Prophetic Insight, from Charisma Media

Want to receive Prophetic Insight by email? Sign up here
r-loren-sandford

We live in a time when most people in our culture don't think. Instead, they “feel,” and they believe that what they feel is truth. Most of what we see on television (both news and entertainment) and read in magazines, on blogs and in books is crafted to generate an emotional response and, in feeling it, to accept the feeling as truth. Critical thinking—objectively identifying what is right and differentiating that from mere visceral, emotional responses—is simply bypassed. This affects moral judgment, leaving us susceptible to moral compromise when such compromise "feels" right to us as a result of the constant conditioning we've experienced or when it promises some kind of reward. 

This idolatry of emotions renders us vulnerable to believing any lie we're told, as long as the liar can make us feel something, be it excitement, anger, outrage, self-importance or even love. In the political world, for instance, the party that can best inspire emotion in the electorate prevails, regardless of the logic of the issues (or lack of it). In the church, morals and standards of righteousness have fallen into a wholesale state of deterioration because the idolatry of feelings tells us that what feels right is right, regardless of the clear teaching of God’s Word. 

The surrounding culture exerts relentless pressure, reaching into and subtly conditioning our doctrines, practices and sense of righteousness when the opposite should be true. We should be influencing the culture as leaven of the kingdom of God.

The result of this cultural influence and its idolization of feelings has been the inevitable shipwreck of so many lives and ministries that we now have diminished moral credibility in the eyes of the world we seek to impact. The culture tells us there are no moral absolutes and that whatever you choose to believe is your own truth if it “works for you.” Thus, too much of the Christian world has adopted a standard based not on an eternal plumb line but on our own shifting moods and feelings. 

In a recent discussion regarding a significant cultural shift now underway that flies in the face of a clear biblical, moral prohibition, someone asked my son and co-pastor, “Why can’t we just go with the culture?” My son gave a brilliant reply: “That was what got 6 million Jews exterminated in World War II.” In the absence of the absolute law of God embedded in Scripture, what the mass of people felt when the media of the day manipulated their emotions came to be accepted as truth. When societies divorce themselves from the standard of God’s Word, destruction inevitably follows.

Godly reasoning identifies the right and calls on feelings to follow after. Feelings are a good thing, a gift of God, but only when brought under the discipline of God’s eternal Word, every line of which is God-breathed love designed to ensure that we live well and avoid unnecessary suffering. 

The prophet cried, "The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?" (Jer. 17:9, NASB). How then should we function? The apostle Paul knew the truth: “For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:16).

I would suggest that God gave us emotions to enjoy and to alert us to pleasures, dangers and the condition of our inner man—not for the purpose of making decisions. For decision-making, He gave us the capacity to reason in order that we might objectively identify the right thing to do on the basis of God’s Word and then discipline the heart to follow after. Under discipline, the heart follows the direction set by a redeemed mind. Left to themselves, emotions generate delusion. Will we think with our feelings or with a Holy Spirit–inspired capacity to reason?

In short, in these crucial days God calls us to reject the emotional idolatry of the culture around us, to return to the plumb line of the Scriptures—to an accurate understanding of them—and to see in them the imprint of the Father’s heart, His love and His blessing. “'Come now, and let us reason together,’ says the Lord” (Is. 1:18).

This is not the spirit of religion, nor is this legalism. Revealed in every line of Scripture is the selflessness of the cross, the love of the Father and the way to live well, in wholeness and in peace. It is the gift of grace by the Holy Spirit, and it works.

Let us be the light shining in the darkness that Jesus calls us to be. Let us be a people who gather in and heal those damaged by the delusions of the world. Let’s enjoy our emotions, and let's treasure what they bring us. But, unlike the culture around us, let us not make decisions by them to the detriment of our lives and our faith.

R. Loren Sandford is the founder and senior pastor of New Song Church and Ministries in Denver. He is a songwriter, recording artist and worship leader, as well as the author of several books, including Understanding Prophetic PeopleThe Prophetic Church and his latest, Visions of the Coming Days: What to Look for and How to Prepare, which are available with other resources at the church's website.

Best Magazine Deal. Subscribe now and get 3 magazines for the price of 1. Get Charisma, SpiritLed Woman and Ministry Today, all for $24. YES - I want this deal!

3 Reasons Why you should read Life in the Spirit. 1) Get to know the Holy Spirit. 2) Learn to enter God's presence 3) Hear God's voice clearly! Click Here to draw closer to God!

Did you enjoy this blog? Click here to receive it by email.

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
View/Add Comments
  • Pastor Jim Garlow in a file photo shown praying.

    Conservative Christian Leaders Gather in DC, Calling Trump's Election an Answer to Prayer

    "Although the news media is predicting protests, what I'm seeing is that everyone is abuzz ...

  • Donald Trump certainly needs your prayers.

    Why You Must Pray for Donald Trump

    Here are eight ways I plan to intercede for President Trump regularly.

  • Inner Healing Is the Fruit of the Spirit

    Inner Healing Is the Fruit of the Spirit

    I have been puzzled about the subject of inner healing for some time.

  • Here's a prophetic word for Washington, D.C.

    Prophecy: The Lord Is Raising Up Daniels in DC

    I believe we're on the precipice of a Third Great Awakening the Lord spoke to my heart about in ...

  • 2017 is the year that swords will clash.

    Prophetic Word: 2017 Will Bring a Clashing of Heaven and Hell

    "This is a time to cross over and not pull back."

  • Bishop Eddie Long died at 63.

    Bishop Eddie Long Dead at 63

    "Although his transition leaves a void for those of us who loved him dearly, we can celebrate ...

  • Roadblock

    6 Roadblocks That Will Stop Your Spiritual Growth

    God wants you to grow in your faith, but many of us get stuck along the way.

  • The devil will try to silence you in any way he can. Don't give him the satisfaction.

    Satan's 2 Most Potent Lies to Render You Ineffective

    There's something in you so powerful that Satan doesn't want it out. Kyle Winkler reveals ...

  • Watch for these danger signals for choosing poorly.

    4 Signs You're Making a Bad Decision

    Avoid distraction and disappointment by testing your choices with these 4 principles.

  • Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Follow God on the most fulfilling journey of your life with Encounter the Holy Spirit! Break away from past hurts and press into the One who wants a personal encounter with you.

  • Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Reach your full potential and be led by His Spirit. In His Presence takes you to a deeper understanding of who God is and how he communicates with us.

  • Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Receive the power and gifts that come through the Holy Spirit Baptism. Don’t go empty-handed; accept all that He has for you! His power is available to those who ask.

  • Put on the Full Armor of God

    Put on the Full Armor of God

    Break every stronghold with the power of the Holy Spirit. Use the power of your tongue to declare and decree the Word of God. Witness heaven move on your behalf.

Use Desktop Layout
Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit