you know it, your feelings are rising up in you and you have allowed the enemy to construct in your mind and feelings some argument that is meant to divide you and your family or create a situation in life that otherwise would have been avoided. If you continue on in these feelings, it will most likely lead to strife, bitterness, or anger about the person or situation—– yet it is all a lie!!!!
THE CROSS IS THE ANSWER TO THAT
At this point, we must recall that when Jesus Christ is Lord of our lives—- He is Lord of ALL THINGS, including our thoughts/feelings. When we give Him His rightful place in us—- He will keep us abiding in Him—– so that when anything arises—- we will be able to defer to Him FIRST—- and not our own feelings/reasonings/desires in any given situation.
I have to ask myself, who or what am I abiding in?
If it is:
- my own feelings
- my own thoughts
- my own desires
- my own reasonings
- worldly wisdom
- someone else’s thoughts/desires
- religious tradition
- self-imposed standards
then I need to turn from that and abide in CHRIST ALONE!