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Description: Has guilt and fear taken over your life? Living by our emotions can make life difficult. How can we experience spiritual health?
Spiritual Life #70
Living by our Feelings
Sermon Transcript by Rev. Ernest O’Neill
I want to talk tonight about living by our feelings. If you belong to either this body or another
body of Jesus, tonight is important because you cannot be used to bring fruit in your own life, or
to bring fruit to other lives through your prayers unless you get this settled — this business of
living by your feelings. So it is really important loved ones, and I’ll try to be as clear and
simple about it as possible and then maybe if we have time you can ask me to clarify things.
I came to 17 years of age and I had known God as my helper and friend, but not as my Savior, so I
asked my friend how to do that. And I think I have told you before how he said you were to decide
what Jesus meant to you and think about his death and find out what he had done for you so I did
that. I started to think about Jesus’ death and of course there eventually came a day when I saw
his eyes looking right through the Roman soldiers and right down the centuries to me and saying,
“Father, forgive him for he knows not what he does.”
It was then that I sensed that Jesus had died for me and that if I had been the only person that had
been in the whole world that he would have died for me. So of course I wanted to know how to become
God’s child and I read some ordinary tracks, you know — you confess your sins and you repent of
your sins and then you receive Jesus into your life. So I got down in my own bedroom and that is
what I did: I confessed my sins one-by-one as far as I could remember them and I repented of them.
I said to God that I would not do them again; that I saw that these were what put Jesus on the cross
and that I would not do them again, and then I asked Jesus to come into my heart.
And I had the same experience as anybody here who has been born of God: your heart was filled with a
sense of guilt and fear of God then suddenly you have great peace in place of the guilt, and you
have a great love of God in place of the fear of God, and a great love of other people. So
immediately you’re born of God your feelings are touched: instead of fearful feelings you have
feelings of love. Instead of guilty feelings and worried feelings, you have feelings of peace. So
your feelings are touched, and it just feels good.
I remember still that hymn that goes, “My God I am thine, what a comfort divine. What a blessing to
know that my Jesus is mine. In the heavenly lamb thrice happy I am and my heart it doth dance at the
sound of his name.” That is the way you feel and that continues until the Holy Spirit begins to
reveal the state of your heart to you, and then you know what happens — and all of us have
experienced that too — the sense of impurity in your motive life where you begin to realize, “I am
doing it for God but I am doing it partly for myself as well.” Your motive life begins to be
exposed to you, and your attitudes, and your intentions, and the inner desires of your heart. The
Holy Spirit begins to show you those and so as you see more and more of the self will that is still
inside you, that spreads a gloom over your feelings. And most of us have experienced what many
theologians call that second conviction of sin.
Really what it is is a kindly postponement of God in exposing to us what we really are like. Now he
begins to show us what Romans 6:6 is all about, and that’s when we have to decide are we going to go
all the way with Jesus? Is it going to be everything? We begin to see that it is all or nothing:
it is we go all the way and we give him our whole lives, and we die to whatever respect we thought
we could get from the world, and we are prepared to deal only with him and live only for his glory.
Then the Holy Spirit sweetly comes into our hearts and fills us with himself.
The previous feelings are nothing to the feelings you have then, because before, the peace that you
had was peace with God, now this is the peace of God. Suddenly your Bible reading, which used to be
kind of dry, lights up and you look forward to it. Your prayer times which were a bit burdensome
suddenly become filled with prayers from heaven. You begin to find that it is easy to suffer and
that pain is not hard to bear, and hardships are not difficult, and your witnessing becomes easy,
and your preaching and your speaking becomes easy, and everything is filled with that oil of the
Holy Spirit and suddenly your feelings are light and flowing. That is what happens when a person is
filled with the Holy Spirit.
