Those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. —Romans 8:14
Feelings can be so deceptive. They are the product of all our wishes, fears, prejudices, and past experiences. We may develop a "sixth sense" of what is right and wrong that can be very misleading. Even worse, we can truly be led of the Holy Spirit one day and think we are the next—and be wrong.
Had you asked me prior to May 1982 whether we were trying to reach the poor, I would have honestly said, "Yes, but I don't feel led to emphasize that aspect of evangelism." My subjective feelings made me uncomfortable with reaching out to people like that.
But today I know I wasn't listening to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has spoken objectively in His Word—whether I liked it or felt drawn in that direction or not.
I know what it is to give my subjective feelings priority over God's objective Word—and feel good about it. For a period of time, I, for the most part, dismissed having to concentrate on the poor. I justified my thinking on the basis that others have a special calling in that area of ministry—and I didn't. In one sense my thinking was correct, of course. However, because I was not listening to the Holy Spirit's desires in this matter, I was not making a sufficient effort to reach every kind of person, regardless of culture or background, with the gospel.
Our subjective feelings—more commonly known as our comfort zones—may camouflage as God's voice.
Regardless of whether we are helping the hurting, paying our tithes, or not keeping a record of wrongs, so often we make decisions based on what we feel or think. And we do this without realizing we have done anything contrary to God's thinking.
Excerpted from The Sensitivity of the Spirit (Charisma House, 2002).