Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Weakest Link

Session 11 of the 40 Day Project

FACT: The sun has risen in the east every morning of my life.
CONCLUSION: The sun will also rise in the east tomorrow morning.

This is a pretty easy assumption to make since we’ve seen it happen all our lives. But other conclusions create more of a conflict between reason and emotion.

FACT 1: A woman who had suffered from 12 years of bleeding had faith in Jesus, and was healed (Matthew 9).
FACT 2: I am sick and have the same faith in Jesus.
CONCLUSION: I will be healed too.

Our minds may agree with this reasoning, but our emotions are likely to come up with numerous excuses why this wonderful conclusion cannot come true:  God isn’t the same as He was 2000 years ago.  You don’t really have the same faith as that woman.  Jesus was physically present back then, but not today.  How do you know your healing is God’s will?  At times, reason and emotions clash, and if we’re not careful, faith and hope often become casualties.

Emotions are not always bad, just as reason is not always good. Reason can make us calculating and cold, while emotions can make us moody and insecure.  Reason without God and His Word as its basis is limited and dangerous, and emotions unchecked by reason are capable of leading us to do the unthinkable.

God, among other things, is an emotional being and made us to have, and enjoy emotions. Motivation, for example, consists largely of feelings, and is a crucial aspect of our lives.  And yet most mornings we don’t feel motivated to get out of bed until our mind gives us several good reasons to just do it. Love is a feeling that we all enjoy, and yet it falls apart when we don’t follow reason and give our spouses what they need, no matter how we feel (tired, upset, hurt, etc).

In order to change our lives, we need to be able to read and identify the source of our emotions. Whenever we see that they are creating a negative mood, are discounting what God has promised or leading us down the wrong path, we need to recognize that the source of those feelings is not from God.  We need to use reason to rein them in and force them to get in line with God. One of the most powerful, successful kings in the Bible, an ancestor of Jesus once said:  “Why am I so depressed?  Why this turmoil within me?  Put your hope in God, for I will still praise Him, my Savior and my God.” (Psalm 42:5)  Here we see his reason reprimanding his emotions, and to put their hope in God.

We can’t always trust our emotions.  Our flesh is linked to our hearts, while our spirit is linked to our minds. Don’t trust emotions to guide you.  Use your mind more than you use your heart. Our hearts are the weakest link in our lives.

How many people get married because they’re in love, and after a year or even six months are ready to give up? Why? Because their emotions changed.  On the other hand – reason does not change!  What is right today, is still right tomorrow, will be right in ten years, and will still be right a thousand years from now. If your marriage is based on reason and truth, it’s possible to be happily married for the rest of your life.

When our hearts want something, they are liable to hijack our minds. It’s as if our hearts put a loaded gun to our heads, and in effect say, “I want this, so come up with an excuse to do it.” Our minds are continually coming up with excuses for why our heart has to have its own way.

If we want to change our lives in the 40DP, faith is essential, which means our reason needs to take precedence over our feelings.  God loves to give us positive emotions, but they happen when faith and truth in His Word generate them first.  Those positive emotions of love, joy, peace, assurance, courage and more, are long-lasting and completely independent of circumstances around us.  One characteristic of people born of God is their ability to smile, laugh and enjoy themselves no matter what is going on around them.  It’s a defiant joy!

On the other hand, worldly emotions are generated by the input of our five senses - sight, hearing, taste touch and smell - and can be easily manipulated by the devil when then become toxic to our faith.  In those cases, our fives senses sabotage our quest to change our lives. The negative becomes highly exaggerated, yet disguised as reality.  All we can hear is bad news… no one supports us… nobody’s ever gotten free from our kind of problem… God never answers our prayers… God asks too much of us, etc.

This is when faith has to become a sixth sense that does not rely on any of the other senses.  With reason that’s based on what we know God has promised us, we decide that we don’t have to see, hear or feel anything because what God says is enough – He WILL come through for us.  Period.

1) Learn to read and identify the source of your emotions, and correct them whenever they derail your faith.
2) Start using your 6th sense with regard to the change you want before the end of the year.

We demolish arguments and every high-minded thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, taking every thought captive to obey Christ.  2 Corinthians 10:4-5

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is very true and very important, as we know the heart does't think but the mind does. God speaks to the mind not to the heart for the heart cannot think.