“Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. 39But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul” (Hebrews 10:38).
I do it because it seemed like the right thing to do at the moment. I did it because it felt like the right thing to do, I had a feeling. All too often seeming and feeling are used as substitutes for doing the right thing by reason of faith and no other. We accept the facts that pleasurable emotions and deeply gratifying personal experiences are part of human life, but they are not all of it. For the believing and faith-filled Christian personal trials, moral conflicts, spiritual battles and testing of a great variety lie along the way. We are not taught to count them as misfortunes, but rather as part of a necessary Christian discipline rooted in faith.
With a great variety list of human experiences we are to be aware of the spirit of our Christ living in our hearts, without regard to our feelings, if we are walking obediently—faithfully before Him. This is the point where many followers of Christ get into trouble; they try to walk by feeling and not faith. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you cannot do it. The spirit of Jesus is not a feeling but a living entity that has taken up residence in the heart of the faithful, without the Spirit—without faith there is no Christian walk, only a human journey.
A senior Pastor tells the story of one dearly beloved saint that confessed to him that it seemed to her as though God had withdrawn Himself from her life. His mercy seemed clean gone. For six weeks her desolation lasted, and then the Heavenly Father seemed to say: “Catherine, thou hast looked for Me without in the world of sense, but all the while I have been within waiting for thee; meet Me in the inner chamber of thy spirit, for I am there.”
“Cast thy burden upon Jehovah, and he will sustain thee.” The word “burden” is translated in the margin of my Study Bible as; “what He (Jehovah) hath given thee.” The saints’ burdens are God-given; they lead him to “wait upon Jehovah,” and when that is done, in the magic of faith, the “burden” is metamorphosed into a pair of wings, and the weighted one “mounts up with wings as eagles.
Believe God’s word more than you believe your own feelings and experiences. Trust His power more than your own intellect or physical abilities. Your immovable rock is Christ Jesus, and he is not a rock that is easily rolled away or crushed by the weight of your burdens. Crushing weights give the Christian wings. It seems like a contradiction in terms, but it is a blessed truth. Thank God for Jesus, for his sacrifice and the promise, let us take the weights as well as the wings and press on with faith and patience in our high and heavenly calling. “And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life” (I-John 2:25).
We, Christians must discern and distinguish between the fact of God’s presence in our lives and throughout creation, as well as the emotion of the fact. It is a happy thing when the soul seems most desolate and feel deserted, if our faith can say, “I see Thee not. I feel Thee not, but Thou art certainly and graciously here, where I am as I am.” Say it again and again: “Thou art here: though the bush does not seem to burn with fire, it does burn. I will take the shoes from off my feet, for the place on which I stand is holy ground.”–London Christian
It is sometimes difficult to know if we are walking by faith with the Lord. We erroneously tend to rely on our feelings to gauge our relationship with Him. If we “feel” spiritual one day, we think we are in faith with Him. If on another day we do not “feel” spiritual, we assume we are not in faith. John helps us with this dilemma in I-John 2:24: “Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father,” he describes the fellowship of faith for us.
If we are keeping the Lord’s commandments and loving others, we are in the fellowship of faith whether we “feel” in fellowship or not. Do not let your feelings deceive you and urge you to walk without faith. “Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry (I-John2:35-37). Be blessed and bless someone in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Grady Norman Greene, Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Our Christ
- Establish and Encourage (thethirdcross.wordpress.com)
- The Characteristics of a Christian (Part 6) (scripturalthoughts.wordpress.com)