Over my lifetime, I have moved from scorning emotions to accepting them and now, to honoring them. Now, the challenge is to learn to feel and move in the power of kingdom emotions!
Unquestioned 'Truth' Became Lies I Propagated
At age 15, I was too young to even question where the roots of my discomfort with emotions came from. Since it was the cultural norm, I unquestioningly accepted it. I was taught emotions were soulish and soulishness was to be rejected. That was fine with me. I rejected emotions. It never crossed my mind to look to see if there were any verses in Scripture that placed emotions in the spirit. When I looked, I found, much to my amazement, there are verses which locate emotions in man's spirit. For example, Ezekiel says "I went in bitterness, in the heat of my spirit, and the hand of the Lord was strong upon me" (Ezek. 3:14). But I never looked, so I never knew.
Emotions played no place in my theology. Actually, I did not have a carefully constructed doctrine or consistent kingdom theology concerning emotions. I just never noticed that Jesus, moved by compassion, healed. Since compassion is an emotion, and I didn't have any place for emotions, it went completely over my head that emotion was foundational in the lifestyle of Jesus.
The phrase "felt compassion" is not just a one-time statement. It appears 12 times in the New Testament. Plus of course, the kingdom is peace and joy, which are both emotions (Rom. 14:17). Interesting that Christianity Today ran an article in 2014 titled, "Emotion Isn't the Caboose to Faith."
Jesus went on to say (in my two-way journaling):
"I want to restore emotions to your life, and I want you to do three things to restore the emotions. I want you to read through the Gospels and see that I, Jesus, moved by compassion, healed, and that it is OK to have emotions and to let them lead in your life and ministry.
"Next, I want you to read the Psalms and notice that David had emotions and expressed them all to Me, and that was perfectly fine. I can handle all your emotions as you present them to Me. Finally, I want you to notice how tenderly I love you in your two-way journaling, and then I want you to love yourself and others with that same tenderness."
So I did those three things, and God has been continuously restoring emotions to my dry and choleric personality. One immediate result was that my wife said her marriage improved greatly when I learned to hear God's voice through two-way journaling.
I have come to the conclusion that faith, when coupled with the kingdom emotions of compassion and gratitude, brings forth miracles. When used together, the synergy of these elements releases sufficient spiritual power to overcome the hard-wired circuits in my mind and body and produce a life-transforming miracle.
Miracles occur when revelation, carried on the waves of compassion, is energized with the spirit of gratitude.
I began searching Scripture to see what it says about emotion. Was I in for a shock! Here is one Scripture which sums things up: "faith which works through love" (Gal. 5:6b). The literal meaning of "works through" in this verse is "energized by." So faith is energized by love. Without love, faith doesn't work.
I have come to believe that emotions are the channel which releases spiritual energy. The healing power Jesus released rode on the carrier wave of compassion. If I want to see miracles in my life, I need to combine compassion and faith: compassion toward myself and others, and faith that God can do anything He wants.
Gazing upon images of God's promises as already fulfilled produces Spirit-born emotions (faith, joy and gratitude) that unleash healing power (Gen. 15:5, 6; Matt. 14:14; Rom. 14:17).
- There is an increased release of the power of the Holy Spirit.
- Your body's healing genes are "switched on."
- Life becomes exciting, fun and joy-filled.
Unleashing Healing Power Through Spirit-Born Emotions is available here. Resources include, book, CD's DVD's, 200 PowerPoint and Electronic training module.
Mark Virkler, Ph.D., has authored more than 50 books in the areas of hearing God's voice and spiritual growth. He is the founder of Communion With God Ministries, and Christian Leadership University (cluonline.com), where the voice of God is at the center of every learning experience. Mark has taught on developing intimacy with God and spiritual healing for 30-plus years on six continents. The message has been translated into over 40 languages, and he has helped to establish more than 250 church-centered Bible schools around the world.
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