I'm not sure why I write this post, I do not feel prepared, but here goes. I have had this feeling about feelings lately. Faith says, "don't trust your feelings." I get that, faith believes in the unseen. Feelings, however, tell me that I need solid evidence before I respond. I may, by faith, jump right into a bad situation knowing that God's Spirit is guiding, He will help me fix it, figure it, or flee it.
It is a grave mistake to look at my feelings as faith killers. God made me, feelings and all. Feelings can be a "spiritual thermometer" that notifies me when I have the sense of separation from God's presence in my life. I know that feelings warn me of complacency in my recovery from addictive behaviors. It is as though a light is shined on past pain that drove me to ask God's help. In other words, feelings light up memories of events that were painful enough not to desire the repeat performance.
"I say then, walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh." Gal.5:16
Faith moves mountains, slays giants, laughs in the face of impossibilities. Faith is my surrendering fear of failure, or being rejected by others so I can do the next "right thing." Without faith, I have no need to attend recovery meetings, work the steps, or pray...they will not work. With faith, a light shines so intensely I see through deceptions and thoughts of "I cannot," to "with God, all things are possible!" As faith arrives, recovery goes from, "this may really work," to "this works, and I am working it!"
"So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God." Rom.10:17
The Big Difference
How do you know the difference? Feelings and faith come with you as you arrive on the planet, a special value package from the manufacturer, so to speak. Both grow and develop as we mature. The importance of feelings is recognizing them and rejecting the false ones, embracing the good.
Faith can make us overly zealous and reacting instead of acting, like answering a matter before we hear the whole story. That can be disastrous, and I appear as a prideful know-it-all.
"If anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself." Gal.6:3
The light of understanding I receive in recovery from addictions, and in my journey with Christ Jesus, is that I accept faith and feelings as gifts. They are gifts that need balance, and much attention. If I ignore those feelings of God being distant or aloof, and just allow things to "happen," the growth of faith will be "stunted," complacency arrives, and every little unimportant matter takes preeminence over recovery and spirituality.
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all!