Then one day you get up and you go to prayer and there’s no prayer, there’s no prayer. There’s no
feeling of joy or delight, there’s no feeling of God’s presence, there’s no feeling of praise for
him and there’s no sense of fragrance about his presence in your heart. You suddenly feel that the
burning love that you had for him isn’t there any longer, and there isn’t that warmth of the sense
of his presence in your heart.
You go into the day’s activities and you find that what was easy for you before is hard; some people
say some things and it burns right through to the center of your heart. The suffering becomes hard
to bear and the hardships become painful for you. Bit by bit you begin to think, “I’m back to where
I was before I was filled with the Holy Spirit.” You begin to miss all the feelings that you had
when you came through into complete victory.
Most of us decide we’ve fallen into sin — we do. Most of us decide we ought to indulge in some
self scrutiny, we ought to examine our lives — and that’s not bad in itself — there’s always a
place for searching our heart before God. The tragedy is that as we begin to examine our lives and
our hearts, we don’t stay close to God’s word and we accept some of Satan’s condemnations, and we
stir the whole pot around two or three times. We find some things and we deal with them, confess
and repent of them; we know in our hearts that if your conscience is clear, than you have unhindered
your relationship with God whether you feel it or not. We know too that the way to get a clear
conscience is to exercise your will in obedience to what God is showing you, and we do that, but
still the feelings don’t return.
At that point many of us, instead of attending to our conscience and seeing that it is clean and
that there is no condemnation there and going on in faith, many of us decide we have lost something.
And instead of exercising our faith that we are still in Jesus at God’s right hand, we begin to
doubt whether we are in him or not. We begin to doubt that, because we say we don’t have the
feelings that we used to have when we knew we were in him.
Of course, what God is saying is — attend to your conscience; if your conscience is clean, then you
are in Jesus and that’s the end of it, and you walk in faith. But many of us, at that point, slip.
And in place of the peace and the quietness that we used to have in our hearts when the Holy Spirit
filled us, we begin to become kind of frivolous and talk a different, noisy kind of Christian, and
avoid the issue, and evade people’s glances, and evade truth, because we somehow think we’ve missed
Loved ones, the tragedy of all that is that it’s Satan taking advantage of simply a lack of feelings
that we have, and that’s all it is — it’s just a lack of feeling. It has really nothing to do with
the inner state of our spirits. I’d just point that out again to you — that the emotions are
actually part of our soul, and it’s really in our spirits where God dwells. Our communion with him
depends on our conscience, constraining our will to obey what we know in our intuition that God
wants us to do. That’s it.
While we keep that connection; while we allow our conscience to constrain our will to do what God,
through the intuition of our spirit, shows us, we will maintain our communion with God irrespective
of these emotions. These are outside. We once likened this [diagram] to the temple in the Old
Testament; we talked about this outward body being the public place and this soul being the outer
court, and then this [our spirits] being the holy of holies. It’s in the holy of holies where God
dwells, and all kinds of things can be going on out here in this holy place, but it’s in the holy of
holies that God dwells.
These emotions come and they go, but the heart of God’s presence in us depends on only one thing:
that vital link — our conscience, constraining our will, to do what God has told us either in our
Bible reading, or in our prayer and friendship with him, what we should do. But of course, we don’t
do that. We begin to judge our spiritual health by our emotions. So we begin to regard times of
dryness as low times spiritually, and we begin to regards times of joy and peace as high times
spiritually, so we get completely knocked off our relationship with God. In fact, God almost
becomes a kind of irrelevant extra fact in the whole issue.
We concentrate on examining ourselves instead of concentrating on obeying our conscience with our
will and allowing the Holy Spirit to testify that our conscience is clear, but we keep on going on
by our feelings. So we get into this whole business, “Oh, I feel I’m ascended with Jesus at the
right hand of God because today I feel exalted. I feel exalted and I feel optimistic. I feel
upbeat today so I must be in my position at God’s right hand far above all rule and authority and
power and dominion.” We do the same with peace, we say, “Ah I feel at peace today and at rest.”
