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Description: Emotions are a big part of our personalities. Do we let the world govern our emotions -- causing us to have so many ups and downs?
Spiritual Life #66
Sermon Transcript by Rev. Ernest O’Neill
What Scott read (today) was good where those dear Israelites said to Jeremiah (Jer. 43:2), “You are
telling a lie. The Lord our God did not send you to say, ‘Do not go to Egypt to live there.’” And I
thought it might be a good place to begin, to remind you all that we are engaged in tricky stuff
here on Sunday evenings — you probably realize that. I don’t want to be silly about the stuff,
because I think Gnosticism was the pride of knowledge and esoteric knowledge, and it’s very easy to
change the ground of your salvation from Jesus to the particular corner on truth that you have.
So it’s very important for us to see that even though what we discuss on Sunday evenings is deep,
its childishness compared with the final truth. Nevertheless, it is good to see that it is tricky
stuff that we’re engaged in. It is very easy to come Sunday evening after Sunday evening with a
little notebook and you note down the things that you have to do now, to be a spiritual person. You
come Sunday night after Sunday night and you take upon yourself more and more laws and burdens. And
if you do that this Sunday evening, the information will just bring you into bondage — it really
will. I am repeatedly assuming, (which is why I spent so long in the beginning of the year talking
about the Spirit filled life), I am assuming that you are at the place where you see that all that
you need is in Jesus, and you’re ready to do whatever, to have that made real in you.
So I’m assuming you’re in that spot and that you’re coming Sunday night after Sunday night with an
attitude, “Lord if there’s more that you have done for me on the cross, will you reveal it to me
tonight?” So that when light comes to you, you immediately see that it’s me saying, “What Jesus did
for you? Well, forgave you your sins. And then do you know what else he did for you? Oh — and
tonight I want to tell you something he did for you.” That’s the spirit of these evening sharing’s,
and it’s up to you to take it in that spirit and say, “Lord, I didn’t know that you did that for
me.” And then when you find that little thing inside you that says, “And I would prefer that you
didn’t do that for me,” then that’s good. That’s good because God is lovingly putting a little
point of his knife into something that has to be circumcised just there. That’s a good time, don’t
be afraid of that.
But if you are in fact a man or a woman who is under the law, and you don’t really see that Jesus
alone can live the Godly life through you, and you’re trying to live it yourself, then these
evenings are going to be very hard on you. The only way you can bare the evening teachings is if
you really see that you cannot do it and you say, “Lord I can’t do it. But Lord Jesus, if you did
this for me, if you removed this thing from me, and you give me this thing (that I’m hearing about)
then by your Holy Spirit I want to receive that and I want that made real in me by hook or by
crook.” So it’s good to have that attitude to Sunday evenings, loved ones.
I think you have to put up with me! I’ve said to you, “You’ve got me, and you have to put up with
me.” I think that today we live in a day of men-pleasers, and you have two extremes of authority.
You have the Jim Jones type — and it seems to me there are other groups like that, where it’s a
harsh kind of authoritarianism where you have some man telling everybody else what they ought to do.
Or on the other hand, you have men-pleasers; people such as I used to be as a minister — where I
had “itching ears”. That’s the mark of false prophets; I had ears that were itching to hear what
you, as a congregation, wanted me to say, so that you’d like me. So it seems there are those two
extremes today, and this is a real crisis of authority in the days that we’re living now.
Probably until the Antichrist comes, there will be those two emphases: this harsh, dictatorial
domination of men on the one side, and on the other side, these weak-kneed diluted preachers who are
afraid to say anything that will offend. Now loved ones, it’s up to us to help one another and pray
for one another and love one another down that middle road. When something touches you, the first
thing is to go to God and say, “Lord, I don’t know whether Pastor is right or not, but that came
home to me. Now will you show me if there’s something here that needs to be dealt with?” That’s
the only safe place, loved ones, it honestly is. The only safe place is one of humility. And if
you say to me, “Could you ever be wrong?” Wrong? A thousand times — I’m a dumb dumb; a poor
miserable idiot, who’s trying to read God’s heart. Sure, I could be wrong a thousand times – but
that isn’t the issue.
