"I feel like I'm on fire for God lately! I feel like the Lord wants me to do this! I feel the presence of God here in this place! I feel God has burdened my heart with this! I feel God leading me to tell you this! I feel good about my life, which must mean that God approves of it and is blessing me for it! I feel, I feel, I feel..."
Of course, a believer's desire to want to express in words how the Lord and Savior of their very soul makes them feel is not necessarily a "bad" thing, but so often the language takes a turn and it starts to become all about those FEELINGS rather than remaining Christ-centered and cross-focused.
Listen to them long enough and you'll start to think that the Christian life is supposed to be all about feelings too (or at least fueled by feelings) and, if it's not, then maybe there's something wrong with you; maybe you're not really a Christian (like they are) like you think you are after all!
Certainly, this presents us with a problem since a person's feelings are always subjective and dependent upon one's own unique circumstances in life not to mention their own unique personality.
That doesn't stop millions of Christians from acting and speaking this way though and that's a real shame for them and for those who want to be like them.
This isn't going to be a piece on the "pros" and "cons" of emotion and feelings in the Christian's life, but is simply going to be a brief commentary on the very real spiritual danger involved in putting so much faith and trust in our day-to-day, moment-by-moment feelings as though they're some kind of "communication device" used by God to get our attention and speak to us.
I hate to be the one to tell you this, but God has only promised to speak to use through His Word and Sacraments and that's it.
Many of you are probably already familiar with this classic lecture by Dr. Rod Rosenbladt, but for others (like me) who are still in the early stages of your journey from false teaching to a much more faithful confession of "the faith that God has entrusted once for all time to his holy people" (Jude 1:3) like the one offered by the Lutheran church, this will be a great comfort to you.
For others, like those of you who are "moved" by the popular, shallow, trendy (and un-Biblical) beliefs, teachings, and confessions all the time (like those espoused by the new film "War Room"), I pray this will be a blessing to you as well.
In this lecture given at Faith Lutheran Church on November 1, 2013 during their monthly event, "Men’s Movie Night," Dr. Rosenbladt tackled the emotional struggles the Christian believer experiences in his faith. What is the condition of my faith when I am not feeling particularly faithful -- or not feeling faithful at all? Some days I feel really solid, but others I just don’t feel like I can believe I’m saved at all. I never seem to stop sinning, no matter how strong my faith feels! What then? What is the status of my salvation at these times? Am I completely lost? I’m so tired of trying to get back to feeling solid in my faith again and living the way Scripture says I should and failing over and over, I just don’t know if I can do it anymore. Or maybe there is something greater about the Christian faith than our day-to-day feelings? Once again, the answer can seem so simple that it’s almost unbelievable. Almost. It can’t be that simple. Or can it? One of the great blessings of having faith in a God Who never changes is that His Word never changes either. Let Dr. Rosenbladt return you to that unchanging Word from the Lutheran perspective and take comfort as he helps us re-focus on that unchanging Object of our Christian faith that is Christ in the dark night of the soul.
That's definitely one you'll want to bookmark, download to your mobile device, share with others, and just listen to from time-to-time when you need to be reminded of Who you belong to.
You'll especially want to hang on to that one for the times when you are made to feel as though Christianity is about "YOU For Christ!" as opposed to "CHRIST For You!" instead.
In a Lutheran layman's terms, trust in Christ Jesus and His promises FOR YOU given to us in His Word and Sacraments, and don't trust in your own feelings that can change on a dime.