Maybe it is because the office has just wearied itself out with its fighting and they’re having a
low day and a quiet day. But whatever it is our feelings feel at peace, so we begin to judge our
state with God by those things.
Now loved ones, it has nothing to do with your spiritual health at all, really. Feelings are
utterly irrelevant to your position with God. Your position with God depends simply on your
conscience being governed by God’s word as you read it day-by-day and by the Holy Spirit’s witness
to your conscience of what you, in particular, should do, and on your will obeying your conscience
— that’s it — and on you, then, exercising faith in Jesus. That is the basis of our relationship.
Now you may say, “What about our feelings?” When your feelings are affected during the time that
God shows you the controlled surrender — the time that God shows you that there’s still some self
will down there; that you are still born of the spirit but you need to be filled with the Spirit —
there your feelings certainly reflect, in some way, the guilt of your conscience. But after you’re
filled with the Spirit, God purposely withdraws those feelings from you at different times. God
deliberately withdraws those feelings from you and there are several reasons.
One is that he uses the feelings, at first, to draw you to himself. Much as in our friendships,
we’re initially drawn to each other by outward things, and God knows that, so he gives us feelings
that fit in with the normal criteria that we have used up to then to decide what is good for us. So
God uses those feelings to draw us to himself; planning to get us to believe in his love whether we
feel it or not — and that is why he withdraws those feelings. He wants to save us from being in
this position of the little guy who is always saying, “Daddy, can you give me another candy? Can
you give me another candy? If you give me another candy I’ll do what you want me to do — if you
give me three more candies, then I’ll do double what you want me to do.” God has to get us off that
kind of relationship so he has to withdraw from us those feelings that we like because they are
pleasurable. And loved ones, the truth is if God continued to give us those feelings we’d become
shear hedonists who could only act whenever our feelings are good.
Another reason is God withdraws the feelings in order to reveal to us things about ourselves.
Because, I think you’ll agree that when those feelings go, you do often look at yourself more
closely; and many of us will find great pride there. As we’ve looked at ourselves we’ve seen how
proud we were when we had those feelings — how we thought ourselves above other people. So God
deliberately withdraws the feelings to drive us to begin to look at ourselves; so he causes
revelation to come to us by withdrawing them.
Another reason he withdraws the feelings from us is to save us from this crooked generation. You
remember that verse in the scripture that says, “Save yourselves from this crooked and untoward
generation.” God withdraws the feelings to save us from our environment and to get us to draw back
from our environment because our feelings are a very direct connection between us and the people in
our office. Our feelings are a very direct connection between us and our families, between us and
our friends at church, between us and our relatives. God withdraws those feelings so that he can
begin to wean us away from that enslavement to our environment. He knows that he will never be able
to get us to hear his voice and to do what he wants us to do, if our minds are filled with what
everybody else feels we should do and even with what the people around us are doing.
He knows he will never produce a [John}Calvin, he will never produce a Paul [apostle], he will never
produce a C.T. Stud, if he has people who are utterly dependent on their environment and are always
influenced by it. So God deliberately withdraws our feelings from us: he deliberately withdraws our
feelings from us so that we will be able to obey him. While your emotions are roused you’re at the
mercy of the emotions. Satan can stir up the emotions, and when the emotions are up, you’re ready
to work. When your emotions are down you can’t work. So Satan is able to stir up your emotions at
times, and damp them down at times in order to win our obedience to his will. And in order to make
us good and immediately obedient servants, he [God] begins to deliver us from our emotions, which
would put us under the control of Satan.
Another reason is this; God gives us, in our emotions, experiences of his peace. Experiences of
being at his right hand in the heavenly places so that we will begin to hold on to that truth and
hold on to that fact by our spirits through the exercise of our wills.
Have you ever felt that you get to a place in your spiritual life and you think, “I felt this a long
time ago — I did, I felt this.” Or perhaps I, or somebody else, have been speaking and you think,
“I am not living there now, but I have felt that.” That is what God does; he kindly and lovingly
gives us experiences in our feelings of states of grace that he wants to bring us into by the only
real and reliable way that exists; through the exercise of our wills by our spirits.