The issue is that the Holy Spirit took something that some poor idiot said, and brought it home to
your conscience. That then ceases to be the voice of that idiot, and that becomes the voice of God
to you and that’s where we dwell, loved ones. We don’t have infallible preaches — we don’t, and
we’ve never had them — the world has never had them. The world has always had creatures that were
sent by God to do his bidding, and they said a lot of right things and a lot of wrong things. But
the big thing was, the Holy Spirit took some of their words and made them real to certain
consciences and hearts, and when that happened, that was the word of God to that person and that’s
where we sit.
So all the time we sit here, Sunday after Sunday, we are saying, “Holy Spirit, hold up your umbrella
to save me from the stuff I shouldn’t hear tonight, and bring through to me the things that I should
hear.” That’s the only safe place loved ones, so I do encourage you to take that attitude.
I’d like to try to talk a little about the emotions tonight, and maybe have a short time for
questions. I’ll take it a little at a time, Sunday evening by Sunday evening; no big, long,
presentation, but just a little, so that the Holy Spirit can implant seeds in our hearts, and so
that you can ask me, where I’m able, to clarify what I’ve said.
The emotions are obviously the part of us that register happiness, sadness, despair, despondency,
elation, joy, delight, melancholy, resentment, even hatred. So when you think of the emotions, you
begin to realize that they cover the greater part of your psychological personality, because the
mind is the part of us that reasons and judges, and the will is the part of us that decides and
executes. So apart from those functions that are performed by the mind and the will, the emotions
perform all the other functions. And you don’t need me to tell you that any one of us here will
say, “Boy, the emotions, then, are about the biggest part of my personality.”
And actually that’s true — they are. They’re about the biggest part of most of our personalities.
It’s hard, even when you examine the life of an Einstein who is a very intellectual person; you find
that he also was a very emotional person, and very sensitive in his emotions. So it’s difficult,
even when you get a very cerebral personality, that is — a very intellectual personality — it’s
really hard to say that the intellect in that person occupies more of their time, and their
reactions, and their responses than the emotions. In most of us, the emotions occupy most of our
life, and are the greater part of our personality life.
Even those of us who were born of very willful mums or dads — the kind that just keep on, and on,
and on, like a tank — even those of us who inherited some of that willfulness, that stubbornness,
that determination — even in us, the emotions usually occupy a greater part of our personality than
the will. So really, when you talk about emotion, you’re talking about the larger part of most
peoples’ lives, and you’re talking therefore about a great playground for Satan or a beautiful place
for Jesus to dwell.
Now what I would suggest you do here at the beginning is to look at a perfect personality. You
remember Oswald Chambers said the study of psychology should be the study of the perfect man rather
than the study of the imperfect man. But so much psychology is, I’m afraid, the study of the
diseased personalities that so many of us are at different times. So it’s important to look at the
perfect personality and see how emotions were meant to operate.
So loved ones, would you take a Bible and will you turn to John 17:1. The perfect personality, of
course, is God’s son Jesus. We begin reading where it’s coming up to the time when Jesus is going
to be arrested: “When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven and said,
‘Father, the hour has come; glorify thy Son that the Son may glorify thee, since thou hast given him
power over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom thou hast given him. And this is eternal
life, that they know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent. I glorified thee
on earth, having accomplished the work which thou gavest me to do; and now, Father, glorify thou me
in thy own presence with the glory which I had with thee before the world was made.’” You can sense
some of the warmth between Jesus and his Father, and some of the enthusiasm as he looked forward to
returning into his Father’s immediate presence. You can sense a whole life of the emotion there,
between him and his Father.
