One of my go-to prayers is, "God, I believe; help my unbelief." -Mark 9:24
A man asked this of Jesus, because he needed a miracle. He needed help. He needed God. There is no day in our life where we don't need the Lord. Daily, we come across circumstances in our lives that are in need of God: decisions, relationships, finances, concerns, our future, our souls. These situations bring us to our knees in prayer because deep down, we know we need help beyond our limited resources and tangible attempts to solve our own problems. So we go to church, we open our Bibles, we prayer, we seek our advice, but what happens after we do all these things? I'll tell you ... we doubt.
We all do. Why? Well, it's because our faith, too often, is moved by the moment. Desperation, Joy, Hope, Fear ... our feelings are far too often fueled by our momentary experiences. But I wonder, what would happen if we based our faith on mission instead of on the moment? What would happen if we began to ask God to increase our belief and trust in Him as we are seeking Him for answers?
Walking By Faith and not by Feelings
We all know that faith, not feelings, pleases God (Hebrews 11:6). Yet, we are all guilty of making comments like, "I don't feel close to God right now", or "I really felt God's presence today." We really have to be careful not to do this to ourselves because in reality, we are conditioning our minds to associate feelings with faith (or lack of) depending on our current experience, which is only momentary; faith is a spiritual gift and therefore eternal.
Feelings Can’t Be Trusted
That's a counter cultural statement if there ever is one. When we are conditioned to follow our hearts and do what feels right, to speak "our" truth and to do what we think is best, it's way too easy to fall under the assumption that what makes us happy is the right choice. Ladies, that is not faith; that is flesh! Flesh says, "pour into me. Take care of me. Listen to me. Make me feel good. Make me look good. Keep me happy. Give me what I want." Our society pushes the message that happiness is the goal, but trust me when I say, if your goal is happiness, you will miss your mission. Happiness is momentary. It's fleeting. It's a feeling. Joy, that's spiritual and it comes from obeying the Word of God.
What the Bible Says
The Bible is filled with instructions and commandments that don't feel good- that are uncomfortable and unpleasing to our flesh. If we shun this, then we will miss our opportunity for not only blessings, but maturity, opportunities to grow and increase our faith and ultimately, we will miss out on our calling and purpose; which is to reflect God and do His will.
When we strive for feelings, we stifle the Holy Spirit; we stifle our mission and our impact in this world because our feelings- our flesh- wants to take us in the exact opposite direction.
Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered (Prov. 28:26).
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? (Jer. 17:9).
The Mission of Our Lives
Our feelings are extremely persuaded by the company we keep or the activities we invest in. Up and down and round and round. The uncertainty of our feelings is proof that they should not be trusted because trust is built on truth and truth does not change.
God's word and His love- that's the mission of our lives and that is the standard that we rely on as daughters in Christ. Everything else must fade away, including our opinions, feelings and perspectives that are in alignment with God's Word.
Many people have fallen due to following their feelings. We can feel good about sin, feel happy in our foolishness, make our mistakes seem like good choices and convince ourselves that disobedience is some form of right of passage. We've all experienced seasons in our lives where we've made our feelings the standard and not God. Oh, but when we choose faith in Him through our obedience, what a difference that makes!
Faith is a gift that we have access to through Jesus. It is the fuel to His mission over us, which is to be His lights in this dark world!
Shine bright, friend, from moment to moment, by simply keeping your heart aligned with the mission of every Believer, which is to lift the name of Jesus in every moment of our lives!