August 98I Feel Good part #1
There are basic fundamental principals that we all deal with and share together. We have choices to make everyday about our circumstances, thoughts, and situations in our lives. Our lives change constantly, and each of us faces similar problems. The choices we make effect our lives and the lives of those around us, sometimes critically.
As Christians we are those of the light, which indeed makes us different than the world. As we face our daily battles and problems and make choices concerning our lives, we have understanding that comes from God that gives us an edge in life. Believers should not be making choices reactively or accidentally but should understand the reasons for making them as well as the potential impact those choices might have.
2 Corinthians 4:6-7 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
God shows us in His word why Christians are empowered in light. We are of the light and have been given tools to use, so that we may understand what God wants for us. Those tools are Gods Spirit, His presence, and His power. When our feelings begin to run our lives, it is obvious what is motivating our hearts and our mindsself. There is a famous saying: I am planning to have a nervous break down. Ive earned it, I deserve it, Ive worked very hard for it, and nobody is going to keep me from having it.
We all were born in the earth with an exceedingly selfish nature and that nature demands that everything we do be built around us, and effect us in a good way. We surround ourselves with things that cause us to feel good. We then habitually follow those patterns we have created. The more we repeat what we have learned the more engrained the habit becomes in our personality, thus leaving a vicious cycle of patterns that we seem to keep repeating. Yet as Christians, we dont have to be conquered or broken. The new birth frees us from the slavery of living our lives habitually in the worldly patterns that formed our old nature. We are at liberty to cease moving in the direction of darkness and to begin walking in the direction towards light. God has given us tools to come out of the things of darkness which have formerly bound us. Truth, when used, is a powerful tool, leading to freedom and to the knowledge of how God created us to be.
God created man, body, soul and spirit and said, "It is good". So, according to God we are good. There really is nothing wrong with us. Having this understanding, it is easy to see that negative feelings are actually a perversion of what God created in us. We were created to be a praise unto God. A praise is not a bad feeling, rather a very good feeling. God created us with feelings, He created them specifically to be a praise unto Him so that we might be positive in the things we do in our lives, and that we might function the way He created us to. Where the fullness of the presence of God is there is all blessing, and where God is there is no darkness. Therefore we are potentially able to have good feelings, the kind that dont turn sour after a while, as that is not the nature of God
We live in a world that has little good to offer. It has manipulated and trained us to have bad feelings which have been passed down from one generation to the next. God says in 1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Care in Hebrew literally means a distraction, something that side tracks us or circumstances that come at us. Distractions keep us from receiving and walking in what God has purposed for our lives. Our whole life takes on a different purpose, meaning and outcome when we get distracted.
If someone is ignorant of Gods promise of casting all ones cares on Him, their thoughts begin to obsess on the diversion, which causes them to react to circumstances habitually in the manner they learned from the world. Actually our entire life, prior to receiving salvation through Jesus, was a distraction. However the moment our heart received, we came into Gods truth. The truth is a powerful asset for the believer therefore Satan immediately comes forth with his lies trying to snatch that word of truth from us by getting us off on all kinds of distractions. I give no glory to Satan but he is not stupid and knows if we start working correctly as God created us to, the force, power and ability we have through Jesus Christ to create good in this earth is unlimited. In John 14:12 Verily Verily I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also: and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my father. Jesus walked on this earth, creating and making good where there was evil, by a power which came from heaven. Being distracted doesnt mean we are bad, it just shows us that we are human. At Amazing Grace Community Church the teaching is not about good and bad, trying to get people to squirm in their seats, or making anyone feel guilty about their life. The truth is taught so that it may set each one in the direction and ways of God, in order to establish His purpose on earth.
There is a story about the little boat twice owned . A boy builds a boat and it sails away, out of his reach, and it is lost unto him. One day he walks by a store in town and sees his boat in the window. He enters and explains to the owner that was his boat and he wanted it back. The owner said it would cost him $15.00, so the boy left and works hard, earning all of the money. He then goes back to the store and buys back his boat for $15.00. The boy cries saying, "Little boat, I love you because youre twice mine. Once because I made you and once because I bought you.."
