~ Pastor Doug Graham ~
“I feel” is one of the most common two-word expressions in the English language. Why? Because feelings have the power to rule our life. Nothing has the power to define our well being like our feelings. Our attitudes, decisions, intentions, values, convictions, and beliefs are all too often subject to our feelings. In other words, our feelings rule our lives. Of course, this should NOT be the case, but if you look out at the world and look into your heart, it’s clear that much of life is dictated by our feelings.
God made us with a capacity to feel things deeply. And, what a wonderful gift it is to feel things deeply inside our heart and soul. Our feelings allow us to experience things beneath the surface of what is common and ordinary. Our feelings allow us to express ourselves in ways that make human life unique and tremendously fulfilling. And our feelings are what remind us that when God created Adam and Eve, He did not make two robots, but He made two beings like Himself with a God-image that is defined, in part, by the ability to feel things deeply.
Yet, everything good that God made can become twisted and tarnished. And one of those tarnished gifts from God is our ability to feel things deeply. Today, our feelings are important to us, so much so that if we don’t feel something deeply we don’t consider it valid or important. In fact, we have become so dependent upon our feelings that our beliefs, values, and convictions are no longer based on truth, but on feelings.
This is dangerously thin ice when our feelings have such a strong influence in our lives. When are lives are no longer guided ultimately by our values and convictions, but instead by our feelings in the moment, we then become vulnerable to defining our lives by short-term standards. Rather than being defined and anchored by eternal truths and long-term values, we are confined by what we are feeling “in the moment.” The problem with this is quite obvious: our feelings change by the hour, if not by the minute. The result is a constant chasing after the right kind feeling that will inspire, encourage, and empower us to do what we know we should do.
Perhaps the more important issue is how we allow our feelings to define our identity. “I feel ugly.” “I feel inadequate.” “I feel ashamed.” “I feel lost.” These are self-defining comments that people find themselves struggling to overcome. The answer to negative, life-debilitating feelings is the radically different two-word phrase, “God says.” Sure, our feelings are powerful, but God’s words are ultimately powerful, and God’s words are ultimately what’s true and real.
There is so much more than can be (and should be!) said about this, which is why our July message series is called I FEEL. In this series we will look at one particular chapter in the Bible that profoundly declares what God has said about you— regardless of how you feel about yourself. In Ephesians 1, four very clear and precise things are said about us that declare the truest definition of our lives. These four declarations are not subject to your feelings or what anyone else might feel toward you. Ultimately, the only thing that matters is what God has SAID about you. In fact, the secret behind what God says about you is that when you truly believe what God says—more than what you feel—it’s then that God begins to transform your feelings so they line up with what God says about you, which never changes!
What a wonderful thing it is when our feelings are defined with what God says! That is what’s called a life worth living!
Good to Great – Think Great Thoughts – Pastor Doug Graham
Underground Church – Dr. Gordon Anderson – Session Two
Underground Church – Dr. Gordon Anderson – Session One
Isaiah Nolte – Nicaragua Missionary