That’s the heart of it loved ones, that’s the heart of how God uses the feelings and the emotions.
He knows that anything that abides only in the emotions is at the mercy of your physical health,
they’re at the mercy of Satan, they’re at the mercy of the emotions of the other people around you,
and unless he gets that truth, and that fact, and that experience into some deeper safer place, that
experience will be lost. So there is a principle there: whatever we have experienced in our
feelings, God intends us to possess in our spirits through the exercise of our wills.
So you can see it is a definite transfer, because God will give you here [in your emotions] some
experience of a state of grace, and you’ll feel it. Then God withdraws that because he wants to
move that experience into the only place that is safe: into the holy of holies in your spirit. He
wants to bring you to a place where you hold onto that through the exercise of your will in response
to your conscience.
Now, many loved ones don’t know that at all, and they don’t know of that truth, so they don’t see
that the heart of the issue is, is your will consecrated? That’s the heart of it: when you get up
in the morning your obedience to God depends on whether your will is consecrated or not. It doesn’t
depend at all on whether your feelings appear to be consecrated because your feelings are influenced
by the sunlight, by the snow, by the rain, by the cold of the room, by the health of your body, by
the other person that smiles or doesn’t smile at you. But is your will consecrated?
Loved ones, that’s the only place, finally, where there is peace, where there is absolute peace. I
don’t want to bore you by that old illustration again but, it is so vivid to anybody who has not
even gone down very deep in the ocean but just snorkeled a little of the edges. You know how up
above, the water can be very very rough. Then you put your head underneath, and everything is slow
motion and so peaceful. Those who have dared to go deeper say that the deeper you go the more quiet
it is and the more peaceful it is. I have a friend who found that he was up there getting seasick
and all the other people were down here [in the depths] and not seasick at all because it’s rough up
there, but deep down it’s very quiet and peaceful. That’s the difference between the emotions and
the spirit: the emotions are up here and while you’re still living the emotional life you’re up and
down. But when you’re deep down, where your will and your conscience are being exercised, there is
peace and there is constancy.
There are numerous dangers to [living] an emotion life. One is that if you keep living in the
emotions, gradually that function of your spirit disappears. That’s right: if you keep living in
your emotions then [your spirit] gets weaker, and weaker, and weaker and God’s voice gets fainter
and fainter. You find yourself asking more and more people what you should do, and you find
yourself getting more and more uncertain about what you should do as your emotions waiver from one
place to another. So if you do live in your emotions — your intuition grows weaker and really, bit
by bit, your spirit itself grows weaker.
One of the other weaknesses is that you begin to get into real difficulties about deciding whether
you love God or whether you love the joy of God’s presence. So you begin to find yourself in that
position where C. S. Lewis was where you begin to pray and then you look inside to see if you sensed
the joy that you used to feel in prayer or sense the reality that you used to feel in prayer and you
become uncertain. That’s another thing that happens with the emotional life; you get all caught up
with mixing up the joy of God with God himself and so you’re uncertain which you’re seeking at times
and of course that then leads into the great deception.
The great deception is, I think, pretty widespread today in America and the great deception is where
Satan begins to get in on the lives of children of God who are still living in the midst of their
emotions and he begins to counterfeit the emotions that they once felt when they were right with
Jesus. So he begins to give them all kinds of electrifying feelings in their bodies, and feelings
of warm waves going through their body and through their emotions. He begins to give them tingling
sensations in their fingers and their hands and gives them all kinds of physical symptoms that they,
because they’re now going after emotion as if it were God’s presence which they interpret as more
and more of God. So you know that there are huge numbers of dear ones now that really are in the
midst, not of a true scriptural charismatic experience, but are in the midst of “charismania”
because they run wherever the next exciting preacher is or wherever the next exciting prayer meeting
is, or wherever there are exciting experiences are to be had that’s where you find them.
