Putting a Stop to Life-Destroying Emotional Bondage

by | Sep 16, 2017 | Women

Many Christians wake up to their day facing significant trials and overwhelming responsibilities. In all honesty, there are moments when they do not feel like handling these challenges. The difference between spiritual excellence and mediocrity is what they do with these very real and natural emotions.

Years ago, I read a story in the book The Disciplined Life by Richard Shelly Taylor. It told the account of a student who came to class without completing the assignment for the day. When asked why he did not finish his work, the student replied, “I just didn’t feel like it.” 

In response, the teacher stood up behind his desk, pointed his finger at the student and angrily scolded him, “Did it occur to you, young man, that the world is run by people who ‘don’t feel like it’?”

I’ve heard it said that we should “act our way into feeling rather than feel our way into acting.” That’s good wisdom. Yet, many believers falter under the press of negative and difficult feelings. This reality robs them of resolve and stymies their personal productivity.

God-Given Feelings

Of course, emotions are part of God’s design for us. After His image, the triune God made us to be both rational and emotional. Our all-wise God also exhibits the emotions of joy, sorrow, grief, anger and compassion, just to name a few. Emotions can enhance our relationships, our enjoyment of special events and our savoring of the daily journey. They can also have the opposite effect. In fact, emotions make better servants than masters. They are designed to decorate our lives with color and celebration, but not to drive us into complacency and consternation.

The Spirit and Emotions

Given the emotional battles we all face from time to time, we need a fresh surrender to the consistency and ascendancy of the Holy Spirit. Without the Spirit’s regulation and rule, any believer can potentially be overcome by negative and counterproductive feelings.

Spiritual Discipline to Steer Our Emotional Compulsions

Galatians 5:22-23 reminds us the fruit of the Spirit is self-control. When young Timothy’s fears were hindering his spiritual fruitfulness, his seasoned spiritual father, Paul, challenged him with these words: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and love, and self-control” (2 Tim. 1:7). This “sound mind” is also translated to mean “self-discipline.” Discipline results in regulating one’s conduct by principle rather than impulse, emotion or convenience. When emotion yells that we “don’t feel like it,” the Spirit can intervene with a fresh dedication to the principles of maturity, responsibility, servanthood and supernatural power.

Spiritual Desire to Spark Our Emotional Choices

It is not uncommon to feel stuck in the emotional mud of apathy or despondency. It is in those moments that we need the supernatural desire and energy available to us by the Holy Spirit. Philippians 2:13 tells us, “For God is the One working in you, both to will and to do His good pleasure.” Rather than pleasing ourselves in compliance to convenient feelings, we can surrender to the good and Christ-honoring power of the indwelling motivation and power readily available through the Spirit.

In 1 Thessalonians 5:23 Paul prayed, “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” The faithful presence of God in us, by the Holy Spirit, moves us beyond self-absorbed feelings to produce comprehensive consecration that makes us more like Jesus. The Savior who battled with deep emotion in the Garden of Gethsemane as He faced the brutality of the cross works in us to produce sacrificial and sanctifying choices that serve others and advance His purposes.

Spiritual Determination to Sustain Our Emotional Commitment

Still, the road is long, the days difficult and the choices continual in our journey of discipleship. Our need for the Spirit’s help in our emotional self-management is constant—from salvation until the day we step into eternity. That’s why we need the truth of Hebrews 12:2 for every decision, day and decade of life. The Scriptures say that emotional perseverance is found when we “look to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” When we “don’t feel like it” we have the assurance that “The Finisher” lives in us to empower us with an unleashing of divine joy that can counteract our lethargy.

Faith That Strengthens Feelings

The issue is not whether the Holy Spirit can give us emotional discipline, desire and determination. Rather, it is a question of whether we will have the faith in the Spirit’s sufficiency to surrender and trust His empowerment. The hymn writer reminds us, “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in—to trust and obey.” This commitment is vital, especially when we “don’t feel like it.”

Reprinted with permission from Strategic Renewal. Copyright ©2017 Daniel Henderson. All rights reserved.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Are You Being Trapped by This Wily Scheme of the Enemy?

Are You Being Trapped by This Wily Scheme of the Enemy?

A predator ensnares his prey with a trap meant to weaken and disarm the life so easily enticed by the bait set before it. Once the predator catches his prey, his goal is to steal, kill and destroy. Do you know this is exactly what the enemy is trying to do to you...

3 Things God Can’t Do

3 Things God Can’t Do

 Most people will be surprised and may even gasp at that statement. You mean there are some things God can't do? Yes, it’s true. He can do anything except for these three things. {eoa} Bill and Annette Wiese founded Soul Choice Ministries in 2000 for the purpose of...

What Is the Difference Between Revelation and Understanding?

What Is the Difference Between Revelation and Understanding?

“I got a word from the Lord, but I don’t understand it.” “I’m feeling called in this direction, but I’m waiting for full understanding before I act on it.” These and statements like them are common during that all-too-familiar waiting time between a word being given...

Prophecy: A Prophetic Insight Into the Roe v. Wade Reversal

Prophecy: A Prophetic Insight Into the Roe v. Wade Reversal

The halls of heaven are rejoicing in the victory for life. The grief our Lord knows over the death of millions of babies in the name of secular humanism, the beast of Revelation 13, has been tempered by our Supreme Court's decision to send the future of abortion back...

Kingdom Economics: When Things Don’t Go as Expected

Kingdom Economics: When Things Don’t Go as Expected

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022. Before the invasion, many—probably most—Western analysts expected the war to last from a few days to a few weeks due to Russia’s vastly superior military might. However, the Ukrainians surprised everyone. Due to the bravery...

Why There is Power in Your Song

Why There is Power in Your Song

Do you have a great voice? If so, then sing! Do you have a horrible voice? If so, then sing! There is power in the song. God gave you your vocal cords, voice and ability to sing. There has never been a culture in which music was not part of society. We see music...

RECENT ARTICLES

How Would an Encounter in Heaven Transform Your Life?

Have you ever wondered what heaven was like? What does a person see and experience when they are in heaven? Is the arrival in immediate when a believer dies? These are great questions and ones that...
Prophet: Learning to Listen With Discernment

Prophet: Learning to Listen With Discernment

Learning to listen with discernment means that you begin to recognize the voice of God so well that other voices sound unfamiliar. In John 10:5a, Jesus told his followers, "Yet they will never follow a stranger." This statement needs to become a reality in your life....

5 Stages of Building a Successful Team

5 Stages of Building a Successful Team

The definition and purpose of leadership are directly tied to organizational models and the five stages of building an organizational model. Let’s talk about those five stages. What we say here may sound somewhat like what you may have heard before about building a...

Spirit-Filled Pastor: Can I Ask God for Confirmation?

Spirit-Filled Pastor: Can I Ask God for Confirmation?

There are many incidents of God giving people a sign throughout the Bible. Although I believe God still does this, I also believe that we must be careful. Asking for a sign can be misleading if other factors are not taken into consideration. In Genesis, we find an...

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]