Now then would you look at Verse 25, “O righteous Father, the world has not known thee, but I have
known thee; and these know that thou hast sent me. I made known to them thy name, and I will make
it known, that the love with which thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.” And so there
was a whole love relationship between Jesus and his Father, and then he (Jesus) hits the
circumstances (John 18:1): “When Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples
across the Kidron valley, where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered. Now Judas,
who betrayed him, also knew the place; for Jesus often met there with his disciples. So Judas,
procuring a band of soldiers and some officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, went there
with lanterns and torches and weapons. Then Jesus, knowing all that was to befall him, came forward
and said to them, ‘Whom do you seek?’ They answered him, ‘Jesus of Nazareth.’ Jesus said to them,
‘I am he.’ Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. When he said to them, “I am he,” they
drew back and fell to the ground. Again he asked them, ‘Whom do you seek?’ And they said, ‘Jesus of
Nazareth.’ Jesus answered, ‘I told you that I am he; so, if you seek me, let these men go.’ This
was to fulfil the word which he had spoken, ‘Of those whom thou gavest me I lost not one.’ Then
Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s slave and cut off his right ear.
The slave’s name was Malchus. Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not
drink the cup which the Father has given me?’”
That’s the way our emotions are meant to operate: Jesus emotions were governed, first and foremost,
by the real life that he had with his Father. We would call it the life we have in our quiet times
or our prayer times, but that’s what governed his emotions. So he came away from that continual
fellowship with his Father with a great quietness of spirit. So when the lanterns swung in the
darkness, and he heard the clang of the swords, he wasn’t moved by it at all; he carried on with the
same peace of his emotions that he had when he and his Father were on their own together. And then
when he came to the time when they were going to arrest him, it was almost him that had to encourage
them (his captors) to do something, “Listen I am Jesus of Nazareth,” and they fell back at that in
surprise and he said, “I am Jesus — what do you want?”
You notice the peace he had in his heart as he said, “I’m the one you’re looking for so let these
men go.” He was at such peace that he wasn’t all riled up about himself, but he was concerned about
the others. He had a real calmness in his heart and his emotions — now loved ones, that’s the
normal way for the emotions to work. In other words, the emotions are governed by your friendship
and relationship with your dear Father in heaven; that’s what governs everything. It’s not the
outside circumstances, it’s not the outside events, it’s your relationship with God — that’s the
way we’re meant to operate.
In communion with God, Jesus knew what was going to happen because you see in John 18:4, “Then
Jesus, knowing all that was to befall him, came forward and said to them, ‘Whom do you seek?’” So
in communion with God he had a real peace and joy with his Father, the big thing was — he was on
his way to return to his Father. He was enjoying the love that his Father had for him. He was
filled with that, and he knew through his communion with God, by intuition, what was going to happen
to him so he walked right into the midst of the circumstances, was not shook by them at all, was not
influenced by them or thrown into panic by them, but continued on as if it was just him and his
Father. Now that’s the way our emotions are meant to operate.
Any of you who know Latin know that “movere” is “to move” and becomes our English word “move”. And
“eH” is “ex” – “out of”. “Emotions” actually means moving out. And that’s the normal way the
emotions are meant to operate; they’re meant to move out from the center of our beings, from us as
we really are with God, they’re meant to move out and govern our bodies and govern our expressions
to other people. That’s the normal life of an ordinary man or woman in God’s world. Now the
abnormal life is there in Verse 10, “Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high
priest’s slave and cut off his right ear.” That’s the abnormal life — where the emotions are
utterly overwhelmed and controlled by the outward situation. So Peter sees the people coming
towards him and he sees the swords so he draws out his own sword and swings –that’s the abnormal
life of the emotion, emotions that are governed from the outside.
Now you can see that’s why your emotions or my emotions move so much from one side to the other.
Have you noticed that tremendous happiness is usually followed by depression or melancholy? And a
great time of feeling outgoing and unselfish to others is often followed by complete preoccupation
with yourself? It’s because the emotions are governed by the outside world which is always
changing, and as the outside world changes, so change your emotions. Now you may say, “Well, why do
the emotions change so quickly and the mind, for instance, doesn’t? Or why doesn’t the will change
quite as quickly?” Well, because God has linked the emotions closely to the body for a purpose.
