Focus On Your Faith, Not Your Feelings

Ramblings on Faith
Sense of Touch/Feel
10.5.09

Last week I started a conversation about how important it is in my faith life to master my emotions. It is one of the struggles of my life and if you have read a handful of my articles then you will notice how I tend to talk about it a lot. It’s just one of the unique ways God created me and so I try to embrace that part of myself instead of ignore or despise it. It is part of my “personal therapy” to myself. I have observed in life that many people tend to become experts in areas where they have the greatest challenges. This can be a great thing as long as it does not become my primary focus.
Emotional vulnerability can come from any of our senses: what we see, what we smell, what we touch, what we taste or what we hear. Any of our senses can be faith killers if we let them. Today I want you to think about what you feel. If we aren’t careful we will begin to get into our feelings more than our faith and what we feel can be a real enemy of our faith.
There is a story in the Old Testament about a guy named Isaac and how he was on his deathbed and he had gone blind. The scripture said that his son Jacob came in and wanted to deceive his father, so he took goat hair and put it on his arms so his father would think it was really his hairy brother Esau. Jacob walked into his blind father’s bedroom to try and steal his brother’s birthright. Jacob said: “Who is it?” And he said, “It’s me, Dad. It’s your oldest son Esau, who you’re supposed to give the blessing to.” And the scripture said the old man reached up and started feeling his arm because he knew his oldest boy, Esau, was a hairy man (I hope I am not remembered in perpetuity by how hairy I am).
He said, “You sound like Jacob, but you feel like Esau.” And he decided to go on his feelings instead of what he was hearing, and he gave the blessing to the wrong son. My point is simply this, if we go by what we feel instead of what we hear from God’s Word, we will miss the mark. We’ve got to get to the place that we get beyond our feelings. Your fickle feelings can mess you up.
Sometimes in church you get your feelings hurt. Sometimes in life you get your feelings hurt. Sometimes in marriage you will get your feelings hurt, but we’ve got to learn how to subdue our feelings. We’ve got to put our foot on the neck of our feelings and say, “I can’t let my feelings stop me. I didn’t get my way but I am not going quit.” “I’m not going to let my feelings get so hurt that I’m going to stop working for the kingdom.” I’m not going to stop being productive in life, on my job or in my marriage. I am not making healthy choices in my life to please a person or a job or a family member or a church, I’m working for Jesus.” We’ve got to get victory over our feelings.
Most of you probably have read or heard the story of Noah’s Ark. Consider the fact that Noah’s Ark had all the animals on it and many of those animals were natural predators of one another. Notice that the scriptures don’t talk about one fight breaking out on that Ark. Let me suggest to you an answer: because all those animals understood there’s only one boat in this storm. There’s only one boat and we’re in it. We can’t afford to be fighting against the one boat we have. And you can just imagine the last command that God gives Noah before He shuts the door: “Keep the woodpeckers above the water line.” Why? Because every church, every business, every family has a few woodpeckers that will get below the water line and get to pecking away and sink the whole thing, because they got their feelings hurt.
We can’t allow our feelings to stop us from doing what God has called us to do. And if you’ve had your feelings hurt: what they said, he said, she said, they hurt my feelings. Oh well, get over it! You have to put your foot on the neck of those feelings and say, “You know what? I’m going to go on anyhow.” If you don’t, you’re going to live a life of defeat. Don’t be deceived out of your blessing. Focus on your faith and not on your feelings. They are important, but they are also fickle. God will not fail you. His Word will always be true. You can count on that!

About admin

I am currently serving as the Associate Minister at a Church in Earlham, Iowa, population about 1300. There are probably another 1300 folks who live outside the “city limits.” I am married to my lovely wife Heather. We moved from Mesa, AZ in January 2006. We have a dog (Sammy) and a cat (Daphne). We also have a 92 year old house the sucks the life out of me (Rex), and costs a whole lot of money to upgrade, and is generally a pain in my butt…but I am not bitter. So far I have set my arm on fire, broken my wrist, broken my toe, got tendonitis in my foot, fell out of the bucket of skid loader, captured and “removed” 13 bats from my attic, been to the chiropractor dozens of times and have more doctors on my payroll than I care to admit. I am not very handy! Iowa has been so life-changing for me, but I love the pace of life, pace of ministry and the quality of people. I went to college at Atlanta Christian College near Atlanta, GA where I recieved a Bachelors Degree in Christian Ministry/Preaching. I went to Seminary at Emmanuel School of Religion in Johnson City, TN., where I recieved a Master of Divinity degree with a specialization in Christian Care and Counseling. In addition, I have 2800 hours of post-graduate training as a Chaplain specializing in Crisis Care. I have served Churches in GA, KY, NC, AZ and now Iowa. I have also served as a Chaplain at hospitals in AL and AZ in addition to serving as a Corporate Chaplain with several companies in the metro Phoenix area for a short time. I was also blessed with the opportunity to serve as a Chaplain at the in-field hospital at a NASCAR race in Talladega, AL (once) and as a Chaplain to the Mesa Miners professional baseball team (six weeks). Rex L. Stancil Associate Minister Earlham Church of Christ www.earlhamchurch.org pastorex@gmail.com 515.867.8559 mobile 515.758.2020 home 515.758.2787 office
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