You don’t have to arrange your life around what’s unreliable
There are some people in this world who are extremely reliable. You can count on them for just about anything, and somehow they’re always dependable. However, I’ve found that many people are not very reliable.
Maybe you know someone who is a nice person, but if you ask him to do something, you’re just not sure if he’s going to follow through. In other words, he’s unreliable. I’ve discovered that feelings are a lot like unreliable people—we can’t depend on them to be what we want or need them to be all the time. Not only that, they aren’t necessarily interested in what’s best for us. And they always want to have their way.
Feelings get us excited about going shopping when we really don’t have any money to spend. They’ll entice us to eat cheesecake when we’re trying to avoid extra calories, and lead us to stay up late working or watching TV when we need to get up early the next day. Then after the damage is done, we’re left alone to deal with the consequences.
Our feelings are fickle. They change like the wind. Yet it’s amazing how much we let them have their way in our lives. As Christians, we have something much wiser and more dependable to follow than our feelings, and that’s the Word of God.
When we feel strongly about something in our heart, it’s not always easy for us to determine whether we’re really in agreement with God (see Jer. 17:9). Thankfully, God’s Word doesn’t leave us lost in confusion.
Hebrews 4:12 says that the Word of God is “sharper than any two-edged sword ... exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart” (AMP).
If we’re really interested in rising above our feelings, we will let the Word of God be the final, deciding factor in our decisions.
Now, on occasion, we may not be able to find a chapter and verse for the specific issue we’re dealing with. But we always have the invitation from God to pray and ask Him for wisdom. In the meantime, we need to trust Him, be patient and keep on praying.
God is always available to help us live beyond our feelings and do what pleases Him.
I believe the first step toward victory is found in Colossians 3:2. It says, “Set your minds and keep them set on what is above (the higher things), not on the things that are on the earth.” There are many things that will happen in this world that can easily affect our minds and emotions, and we need to learn how to rise above them all.
When negative thoughts are building up and trying to take control of your emotions, take a few minutes to set your mind on things above. It often helps to speak positively about whatever is bothering you. Have a chat with yourself that goes something like this: My family may not be everything I’d like them to be, but I am thankful I have a family. My house might not be as nice as I would like it to be, but it’s still a nice place to live. I might be going through a difficult time, but Jesus is with me and He’s going to get me through it!
Sometimes it’s tempting to ask God to instantly deliver you from the people and things that irritate you on a regular basis. But until we learn to be content in every situation we’re in, we will continue to be tested.
Jeremiah 17:10 says, “I the Lord search the mind, I try the heart, even to give to every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.”
There are a few different “buttons” the devil knows he can push to get an emotional reaction out of me. So I make a point to ready myself with the Word. I love Psalm 94:12-13. It says, “Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man whom You discipline and instruct, O Lord, and teach out of Your law, that You may give him power to keep himself calm in the days of adversity.”
You see, the more we discipline ourselves to say no to our feelings and yes to the wisdom of God, the easier it becomes to defeat them in a spiritual tug-of-war. Make a decision today that you won’t arrange your life around unreliable emotions.
Joyce Meyer is a New York Times best-selling author and founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries. She has authored nearly 100 books, including Battlefield of the Mind and Do Yourself a Favor ... Forgive (Hachette). To read her past columns in Charisma, go to charismamag.com/meyer. For more information, visit joycemeyer.org.