The emotions are to be the last chain, the last messenger that tells the body what to do. That’s
God’s plan. Therefore the emotions are very close to the body; when you’re embarrassed, you blush.
Immediately the circulation of your blood is influenced by the emotion you feel, because actually
that’s the way God meant your body to work: that you’d feel a thing in your emotions and then you’d
express it through your body. Of course the abnormal life works the other way around and that’s why
your emotions are so changeable, because they’re so closely connected to your body and whatever your
body is experiencing that immediately stimulates the emotions.
And of course that’s why so many of us have what we call spiritual lives. They’re not spiritual
lives at all but we say, “Oh, our spiritual life is up and down.” Well, it’s not our spiritual life
that is up and down — it’s nothing to do with our spirit. Our spirit at that time is usually half
asleep; it’s our emotional life that is up and down. But many of us actually live in our emotions
most of the time. It’s very interesting that many of us think we’re living in our spirits but we’re
actually all the time living emotionally. That’s what François Fenelon was trying to get at in that
second paragraph that was in today’s bulletin. He said, “The second step in coming into victory is
to cease to rest on the pleasures of inward sensibility.”
Now inward sensibility, for him, means emotions. The struggle here is in general more severe and
prolonged. It is hard to die to those inward tastes and relishes which make us feel so happy and
which God usually permits us to enjoy and to rest upon in our first experience. When we lose our
inward happiness we are very apt to think that we lose God and that’s because many of us live in our
emotions and not really in our spirits. Our emotions are effected, very readily, by the environment
our body is in. So some of us actually read God’s word, and if God’s word agrees with our emotions,
we obey it; if God’s word doesn’t agree with our emotions, we refuse it. It gets back, actually, to
that strong word of Jeremiah, “You lie to us.” Have you ever found yourself reacting against some
truth and thinking, “No, no, that can’t be.” It’s because your emotional life is so strong and is
being guided from the outside, rather than from the inside by your relationship with God.
Many of us, of course, say in response to that, “Oh, then you mean a spiritual man or a spiritual
woman is one who is not emotional.” No — if you try to annihilate your emotions you’ll become as
abnormal as a person who uses their emotions the wrong way. You’ll become one of those people who
are cold and distant from others and who cannot love the brothers and sisters (in the church), and
cannot rejoice with those who rejoice, or weep with those who weep. You know, whenever you meet one
of those old saints that know God, you don’t think of a person who is emotionless. In fact, it
seems that they’re freer with their emotions than anybody else. So loved ones, the Spirit filled
life is not a life without emotion.
Jesus showed plenty of emotion: he wept when he met Mary and Martha and they told him about
Lazareth’s dying. He showed great emotion when he showed pity and sympathy for the woman caught in
adultery. Jesus showed emotion. So a spiritual life is not one that annihilates emotion; a
spiritual life is one where the emotions are moving out from within, and that’s the difference
between inspiration and emotion. Emotion is where the outside circumstances and the outside events
dictate what you feel in your emotions. Inspiration is where God moves — from within.
There is an example of it, really a terrifying example, in Exodus. Would you look at it, it’s
Exodus 32 — which certainly will banish any thought that the Spirit-filled life is one without
emotions. Moses of course, does it very well — but again, its emotions moving as God planned for
them to move. Exodus 32:7, “And the Lord said to Moses, ‘Go down; for your people, whom you brought
up out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves; they have turned aside quickly out of the
way which I commanded them; they have made for themselves a molten calf, and have worshiped it and
have sacrificed to it, and said, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land
of Egypt!’ And the Lord said to Moses, ‘I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stiff-necked
Now again; God gave it to Moses inside, so in his fellowship with God, in his communion with God,
Moses sensed what God thought and what he felt. And then you probably want to see the absolutely
emotionless way in which he expressed it! Verse 19, “And as soon as he came near the camp and saw
the calf and the dancing, Moses’ anger burned hot, and he threw the tables out of his hands and
broke them at the foot of the mountain. And he took the calf which they had made, and burnt it with
fire, and ground it to powder, and scattered it upon the water, and made the people of Israel drink
it.” Yes — very emotionless!