So of course, Satan has hordes of Christians running here, there, and everywhere after — not God —
but after the joy of God, or after any joy that seems to be like God’s. [Watchman] Nee finishes his
whole treatment of this subject by saying, “There is just one phrase that explains all this
preoccupation with emotion; self satisfaction.” When you think about it, it probably is true isn’t
it? Probably at the heart of all that is self satisfaction, self gratification, and that is why we
go after the emotional life — because we like the feelings it gives us.
And of course if we look at the cross it’s so absolutely contrary to the cross. We know without any
doubt that Jesus suffered agonies on the cross, and yet it was right in the center of God’s will.
We know that there was no feeling of God’s presence around him as he even called out, “My God, my
God why hast thou forsaken me?” So there was no great feeling of surging emotion or wonderful sense
of the warmth of God’s love. It was just a very cold, desolate place, and yet none of us here would
question that Jesus was in the center of God’s will at that moment.
And of course loved ones, such the Lord seeks to worship him. Such people as Jesus are our dear
Father is seeking to worship him. Yet you know we’re like just little kids; “Give me an ice cream
cone, or give me some candy, or give me some other little feeling” and yet loved ones, we’re not
even really beginning to be soldiers of the cross until we come to that place where we are able to
exercise our wills in raw, emotionless obedience to God, and to do it day after day after day until
we see the King. And once you begin to enter into that life, then you begin to see work done.
I think that’s what I feel about our body here, and you loved ones who are from other bodies; there
is so much bluff stuff around. There is so much wood, hay and stubble. We’re all trying to prove
that we’re doing something great for God, and there’s so much silly stuff that is going around that
is talked about as God’s work. But God’s work begins when he gets even two men or two women who
will begin to walk by the exercise of their wills in their spirits by raw plain faith. Then God
begins to honor their prayers and their intercessions and begins to work works of glory for himself.
Now do you have any questions loved ones?
[Question inaudible 30:34]
It seems to me the true meaning of the charismatic experience as opposed to “charismania” is that
it’s that process, it’s moving from the spirit out. It’s not that there aren’t at times emotions —
joy is good, peace is good — but the heart of it is that it is moving from the spirit out. It
starts in there and God at times graciously gives emotions, at times doesn’t give emotions. But it
seems to me the important thing is that there comes a sense of praise to God that is like Thomas
[the apostle] when he said, “My Lord and my God.” So a sense of just absolute preoccupation with
God without all the frills and all the excitement, just oneness in the heart of a congregation as
the Holy Spirit brings them into the unity of the Spirit that the apostles had in the upper room on
the day of Pentecost.
Then it seems that the gifts are manifested in a way that does not distract people from Jesus and
does not draw their attention to men but [are shared] in a way that glorifies Jesus himself so that
a person over there is healed and senses the healing and thanks God — at times openly at time
quietly. Another person over here receives a prophecy, knows that it is a prophecy and then speaks
it either at that time or afterwards. So the gifts are manifested, but in a beauty and a dignity
that draws people’s eyes to Jesus rather than distracts them and it seems that that’s it.
One of the beautiful things about real charismatic worship is that the exercise of the gifts does
not, through the body, distract people do you see that? Through the ears and the eyes it does not
distract people from Jesus, but it seems to almost just insert itself into the person’s spirit and
it doesn’t distract at all so that the whole movement, in every case, is outward, and the unity of
the spirit is brought horizontally from spirit-to-spirit rather than brought in from outside
Some charismatic leaders are aware of that and they realize that. [John] Wesley was very strong in
his preaching; people would fall down, slain in the Spirit under conviction of sin, and he would
take everybody’s attention from that — he would lay no emphasis on that at all. He would play that
down in spite of the fact that incredible exercise of the gifts took place in his meetings, but he
would play it down. As a result God used that revival, many historians say, to prevent them falling
into a French Revolution, so it changed the heart of England and the ethics and behavior of England.
