I used to live life based on my feelings. We all do that at times, and it is one of the biggest mistakes we make.
It’s nothing new – Satan has used our emotions and feelings to try to separate us from the truth of God since the beginning of time.
Think back to the garden. Eve was tempted by the serpent to eat the fruit God told them not to. She was tempted by her feelings. She was the only woman on the face of the whole earth – no one else to compare herself to, no one else to tell her something was wrong with her – it was already a part of her, the way God made her that Satan used against her.
He told her God lied. Satan told her God didn’t want her to eat the fruit because it would make her like God – she would know good from evil. He played on her emotions, got her to doubt, made her question.
Maybe I’m not good enough the way I am – the way God created me. I need to eat that fruit to make me better, wiser.
And of course, we all know the choice she made. Rather than taking God at His word, trusting His plan, believing that He wanted what was best for her, she took the bait. She, for whatever reason feeling she wasn’t good enough the way God made her, chose to eat the fruit so she could be better.
And that same old trick still works on all of us today, thousands of years later because we still struggle with our feelings. And in the world we live in it is easier than ever.
We have millions of people to compare ourselves to, a society that tells us we must look and be a certain way if we want to be successful and happy. We let our feelings drown out God’s truth – what He says about us. And then we wonder why we’re not happy, why nothing is ever good enough, why we have unsuccessful relationships, bad habits, why we live in the same old cycles and patterns.
It’s because we are still making the wrong choice. I’ve done it all my life – listened to my feelings rather than His fact. I never felt good enough about anything, ever – that me, the way I was, the way He made me just wasn’t good enough. Just like he did with Eve, Satan pointed out an area of inadequacy. And like Eve, I had to come up with a way to be better.
I didn’t talk to God first. I didn’t ask Him what He thought, I didn’t read His word, or believe His truth over my feelings. I made the choice to trust my feelings – to believe the lies. As a result I began the hardest struggle of my life. Over a period of months I became bulimic.
I had been a Christian since childhood and knew God’s word, but I never really, truly believed it. That’s why it was so easy for me to fall victim to Satan’s schemes. I believed my feelings more than I believed God’s facts.
But thin never led to fulfillment, exercise never brought me peace, a smaller pants size never gave me joy. Those things only came when I truly believed in Jesus’ love for me, when I treated the spiritual problem the right way – spiritually.
We have to choose how to treat our problems and issues – with society’s standards and pop culture values or with God’s word. We have to stop making physical issues out of the things that are spiritual. We are left empty every time we seek to fulfill internal needs with external resources. Feelings are based on perception, circumstances, current location, and situation. Facts are based on truth and proven history. Feelings are fickle and temporary – they constantly change. Fact is permanent, cannot be changed, is solid and stable.
Living by feelings leads to fear, fighting, fluctuation, frustration, falsehood, famine, failure, and flesh. Living by God’s facts leads to faith, freedom, fortification, fulfillment, focus, forgiveness, fertility, favor, and finish. We have to choose. The decisions we make show where our belief lies. Everything about us shows our faith, indicating what we believe and how we make our choices – by feeling or fact. Choosing to live by feelings tells God we don’t need Him. It says that we trust ourselves more than we trust Him.
Scripture is filled with facts. God cannot lie and is only capable of truth. His fact tells us that He loved us so much He sent His son to die for us, that whoever calls on Him will be saved, that Satan is a liar and is defeated, that He will never leave us or forsake us, that He has cast out every fear, that we can have salvation, forgiveness, provision, strength, peace, hope, power, love, a sound mind, that He has good plans for us – to prosper us and to give us a future and a hope.
You choose what you will believe and how you will act. You are in charge. You don’t have to be ruled by feelings. Read His word and find out what He says about you, write down His promises, fill your head and heart with His words. Then when Satan comes at you using your feelings against you, you can quote Scripture – that’s what Jesus did to defeat him – he has no come back for that – God always has the last word.
It takes commitment and vigilance. You can’t fight if you’re not prepared. It takes daily practice. We have somehow come to believe that struggling means we’re failing, but struggle doesn’t indicate failure – it indicates fight. It shows you’re not giving up or giving in. It reveals your determination and character. It proves that you are willing to war against those forces against you. Choose to live in His fact over your feelings. Don’t fight alone – fight with His armor. He works only for your good when you are committed and fully trust in Him.
(please visit Deidra at her blog, The Middle)