So there’s a lot of emotion in the close walk with Jesus. The distinction is not one between
emotion and no emotion, but between inspiration and emotion. Between feelings that come as an
expression of what you have in your spirit from God, as opposed to emotion that comes from without.
And that’s the emotion that gives us trouble loved ones — you know it, you don’t need me to say it.
You go into situations and they’re boiling with tension and with hatred and before you know it your
own little soul is boiling away the same way and you just can’t hold it down. Or any of us, even
when we were children at home, you know what happened when we all had to get going somewhere and we
were late; it’s impossible to keep calm, it’s just impossible. Every dad is running around, mums
are running around, grabbing that, grabbing this, getting out into the car and everybody’s worked up
into a frenzy by the time they get into the car.
And it’s the same whatever we’re doing. All our disease, our sickness, our ulcers, our tension, our
strain; they all come loved ones, from being dominated by the outside world — you know they do and
I know they do. You’re walking into the office on Monday morning; you’ve really prayed up before
you go in, and you walk into the office determined you are going to be kind to that miserable,
sarcastic brat on the other side of the desk. You sit down, and she says one sentence and that’s it
— the old emotions respond — it’s a reflex response. That’s why if you say to me, “Well brother
that’s right. How do I become normal?” You don’t — if you’d only see that once and for all. You
can’t become normal. You can’t take your personality that is, at the moment, twisted and perverted
and operating the wrong way, and make it work the right way. You can’t.
That’s where all the books that suggest that you can do it by your own self discipline, or by
practicing some little tricks of psychology you can somehow begin to control your emotions. You
can’t loved ones. And I hate to bore you but you do have to find out that there is no way, just no
way in which you are going to reverse that situation. There isn’t. There is only one who can,
there is only one.
That is exactly what happens if you follow those green arrows (Looking at a diagram that shows green
arrows pointing from the things of the world that so often influence our emotions.) You go in to
work with all the best resolutions in the world: you’re going to be kind to that sarcastic so-and-so
on the other side of the desk, and you get in and she makes one comment that comes in from the
world, through your ears of your body, and it hits your emotions. With most of us our mind isn’t
involved in the thing, our mind has no chance, the will is a poor little henpecked husband because
it can do nothing – it just hits the emotions and it darts right out again — that’s the level on
which many of our lives are lived. The only way to change that is if God, in Jesus’ dear death, has
utterly flooded out that personality and has given us a new one.
And that’s why we talk about this as the process experience of sanctification; because bringing
these emotions from getting joy back to expressing joy is an experience that comes by accepting,
“Lord I accept and I know that you have taken these emotions of mine, and Lord Jesus as you bent
yours under your own will there in the garden when you were arrested, so I know you took my emotions
and you bent mine under your will also. I know you’ve done that, and I know Lord that therefore I
am able to have that made real in me — anything that you have done, I am able to experience.
Anything that you have not done, I am not able to experience, with all my willpower. So Lord I know
that has happened. Now by your Holy Spirit, will you begin to work and make that real in me?” And
then the Holy Spirit lovingly begins to work on your emotions, and begins, usually, to teach you how
to listen to him and how to spend more time with him.
And usually loved ones, it comes not from concentrating on the emotions at all, but concentrating on
the Holy Spirit. That’s the meaning of that verse in Romans 8:13, “for if you live according to the
flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you will live.” Now
that’s it you see, “If by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body.” In other words,
there’s only one way to get the reality of what Jesus has done for your emotions on the cross into
your own life; that is by the Holy Spirit taking this and putting it inside me. That’s the only way
– by a miracle.
