God is the creator of feelings.
But, "Feelings make a better caboose than an engine."
(taken from a sermon @ Freedom Fellowship church)
Who Leads-God or My Feelings (Me)?
I often choose to lead with my feelings and allow my worship to follow. My initial feelings when starting something new are fear and doubt. I fear failure. I doubt who I am. I doubt who God is. When fear leads, the sure destination is the bottomless, ugly destination of self. God never intends for fear to lead a work He's predestined. There is no fear in love, He says, and God is love. He Leads. He sees it through, for His name's sake. When God leads, the destination is life. Fresh and Cleansing, Breath-Giving Eternal Life and He receives the glory.
Pulled From an Ash Heap
1 Samuel 2:8 He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap...
When God pulled me out of the ash heap and I accepted this free gift, I was not only accepting salvation, but I was accepting to worship him with all of my life, all of my being. If I truly understand what he has done for me, I will not try and barter with God to see how much of me he receives. I will fall down on my knees and lavish everything I have on Him. My alabaster jar. My two coins. Everything.
Our feelings, words, and actions may show otherwise, but Jesus calls for total devotion. In Matthew He said, "If anyone would come after me, he must take up his cross and follow me." And he said, "Anyone who loves his son or daughter is not worthy of me." And, "whoever finds his life will lose it and whoever loses his life for my sake, will find it."
Paul reminds us that our lives are now hidden with Christ in God. (Col. 3:3) Are you wondering the boundaries of how much of your life God seeks? All of it. Every. Single. Bit of it.
No leftovers. No crumbs. All of it.
God is Unchanging-We Stray
Our hearts are prone to wander. We stray like cats in the night, looking for our next meal. But God. God is unmoved. He is unchanging. He will not be swayed by our fickle feelings or prideful attitudes. At the point of decision-in determining who I will worship-I often want God to move. It's as if I want to stand on my pedestal, feet firmly planted with chin raised high. Oh, how prideful I can be. Oh, how we should praise God for his grace and mercy, his patience and endurance, with his rebellious children.
God Knows We Will Fear
As God told Joshua, He tells us over and over again: Fear Not. Be of courage. This often is not a rebuke but an encouragement. It's as if He beckons to us in grace: Move forward. Go beyond your feelings of fear and doubt. You'll find me, right here, waiting.
Can You Trust Fully Trust God?
For His name sake, Yes. It's not because of anything we can be or do. For His name's sake, He will accomplish all that He desires.
In His grace and mercy, He has shown me the danger of not following Him. Not loving him. Not worshipping Him with everything He has given me. To live without him is death.
You Were Made For This
Ephesians 2:10 says He predestined the good works He's set before me. Whether it be marriage, children, singing, playing guitar, writing, whatever it may be-He has predestined it. I need not fear failure. I will not be perfect in any of these things, but Christ, He is perfect. He will do it for His name's sake, not mine. And the purpose of this work is not my accomplishment of a task. My purpose in the work is to glorify Him. His purpose is to glorify Himself in the work, not me. In glorifying Him, I receive joy. I receive the pleasure of knowing more and more of Who He is. He gives me Himself.
Have you ever wondered why God created you? We were created to glorify Him. In living for God's glory, not my own, I receive my deepest satisfaction, my deepest joy.
I pray that we choose to move past our feelings of fear. That is, fear of man, fear of failure, fear of the unknown, and choose instead to Fear Him, the One True God. To fear this wonderful creator, author, and perfecter of our faith. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Father. Thank you, Holy Spirit. Amen