[Question inaudible 34:05]
Except don’t you think that its emphasis on “seek peace with all men” was an emphasis on “be at
peace with all men,” and do not be in conflict with other people? And don’t you think that for the
joy that was set before him there was no question from Jesus’ whole attitude “give to me again, the
glory Father that I had with you before the world was” that Jesus would submit all things to the
Father after he has submitted all things under his own feet. It seems that the joy was a capital J
for Jesus — it was God, his dear Father.
[Question inaudible 34:44]
It seems to me the peace of Christ ruling in your hearts is undoubtedly the peace Christ has
himself, you know. For the peace Christ has himself is that oneness with his Father that was
maintained even on Calvary where there was no feeling of peace around him. But there was the peace
of Christ, there was a oneness with his Father’s will don’t you think? And that’s the peace he said
he would give unto us, “My peace I give unto you. Not as the world gives — not the peace that the
world gives, but the peace that I give.”
[Question inaudible 35:22]
I think when you talk about peace in those terms it is a grace, but it seems to me so many of us
talk about peace as an emotion. Wesley has a sermon where he says the person who thinks they’re
born of God says, “I have peace, I have no sense of restlessness in my heart. I have absolute
peace.” And he says, “So has a cloud.” And it seems that there is a false peace that the world
sees as a freedom from any cares, or maybe even a freedom from sensitivity that would discern any
So it seems to me when you talk about peace in the world sense — as an absence of anything
unpleasant, or an absence of any noise — then no, that’s not what Jesus is talking about. He’s
talking about a peace that is oneness with his Father’s will that brings a deep confidence deep
down. But I’m with you; from that then it seems to me flows all the fruit of the Spirit. But it
seems to me that many of us make the error of acting when there isn’t that peace within.
I don’t know if you realize it, but we should never make a decision or make a move in our lives
except from a place of peace deep down. Where we often get into trouble is we have no peace and we
have a sense of restlessness and we think, “Oh, we ought to move on that sense of restlessness.”
Well that’s the worse time to move, really. It is the unhealthiest time.
People like [Reese Howells and others often talk of moving to some action for God from a sense of
burden. Is there any way in which you could kind of help to distinguish between that burden that is
in the intuition of your spirit and therefore is something of God, and maybe a burden of worry or
anxiety that lies on our emotions?
Undoubtedly the wise man will say only the Holy Spirit can show us. It does seem from some of the
discussion we did about prayer times that undoubtedly when you have a burden to pray, and you pray,
the burden lifts. So it is something that is obviously a sign from God that you ought to pray.
Whereas if it doesn’t lift, then you ought to wonder is this a weight that Satan is placing upon me
or is this something in my emotions, so undoubtedly what happens after you act on the thing can
indicate in some way whether it was a burden from God or not.
You see that even when Paul says, “I am in travail until Christ is fully formed in you” even in that
same moment you can imagine him saying, “I rejoice and again I rejoice.” In other words, it’s
possible for a spirit to be rejoicing in Jesus and in his presence, and yet to have a real heaviness
because of some dear one who is far from God so the two are consistent. It’s possible to have that
joy in God. Perhaps that is the only thing that keeps many of us alive — because we can enjoy God
whatever the situation is like elsewhere, and yet because of that sensitivity of God’s heart we can
feel a burden for others.
[Muniham 39:32] has an ability to impart feelings to people that are a blessing.
It seems to me maybe the wise thing is to make a distinction between what Paul said, where in the
first chapter of Romans he prayed he would come to the Romans that “he may impart some spiritual
gift to you, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.” And if we assume that’s
right, and that’s a good thing, and that’s what somebody like [Muniham?] was able to do: to impart
to a person a spiritual gift or a sense of God’s love for them. And that is always something that
is implanted in our spirits and then is able to work out and it’s just different from the other kind
of ra-ra-ra stuff whereby we try to rouse each other up into a happy happy feeling.
