Faith is Not a Feeling
"It's impossible to please God apart from faith. And why? Because anyone who wants to approach God must believe both that He exists and that He cares enough to respond to those who seek Him," (Hebrews 11:6, Message).
Ever been in the vortex of confusion, anger, frustration, emptiness, disappointment or disillusionment?
Ever been tormented by feelings of inadequacy, insecurity, comparison and fear?
Ever been ready to take a flying leap and quit, throw in the towel or cast away your confidence?
If so, you’re human…and you’re a potential threat.
You are person of amazing potential. Seeds of greatness have been placed inside of you. The Greater One lives within you. Your faith can move mountains. Your words carry the power of life and death. Your prayers make tremendous power available. Your light shines in a dark world. The devil knows this and he works around the clock to keep you in the realm of feelings, rather than faith!
Feelings are temporary components of the natural, seen world.
Faith is the eternal substance of the spiritual, unseen world.
God has called us to live by faith in Him and His Word. God has promised to give substance to our faith and perform His Word in our lives if we will not cast away our confidence. Don’t allow the enemy to rob you of all that God has in mind to do for you and through you. Be dominated by faith, not feelings. Let’s talk about it:
I have found that the enemy throws a blanket of feelings (as described above) into our lives right before something great is about to happen. The devil is relentless is his attempts to move us away from faith to feelings; so he goes to work to discourage us in the five physical senses realm. The devil doesn't have any real weapons, since Jesus disarmed him, so he throws cheap shots aimed at our feelings—especially right before God is about to do something significant in or through our lives. The devil wants to throw us off our game, or worse, he wants us to quit. When I think back over my life, his tactics are uncanny and obvious. Perhaps a few of our stories will encourage you to stay in faith!
I can’t describe the 18-month battle Jeff and I faced before we started Valley Family Church. We felt like grasshoppers in a land of giants. Feelings of inadequacy and failure worked us over. We had to choose faith. Intentionally, we had to believe that Jesus had called us to pioneer a church, and we could rest in the fact that He would be the Head of it! We did and He did.
I can’t tell you the number of times I have battled with feelings of discouragement and insecurity the day before I am scheduled to speak at VFC or somewhere else. You’d think I would have caught on by now! Every time I speak, I have to take the pulpit by faith and whisper my favorite prayer, “Ok, Holy Spirit, here we go…speak through me…”
I can’t tell you the number of times we have felt like quitting to do something with less pressure, more personal time and in a place with more sunshine. By faith, we stay put and trust God for supernatural vacations (and He has provided them)!
I can’t tell you how my sisters and I felt when our mom was diagnosed with the deadliest form of lung cancer. We had to listen to His voice, believe Him by faith and encourage Mom. Today, her oncologist calls her a walking miracle.
I can’t tell you how many times we felt like we couldn't afford to tithe, support missionaries, pay for someone’s dinner, contribute to the building program, bless someone with a paid vacation or buy our kids another uniform or cleats. By faith, we decided to put our treasures of money where our heart is and God has more than repaid us.
I can’t tell you how vulnerable we felt when we were in the process of building our current 1500 seat facility. The devil stirred up a whole neighborhood to come against us. The economy around the world hit rock bottom and as a result the bank backed out of their good faith agreement to loan us the $10 million dollars. We felt like having a meltdown, but instead by faith, we chose to laugh because the joy of the Lord is our strength. The result? We've been in our new building for over a year and the Lord does amazing things every week.
I can’t tell you how many times I have had to resist feelings of fear, discouragement, rejection, loneliness, disappointment, anger, frustration, delayed gratification, disillusionment and a host of other feelings. Like you, I have to believe God more than I believe my feelings.
Our stories may pale in comparison to others, or they may be over the top for some. No matter what your reference points are, God wants us to live by faith so His potential and seeds of greatness can flourish and produce great fruit! So, do you feel a bit more normal? Find some comfort in the fact that we all face the temptation to be led by feelings instead of faith. Today, be encouraged and recognize the devil’s tactics. Faith is not a feeling. Faith takes God at His Word. Believe God, live by faith and watch the Lord do mighty things in and through you!
Say It: “Father, today I can see that the battles I have ‘felt’ are part of the normal MO of the devil. I will not walk by feelings. I will live by faith in You, Your Word. Lord, I believe in You more than I believe in my feelings. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”
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