A few weeks ago, I sat in a church pew in the middle of a grand sanctuary. The hardwood backing of my seat kept me alert while I wove in and out of listening to the pastor and listening to the thoughts in my head. Secretly I was pondering why some moments of my life with the Lord are wonderful—holy, passionate, full of revelation—while other times He seemed distant, like a friend I haven’t spoken to for a long time. The pastor kept on speaking.
Then it hit me—I am in a love relationship with Jesus Christ.
What I failed to remember that being in love with someone takes work. When I wake up, I want and expect to feel the same emotions of awe, peace, and freedom towards my relationship with my Savior that I did the day I was saved. Many days I do feel that way, other days I don’t. However, my feelings don’t always match reality. Because our relationship with God is much more sanctified and divinely inspired than our earthly relationships, we tend to think our emotions towards God should equally be sanctified and divinely inspired. What we don’t realize is that while God will ALWAYS be faithful and true towards us, OUR emotions can deceive us and make us doubt His promises. We don’t admit that our own humanness is obliterating intimacy with our Creator. We would much rather look for other answers or blame our complacency on someone or something else.
Instead of relying on our faulty human feelings, we must turn to faith. We, as the Body of Christ, MUST build our foundation on the Rock of Christ instead of our instantaneous emotions.
Think of marriage. While this commitment is blessed with attraction, wonder, and intimacy, couples must also face the mundane day to day conflicts and routines. There are many moments when one might question the passion they once had for the person they committed their life to. Does this negate the weight of the commitment they made? No. Does this mean their spouse hasn’t been faithful, even in the toughest moments? No. Does this mean they will never feel the same way about their spouse again? No. What these questions fall back on is the foundation of the commitment they made to their spouse. A genuine commitment will hold up against wavering emotions and circumstances.
It is the same with Christ. Every day is a battle to hold on firmly to the promises our Savior has given us. We must allow Him to remind us that His plans and promises are much bigger than how we’re feeling in the moment. But the beautiful part is, He still cares about our feelings even when they are faulty. He wants us to know Him and be drawn to Him and be passionately in love with Him. That is why He will reveal Himself in new and beautiful ways every day…all you have to do is ask. Jesus understands our feelings because He has felt them. He felt forsaken by His Father, yet He still trusted His Word to be true.
Satan would love to convince us to abandon our love for God through emotional manipulation. Sometimes giving into the devil’s pressure seems easier than fighting through it. But we MUST realize this: God has given us our human emotions for a reason! Yes, they are many times tainted by the world and the people and circumstances around us. However, submitting our weaknesses, our failings, the human part of our very being, to a Holy and Righteous God is the mystery of all mysteries, the beauty of all beauties. You see, He takes those emotions and feelings we thought we couldn’t control and surrounds them in the grace of His Holy Spirit—guiding us, correcting us, loving us in a way no one else can. Out of this flows righteous anger, empathy, compassion, trust, grace, and love—an attitude that reflects Christ to the world.
The war on our heart, mind, and emotions doesn’t stop with the war of the body and of circumstances. We must daily surrender to our First Love—the one who wants every part of us.