That’s what we mean, “If by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body.” If you try to do it
by the flesh you’ll become an emotionless person. You’ll say to yourself, “I have to get hold of
these emotions. I’m going to get hold of these emotions.” And so you’ll go way over to one
extreme, or you’ll become absolutely insensitive to everybody. You’ll become some kind of a
perverted being in another way. The only way to have the emotions trained and molded to be a fit
servant of your spirit is the Holy Spirit doing it. So it is by faith you see, it’s by faith.
So don’t get all upset about yourself; the way through it is by realizing that God in Jesus changed
that and he has a pure, emotional personality that is perfectly balanced that belongs to each one of
us. There is perfect emotional equipment that has been renewed and resurrected in Jesus, and the
Holy Spirit is able to make that real in you as you believe that and as you submit to the Holy
Spirit and trust him.
So it involves a lot of going to the office and saying, “Holy Spirit, I am lost if that dear soul on
the other side of that desk speaks as she normally does. I am lost, unless you somehow rescue me
and save me.” And you go in and she speaks and you whip right back and the Holy Spirit, after you
get quiet again, says, “Well, you were too busy with her. Next time I want you not to preoccupy
yourself with her, but to get down to working at things on your desk.” The Holy Spirit will guide
you; he will guide you positively how to begin to live from within.
Loved ones that really is the only way to begin to come into victory in your emotional life. If you
don’t do that you will become more and more dominated by your circumstances and by other people and
you in fact become the play thing of Satan. That’s why many of us are tired so often; none of us
really are tired at all, but we feel tired but we never make any distinction between bodily fatigue,
which really does require some rest, and emotional weariness because the emotions and selfish
emotion is very self favoring and it produces, really, laziness. I don’t know if you find yourself
at home at times thinking, “Oh, am I just lazy?” And often it’s because we’re emotionally drained
and we feel, “I just have to back off for awhile.” We’ll never be able to distinguish between real
physical fatigue and simply emotional weariness, or just laziness that comes from fearfulness and a
lack of faith, unless we begin to come into this life where our emotions operate as they’re meant to
Maybe because this dear fellow is so balanced, I just would like to read something very short that
(Watchman) Nee says about the emotional person and I think we’ll probably see ourselves in it.
“Anyone who acts from emotion cares neither for principal nor for reason but only for his feeling.
Should he be happy or thrilled he may be tempted to undertake what he ordinarily knows as
unreasonable but when he feels cold, melancholy, or despondent he will not so much as fulfill his
duty for his feeling fails to go along. If God’s children would pay a little attention to their
emotion they would note how changeable it actually can be and how dangerous it is therefore to walk
by it.” And that’s true, when we’re governed by our emotions, we can act when our emotions are
enthusiastic, but if they’re not enthusiastic we find ourselves in passivity. So they’re not really
our servant, they’re actually our master.
He says, “One quality which characterizes a spiritual person is the great calm he maintains under
every circumstance. Whatever may happen around him or however much he may be provoked, he accepts
it all calmly and exhibits an unmovable nature. He is one who is able to regulate his every feeling
because his emotion has been yielded to the cross and his will and spirit are permeated with the
power of the Holy Spirit. No extreme provocation has the strength to unsettle him.” And loved
ones, that’s God’s will for us, and only when we do that do we become useful for him, because while
we’re at the mercy of our emotions we’re actually at the mercy of the world and finally at the mercy
Now loved ones, there are lots more things to be said, but does anyone want me to clarify anything
or anybody want to add anything that would be helpful? It really gets back, as you can see, to
where the heart of your life is, doesn’t it? It really does. Because obviously when you’re
dependent on your friends then your emotions are under their control you see. So it really probably
gets back to — where do you get the heart of your life from, is it from your dear Father in heaven?
And if it is, then there comes from you the joy of that and the peace of that and that overwhelms
every other circumstance you come into.
Have you ever noticed there’s a difference between going into a situation filled and going into a
situation empty like a piece of blotting paper, just ready to absorb anything that comes in? Maybe
we actually if we go into every situation filled with the spirit; filled with the joy and delight in
God, and then everything comes right and you interpret things rightly. There’s a lot of
Christianity today that is just emotion, I think we all know that. The important thing is to
concentrate on God and see that we’re not involved in that.
