Thursday, February 13, 2020
Feelings and Goodness matter not.
Feelings and Goodness matter Not
See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him. Dear friends, we are already God’s children. 1 John 3:1–2 NLT See how very much our Father loves us. Consider who we were, and what we feel ourselves to be even now as corruption remains a power within us, and you will wonder at our adoption. Yet we are called God’s children. What a high relationship is that of a child, and what privileges it brings! What care and tenderness children expect from their fathers, and what love fathers feel toward their children! But all that, and more, we now have through Christ. As for the temporary drawback of suffering with Jesus, our older brother, we accept it as an honor: The people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him. We are content to be “unknown” with Him in His humiliation, because we will also be exalted with Him. Dear friends, we are already God’s children. That is easy to read, but not so easy to feel. How is it with your heart this morning? Are you in the depths of sorrow? Do corrupt desires rise within your spirit? Does grace seem like a tiny spark trampled underfoot? Does your faith almost fail you? Don’t be afraid! It is neither your goodness nor your feelings that matter: you must simply live by faith in Christ. Whatever things may be against us, now—in the very depths of our sorrow, wherever we may be—as much in the valley as on the mountain, remember this: We are already God’s children. “But,” you say, “see how I look! My behaviors do not glow; my righteousness does not shine with apparent glory.” But read the next part of our passage: “He has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is” (1 John 3:2 NLT). The Holy Spirit will purify our minds, and divine power will refine our bodies—then we will see Him as He is. - C.H. Spurgeon Morning and Evening
God brought me out into a spacious place. Psalm 18:19
While out taking walks, writer Martin Laird would often encounter a man with four Kerry Blue Terriers. Three of the dogs ran wild through the open fields, but one stayed near its owner, running in tight circles. When Laird finally stopped and asked about this odd behavior, the owner explained that it was a rescue dog that had spent most of his life locked in a cage. The terrier continued to run in circles as though contained inside a confined box.
The Scriptures reveal that we’re trapped and hopeless unless God rescues us. The psalmist spoke of being afflicted by an enemy, entrapped by “the snares of death” with the “cords of death . . . coiled around” him (Psalm 18:4–5). Enclosed and shackled, he cried to God for help (v. 6). And with thundering power, He “reached down . . . and took hold” of him (v. 16).
God can do the same for us. He can break the chains and release us from our confining cages. He can set us free and carry us “out into a spacious place” (v. 19). How sad it is, then, when we keep running in small circles, as if we’re still confined in our old prisons. In His strength, may we no longer be bound by fear, shame, or oppression. God has rescued us from those cages of death. We can run free. - Our Daily Bread
It was really interesting seeing these two devotionals tie in together.
It surely is one of the first things that Satan tries to do with believers is basically to train them into believing in a cage that doesn't exist. Of how we must be if we can just be convinced to live by emotions and sight rather than on faith.
If we are trusting at all in our feelings or our goodness or lack of goodness, the trap has been sprung.
We absolutely must remember that until we are called home to be with Jesus, either in death or the Rapture of the Church, we cannot truly, fully, know all there is to be known of Christ. We have the Bible to guide us. As Spurgeon called it, and I love that description, the Holy Spirit IS our Immanuel, 'God with us'.
If we are relying on feelings we will either be lulled into a false sense of security or be in an emotional cage. Not really much difference in the two except those in a false sense of security have floral wallpaper in their cage.
Walking by faith is more than what we see or feel. It's taken much of my life to even begin scratching the surface with this. My emotional cage had me beating myself up over every single sin...and those were just the ones that I was aware of! If that wasn't bad enough, the constant reminder of past sin kept coming back. I thought I was forgiven? Why was this endless barrage happening to me?
Sin nature. Satan can't indwell a believer but he can whisper in their ear trying to evoke a response out of our sin nature.
Yes I was forgiven. I look back on those times and wish I knew then what I know now. To remind myself that when Christ forgives its permanent. It's remembered no more. It was nailed to the cross. Left there for Jesus to pardon. I am free in Christ to walk with God because of what Jesus did. When I am asking for forgiveness, I appear in court before Him. He forgives, declaring Not Guilty. I am to turn away from what that was and move on.
Paul described our lives as believers as a race. Running in such a way as to win the prize.
If we keep listening to our sin nature we will never be focused on the race. That is when we miss the signs. We miss the temptation crouching, waiting, because we're too consumed with what's no longer there in God's eyes.
Keep your eyes on Christ or, like Peter, you will sink in the water. Christ took hold of Peter's hand and immediately calmed him and he arose out of his circumstance. His emotions kept at bay. The truth revealed.