Reading Oswald Chambers this morning, I am put in check by his comment: “We should struggle through our moods, feelings, and emotions into absolute devotion to the Lord Jesus.” Yet, how often I allow my emotions to rule me.
Perhaps it is a human condition but we often put emotion over sense—even over the Word. Emotions are not intrinsically bad, or good. They just are. In reading C.S. Lewis, emotions are helpful for telling us about the inner condition we’re so adept at ignoring. It works that way with pain. It’s there to tell us something. So, the lesson is not to ignore emotions.
Don’t let emotions control, either.
Thinking back, when I act on emotion, it’s often to indulge my flesh not at the benefit of my spirit. Over time, I’ve learned to acknowledge the emotion but not let it rule me or my decision. The bottom line with every Christian is the Word. No matter what I feel, I need to stand on the Word as the basis of my decision-making. It is infallible. Emotions are not.
Fear. That’s a big one. As I continue on in my ministry, I am surprised by how many Christians operate on a base of fear. Fear taints or rules every serious decision they make. We will not say the hard pieces of the Gospel. We will not confront sin. We continue to hide behind the door of “telling the truth in love,” so that we do not have to take a stand for the Gospel. That word (love) is so distorted in our culture today, it no longer has meaning.
Fear. We do not war against flesh and blood. Haven’t we figured that out, yet? The second fear rears its ugly head, we should rejoice because we’re on the right track! Fear is there to dissuade us, deter us. Its very presence is a testament to the fact that we’re making headway into Satan’s turf. Yet, it is at this moment that Christians often back off.
I’ve heard all the excuses.
Here are some: I don’t want to be seen as mean. I don’t want to come across as rigid, intolerant, and harsh. I don’t want to judge people. There is a key term here: I DON’T WANT TO. That’s the crux of it. That is the reality, but we're very cleaver at Christianese and Christian babble that make us sound like we're living holy. Christians in America are growing increasingly ineffective, impotent, and useless. We're growing more worldly by the hour.
I say this to our shame.
How sad it must make Jesus, who died such a public, degrading death so that we could inherit eternal riches. How do we show our thankfulness? Cowering in corners while our society glorifies its pet sins: Homosexuality, Abortion, Rebellion, and Rampant Spending.
Wake up, folks!
We’re in a war and the booty is not nations and lands. The results are as real and as permanent as it gets. But, do you really believe that? Someone said: Live like God exists. That’s powerful. Do we live like God exists? Examine every behavior, every thought, and every motive. Do these demonstrate that you know that God is listening, watching? It is a sad day when we've got to clean up the weak and ineffective Christians before we can get to the business of God’s kingdom-building.
My encouragement? Get up, ask forgiveness for your lethargy, and get moving for God. It’s that simple.