The Divine Heartbeat
“Conform to the image of Christ.” That’s what we say when our thoughts are out of line: we should let our minds be renewed (Romans 12:2). It’s also what we say when our behavior is out of line: we should live as he lived (1 John 2:6). So what do we say when our feelings are out of line? “Feelings don’t matter anyway.” We dismiss them as irrelevant to our discipleship.
That’s enormously inconsistent. It’s also unbiblical. God is clearly an emotional being, having the capacity to rejoice, be grieved, have compassion, be angry, be jealous, be zealous, and more. Scripture clearly affirms these things. If we are to be conformed to his image, we’ll need to love what he loves, hate what he hates, delight in what he delights in, and so on. If our feelings are out of sync with him, the answer isn’t to dismiss them as unimportant. It’s to align them with his own. We are designed to share his heartbeat.
“But feelings can lead you astray!” argue some. And your intellect can’t? “But feelings are so subjective,” others say. And your behavior isn’t? We have the potential in every corner of the soul either to be led by self or led by God. The heart, when led by God, is a powerful motivator and place of inspiration.
Cultivate your emotions. Feel what God feels. Ask to share the rhythm of his heartbeat. Don’t let people tell you that isn’t biblical; it most certainly is. (See Philippians 2:1-2 and 2 Corinthians 7:11 for two examples among many others.) Enjoy your relationship with divine affections. The heart is the missing link in many people’s discipleship. Never let it go missing in yours.
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