Question from the audience (inaudible)
I agree. There’s a difference being under control of your emotions, but it seems to me one
important aspect of emotions is the [inaudible 40:17] and so [inaudible 40:19] information comes
into the senses and so that must be an important aspect must be emotions [inaudible 40:30] and first
and most of the anger that way that anger will [inaudible 40:44-40:47], because they receive that
through their senses.
David is saying that are the emotions not used in the reception of the information that comes from
the world that brings about your response? And I suppose the plan that the Father has for us Dave,
is that we would actually not read the world so much through our emotions as through our mind
directing our eyes, and the mind would be directed by the will, and it would in turn be directed by
the conscience and by our fellowship with God so that it would see things as they really are. So I’m
sure it’s God’s plan that I would look at Dave as he comes in to talk with me and I would observe
things with my eyes and yet I would be in a place of quietness with God where I’d also have the
insight of the Holy Spirit to read him rightly.
In other words, certainly reading him physically, but realizing that even that was limited. Most of
all reading him intuitively by my spirit, and then being free to express to him through balanced
emotions what God wanted. I think the tragedy is that many of us find our emotions getting in the
way of all that, like smoke. We come into a situation — especially an emotional situation — and I
think of funerals. It seems funerals are a time when it’s a great blessing if you can walk as God
wants you to walk, because then your emotions are under the control of your spirit so you are not
insensitive and you can weep with those that weep but is as not that weeping unto death that so
often is present at a funeral parlor. It is an emotion that is right to express the love and the
empathy that you feel for them, and yet your emotions are not absolutely overwhelming you so that
you do have the presence of mind to speak and to do what is needed.
So I think Dave, that I know what you’re saying, I thought of that myself; “Now aren’t the emotions
in some way part of the receiving equipment that human beings have?” And I think probably, God’s
will is that we would receive mostly through an emotion that is under the control of his Spirit.
And so if there is some receiving through the emotion, it’s receiving through an emotion that is
controlled and directed by the spirit.
Now I think you’d agree that so often that’s where we fail to even read a situation right, because
our own emotions are contributing something to our reading of it and so we don’t actually read it
right. But I certainly agree with you; I can’t say to Dave, “I perceive you spiritually at this
moment. Now I’m seeing you with my emotions.” I’m sure that one can’t do that, so I agree with
you. It seems to me the key is that the emotions would be so under the control of our fellowship
with God that they would not be a smoke screen or cloud the issue, but would be an aid to us in
reading a situation responding to it.
[Question Inaudible 44:14]
Yes. That’s why I thought it was good to read that bit by Moses where he hurled the tablets of
stone! And it seems to me there are times, as you can see in Luther’s life and in the lives of
others who protested against real blasphemies against God, there are times when you speak out with
strength. I honestly would say that Jesus words to the true ones “whoever loses his life for my
sake will find it” — if you’re prepared to lose your natural life and give it over to him suddenly
you find it. You find that you’re more of a personality than you ever were before.
Now it seems to me that those who are delivered from that part of self and preoccupation with self
are freer to be themselves than anybody else. And they’re freer from inhibitions because they’re
freer from caring what people think of them, or what the consequences of their doing certain things
might be, and therefore they’re freer personalities than they were before. I would think that
that’s what I have found; that Jesus gives you greater freedom to be yourself than you ever had
before so, yeah I agree.
The issue isn’t – actually I think some of you get a little twisted up on this, the issue isn’t, “In
this church we all have to pray real quiet, and we don’t want any fast music, and we don’t want any
loud song, and we don’t want any wild clapping or dancing in the aisles.” That’s dumb! You can
have all of those if they come from within — that’s the heart of it. Are they coming from our joy
in our Father’s presence, or are they coming because the guy beside us is doing it, or because the
rhythm is getting hold of our physical emotions? That’s the heart of the thing you know. It’s not
the outward – it’s not that all spiritual Christian’s are very quiet, or all spiritual Christian’s
don’t show emotion, it’s that it comes from within.