This is a picture of us as Christians, who were originally created good, according to God, and then were purchased back unto Himself by the work of His Son, Jesus Christ, that we might be His precious, loved individual pieces of work. The truth is there was never anything wrong with us, we just missed the mark meaning we sinned. We ended up getting distracted and pulled off Gods course into a different direction, which took over our lives and created nothing but havoc. When this happens, our lives become out of order and we are clueless how to deal with them anymore because it gets so out of control. It causes us to hurt, which throws us into reacting all sorts of ways, creating even more bad and hurtful feelings. We realize sin hurts our feelings, and God came to save us from our sin but sin being taken away doesnt immediately stop all the hurt. As believers find out soon after accepting Jesus we have been cleansed of our sin, but the hurt is still there because of our prior distraction. Gods presence had not been filling up our lives. People hurt so badly they start thinking they are by themselves and nobody could possibly understand their hurt. The degree of hurt dictates the degree of isolation until they just hide away from everybody, figuring they must not be worth anything.
Bad feelings are real and our soul (memories, reason, and emotion) is conscious of them. But God said He came to save our souls. God blesses with good feelings which are joy, peace, love, self control, gentleness, goodness, meekness, and long- suffering. Remember, He did not create bad feelings for there is nothing bad in Him. First, we were created in His image. Then Christ came to give us His nature, and gave us the Spirit to seal it. God has made us His own and given us His feelings. He cares for us all even though our distractions always seem to take us away from Him. We are loved so much by our heavenly Father that He becomes obsessed with us. As the psalmist said, "What is man that thou art mindful of him?" He says I care for you, I love you, and I joy over you. He hopes for us and we are established in that hope. Gods feelings are important. We have been created with those feelings and theyre not something we should throw away or ignore. When we are filled with negative feelings, we can go to Him for the cure, saying, "Ok God, what do we do? There must be an answer!" The answer comes through His salvation, by the Blood of Jesus Christ, which has been achieved in the work of the cross, and is established in the resurrection of the living Savior. God cares for us and He has imputed His divine nature to us who believe and who have received Him to live inside of us.
God is not mad if we lack wisdom. In fact He says, "Come, ask Me and I will give it." God cares for us and did not create us to perish in ignorance. He knows the power of His word and that His word created us. If He bought us, making us His possession, we have become Gods responsibility, so it is His job to make us feel good. It is our responsibility to seek Him, casting all our cares on Him and not taking them back unto ourselves. We have the job to believe and receive from God.
Religion says, " Ignore the bad feelings. Just cover it with a Band-Aid. Unfortunately, that does not fix the hurt. In fact, it ends up mushrooming into an open and sore infection. There is not a Band-Aid big enough to stop such an infection caused by bad feelings that are deeply rooted. Emotions are one of two things: either positive- very emotionally high, or negative- very emotionally low and we swing one way or the other. We were designed for our emotions to be high but when sin came God separated His nature from us so the high nature was removed and the positive emotion was absent . The perversion of sin threw our emotions into a spiraling downward direction. We learned in our death to seek out whatever hurts the least.
Christians understand a new standard has been set in this earth and the only thing that can stop those standards being performed in our lives is when we are distracted or perversion takes us off the path. The father of lies sends something other than what God created, causing feelings to go bad. Does that mean we are bad people? No, it just means we are human. If our emotions never went bad we would have had no need to choose Jesus. There would not have been a standard to look for an improvement in our lives or a value to accepting Jesus. Reality is there are good and bad feelings. Our heavenly Father did not create any of us to just suffer through the rest of our lives with no hope. He deals with hope not hopelessness. Hope is the substance of those things that we press against with our faith. Without hope there is no faith, and if we cant believe God has something better for us then we will remain miserable for there is no other fix. Sitting on a burr that we wont allow God to fix only creates a lot of pain and the hurt becomes deeply rooted and out of control. That starts effecting those around us because there is nothing or nobody in this earth that can fix us. If we know there is a Godly standard that is better, we dont want to continue living through the same habitual bad patterns over and over. It seems it would be time to look to God and receive the patterns which He has created for us to live in. The word says if you seek, you shall find Gods provision.