So don’t you think there are two ways to say, “This is the day that the Lord hath made,” and you all
say, “We will rejoice and be glad in it.” There are two ways to say that aren’t there? There
really are. Because one way is in the spirit, really meaning it from the spirit and you bringing
forth your spirit and saying, “We will rejoice and be glad in it.” The other way is almost as a
kind of cheerleader approach: “this is something that will turn our thoughts up and make us feel
happy.” It seems the line is so fine between imparting a spiritual gift to a person, and imparting
just an emotion that will last precisely the length of time that emotions last.
One of the great difficulties is — we aren’t making this distinction too much in Christianity.
That’s why we wonder why more deep things are not happening. I mean, have you ever wondered why the
crime rate is just about as high as it was just before this whole “Christian movement” started? The
truth is that there is surprisingly little real “Christian” in the movement, and there’s a lot of
fire and a lot of smoke but there isn’t too much power; there is more heat than light. And loved
ones, unless some of us get our eyes on Jesus and go through into spiritual maturity, this whole
thing will fade like snow off a ditch in two or three years’ time and nobody will know that it was
even here. That’s why it’s so important for those of us who can see these things at all to begin to
move into a life that is above feelings and above emotions.
Now, may I just say again; that doesn’t mean that you’re a zombie or you’re a Buddhist, “Oh you
never feel anything. Yeah, I’m a very spiritual man I don’t feel a thing; never happy, never sad —
I just look like this all the time — one of the more boring people in the world.” No, that is not
it because Jesus said “weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice” and when he
comes into your spirit obviously you have all of his excitement and all of his beauty, but it comes
from within. That’s it. It comes from within.
And as you remember those two ladies that were hostages and were interviewed last night, they said
in the mornings they read the Bible and Thomas A. Kempis. And Thomas A. Kempis is so good; he, in
one particular chapter, says, “God granted me the consolation of devotion this morning.” Isn’t that
pretty humbling, that a saint like that should say, “God granted to me the consolation of devotion
this morning?” That is — this morning my dear Lord was good enough to give me a sense of devotion
and love for him.
But he was up there every morning praying whether he had that consolation or not, whereas we are so
often demanding. We so often won’t pray f we don’t feel that. Really, the more you get into the
lives of the saints, the more you begin to see what a holy, humble, band of men and women they are,
and you begin to see why they were able to walk through tortures and persecutions, and why God was
able to answer their faith.
So loved ones, maybe it’s pretty safe to forget your feelings. Maybe you won’t go too far astray if
you just ignore them. And if you say, “What do I watch?” Your conscience; watch your conscience
and exercise your will, that’s it. Exercise your faith that you are where God has placed you — and
that’s what you need to remember — God has put us all in his son Jesus, that’s fact one and our
faith is in that fact, and that’s where the power comes from. Praise God.
Let us pray. Dear Father, we thank you that it is as simple as that, that you, by a mighty fiat, a
mighty act, placed us all in your son Jesus, and you remade us in him and you raised us up and made
us sit with you at the right hand. Oh thank you — thank you Lord that we can fix our faith on that
fact and we can live by that faith for the rest of our lives untouched by our feelings, unaffected
by our feelings. We thank you that faith is simply believing that and then obeying and acting in
accordance with that. We thank you for that Lord.
We pray for each other here tonight. We pray dear Holy Spirit, that you would help anyone here who
is maybe a little vague in their own minds about it all, and that you would show them that in the
only way that matters at the actual moment when they need it; at the actual moment tonight or
tomorrow morning when they get up to pray, that you would reveal the truth to them; that they are in
Jesus not because we feel they are but because you dear God, put them there and that’s where they
are because you haven’t removed them.
Thank you Lord, thank you that we’re there by your side and that you are our dear Father and we are
your dear children. Now the grace of our Lord Jesus and the love of God and the fellowship of the
Holy Spirit be with each one of us now and ever more. Amen.