And joyously, it’s not a conscious, posturing thing. It’s a delight in our Father’s presence; it’s
a delight in your Father. It’s actually putting God first and loving him and everything else
follows. So it is a delightful thing. So don’t get the idea, “I don’t want to spill the spirit out
by rocking too much.” No, it’s a joyful preoccupation with God as our dear Father who loves us, and
then letting everything come from that. What Augustine said, “Love God and do what you like.”
Really, that’s true.
[Question inaudible 47:05]
Well I, I just know Clyde that I was so glad when the time came in my life when I was driving along
in my car and found myself smiling to Jesus. That was so good, you know, because then I wasn’t
doing it because they taught us in seminary how to smile when somebody is watching, but just because
I was delighted in Jesus and it seems that that’s the heart of it; that it’s only possible to
rejoice when it’s a spontaneous thing that comes from within. But those of you who may not have
found that joy yet, loved ones; honestly, it’s only for one reason; because God is not the dearest
one to you. That’s it, honestly.
Whenever you eventually size things up and see that really in this world there is not much beside
God, and God becomes all in all to you, that’s when joy overflows. I know it because I knew the old
way, where God was not all in all to me. Those people got on my nerves who said, “Rejoice and again
I say rejoice,” I thought, “Sure rejoice, but we have to fight the good fight and we have to
struggle against temptation.” And that’s what life was for me you know. But it just is different
when I surrendered all, “All to Jesus I surrender, I surrender all.” Oh, that’s a dear, a dear
place to be.
Dear Jesus thou art everything to me. And everything I own I give to thee. My world, my all, but
most of all dear Lord, I give myself to thee. Dear Lord, we see that you are happy all the time.
We see that there isn’t a moment when you are not bursting with joy and happiness because you’re
right with our dear Father, your dear Father, in heaven. And then suddenly it strikes us Lord, that
that’s exactly where we are; because those of us who are dead in our trespasses and sins, you have
raised up and made to sit with you in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. And that’s us, and
that’s where we are tonight.
And oh Lord Jesus, we would believe that tonight, we would accept that by faith, that that’s where
we are and Lord, we want to get to know this heaven. We want to get to know its joys and delights.
We want to get to know the angels here, we want to get to know the others who are with you here, we
want to get to know what it’s like to see that dear old world down below us from this position. And
so Lord, we accept by faith that we have been crucified and have been raised and made to sit with
you in heavenly places, and we thank you for that spot.
And dear Father, we intend to spend more of our time with you here. We intend to enjoy what we’ve
called prayer times up to this moment; we intend to enjoy those more. We intend to enjoy talking to
you more, delighting in the things that you’ve made, thanking you for leaves that we see brown on
the ground. Thanking you for rivers and water that we see. Beginning to enjoy the world with you
and tell you how much we enjoy all the things that you’ve given us.
Lord, we intend to begin to live as normal children of our heavenly Father and put you first in our
lives and fill our hearts with the joy and the peace that you give. Then Lord, we know that all the
rest will follow. When we delight ourselves in the Lord, he will give us the desires of our hearts.
We will walk into this office tomorrow morning with such a sense of delight and peace and joy, that
that will touch everything we touch and that will moderate and influence every circumstance and
situation, and that will filter out the evil from all the things that are fed into us by our
colleagues and by others.
Lord we thank you for that, thank you that this is your will for us. So Father we would come to you
now and thank you that in Jesus you destroy those old emotions and that old emotional equipment that
was so tied to circumstances and peoples comments. We thank you that you’ve given us new emotions
that are used to working outward from you and from our friendship with you. And now Holy Spirit, we
trust you to begin to replace our emotions with our new and real ones, the ones that we have from
Jesus at the right hand of God. Lord, we give ourselves to you for this purpose. Thank you that
it’s possible to live above the world and live free. Thank you Lord. Thank you.
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 throughout this coming week. Amen.