Ephesians 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
What does distraction do? It creates an obsession which is in excess, and God said not to be in excess of wine. We are aware of the effects wine has on us. When in excess it brings on an artificial feeling of euphoria, of well being, giving us the courage and boldness to do things we would not normally do, with no comprehension of the cost. That cost is the emotional low that is felt when coming down off the artificial high. If we are not healed inside with the natural high of the living Spirit and it is the artificial high that we get high on, we will fall all the harder. Alcohol is a method used to cover bad feelings because it has the power to cause good feelings. However, it is artificial and therefore temporal. The artificial things of this earth are temporal and can not last, so we become obsessed because the pressure we feel gets bigger. To answer this stress we increase the drinking, drugs, or building our lives around work, family, children, or any one of a number of addictions we can be obsessed with in this earth. Addictions take over and bondage controls our lives. This is real and it happens, even to believers. There is nothing essentially wrong with these things in themselves but they can not consistently make us feel ok. We set ourselves up for a fall if we build our lives around our children because they soon grow up; jobs they come and go; churches and ministries can fall. Apply this principal to anything that is artificial and understand that our fall will be great if we allow temporal things to become the design for our feeling good. The things of this earth shall end but the things of God are eternal. God has designed things in us to naturally feel good, and the world tries to imitate but can not because they dont have the Spirit of God in them. Therefore if we are a part of what God is and what He has created then as believers we can not go to the world seeking artificial means for us to feel good. We dont have to take a vow of poverty and do without the things of this world, that is not what God is saying here. We have a brand new life, the patterns and ways of this world will not work for us.
But be ye filled with the Spirit. God has provided us with a tool that brings a lasting joy, peace, strength, and boldness, everything we need to feel good. Take the things of the Spirit and be perfectly content. It is a choice. Just because we have new life, and are baptized with the Holy Ghost doesnt mean we are filled with the Spirit. There are many Christians that have not learned to trust in the Spirit only for lack of understanding that it works every time. We are creatures of habit and are all guilty of doing the same things over and over again. No one has figured out a way to maintain good feelings consistently and no one has found righteousness on their own. Why? The reason is if it is not the Spirit of God it can not consistently perform. It therefore becomes a distraction and with it comes bad feelings which cause us to run around in circles, yearning for the hurt and pain to go away and to be replaced with good and happy feelings. We often think higher of ourselves then we ought, thinking we have control and power, or we think we are better than others. Our wake up call comes when we realize we have no control or power over others let alone ourselves. Eph. 5:19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; We have been created to be a praise unto the Lord. You may have heard the term, "Praise the Lord anyway". That becomes very difficult when we find ourselves under pressure, meaning our emotions are running negative, and were not being a praise unto God. God can not help us when we choose not to cast our cares or our distractions on Him and we cant expect for God to bless singing songs if our hearts are not ready to receive His blessings.
God says, very simply, " speaking to yourselves" , and not anyone else. There is only one person in this world that we have any authority over and that is ourselves. As far as for us feeling good goes, its not about anybody else or what others are doing, its about us. We miss God when we look to others to fix us. The answer is in learning to submit ourselves to Him.
There are many miserable Christians walking around because of their dependence on families, jobs and/or ministries to make them feel good. We now know emotional fixes never happen on a consistent basis when we depend on others or things, so in failing to maintain people become bitter, hateful, legalistic, and many walk away from the assembling of themselves together with other believers and desert God. Good gifts only come from God, no one else can give it to us, and so it is our choice whether to receive or reject the living Spirit of God. We are not to trust the things of this earth for they will be wiped away. All the spiritual things that we have will be with us in eternity for we will have the Holy Spirit indwelling in our glorified body. Why should we wait until Jesus comes back to rejoice and be a praise unto the Lord? Rejoice here and now, be filled with the Spirit now, receive His fullness and feel good now. Feel the joy of the Lord who strengthens us today. Whenever a negative or perverted feeling gets in your thoughts you can cast those thoughts unto the Lord and He will take your head out of the muck, bringing you to the living Spirit where the feelings of gladness and joy happen. It is not magic but truth in promise. We are not broken and in need of having a demon cast out, rather it is simply casting down evil thoughts and believing in what God created us to be. As the filling of the Son of God works through us we will naturally begin to feel good.
Published by Amazing Grace Ministries Evangelistic Association Publishing, Westchester. Illinois Distributed by Amazing Grace Ministries Evangelistic Association Publishing, Westchester. Illinois Unless otherwise indicated all Scripture quotations are from the Authorized / King James Version (KJV) No part of this book may be reproduced without written permission except for brief quotation in books and critical reviews. For information write Amazing Grace Ministries Evangelistic Association Inc.--198 Burnett St.--Yorkville, IL 60560--708/708/23-9901
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