When we are controlled by our emotions, by how we feel, we are settling for so much less than what God has planned for us.
We judge the value of things by the nature of our response to them. The world says, "If it feels good, do it." But that is not God's way. One of the greatest problems with being led by your emotions and doing things because of how you feel, is that feelings cannot be trusted! They will deceive you. People who apply the "How does it feel?" method rather than God's truth often suffer dire consequences! This is especially true when making decisions about important life issues such as choosing a mate, jobs, and spending money.
Unfortunately this same method is often applied to how much time people spend with God. If you spend time with Him only on the days that you feel like it, you will have an inconsistent life. If you apply the Word of God only when it agrees with your feelings, you will not be walking in the wholeness God intends for you.
Romans 8:5-9 says, “Those who live as their human nature tells them to, have their minds controlled by what human nature wants. Those who live as the Spirit tells them to, have their minds controlled by what the Spirit wants. To be controlled by human nature results in death; to be controlled by the Spirit results in life and peace. And so people become enemies of God when they are controlled by their human nature; for they do not obey God's law, and in fact they cannot obey it. Those who obey their human nature cannot please God. But you do not live as your human nature tells you to; instead, you live as the Spirit tells you to if, in fact, God's Spirit lives in you. Whoever does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.”
How you are led will make a difference in your level of spiritual maturity. Spiritual maturity requires that in every area of your life, including your emotions, you be led by the Spirit of God. We cannot be effective in our walk if we are controlled by how we are feeling on a particular day at a particular time.
How do you know if you are a Spirit-led or emotion-led? I have three questions for you to ask yourself:
1. Do I make decisions in my daily life based on how I feel, or on the Word of God and the guidance of the Holy Spirit?
2. Do I consistently spend time with the Lord in prayer, reading the Bible and listening for His direction?
3. Am I an emotional eater or emotional shopper?
If you do not like the answers to those questions, I have one more for you; How do I break the cycle?
Here are three valuable answers which I hope will help:
1. Slow down! Don't rush into making decisions. If you find yourself in the “I have to make a decision now” mode more often than not, maybe that is a sign you need more structure in your life. Any decision worth making is worth thought and prayer.
2. Make time for stillness in your life. Psalm 46:10 says, "Be still, and know that I am God" Every once in a while I would hear my wife shout, “I’m on strike right now, go to your father!” As funny as that sounds, it was something very important for her to do. It’s OK to take a time out and just spend time with Father God. As one of my favorite songs says, “Simply be with me and let those things go; they can wait another minute.”
3. Verify decisions by the Word of God whenever possible. In other words, read the Bible, that’s what it’s there for.
One final thought, there is nothing wrong with emotions. They are amazing. I married a beautiful Italian woman who is full of them and my life would be boring without her. I don’t want to let my emotions control me. My wife, on the other hand… well, Happy Wife=Happy Life, but that’s another blog.