to the spiritual response called feeling?
Some people think our feelings are never accurate and cannot be
trusted. These same people are afraid if
we allow a person to get in touch with their emotional response to God and life
that somehow they will succumb to a life of disorder. Jesus didn’t live His
life that way – neither did Paul or the disciples. They felt the Spirit’s
prompting and responded with feeling.
Jesus looked at the
5,000 and said, “I feel sorry for these people.” Paul wrote to the Ephesians that some people,
“who being past feeling”, had given themselves over to sin. Paul’s warning to
the Ephesian Church was about a real danger that exists for those who try to
live their spiritual life without feeling. Paul told the Corinthians, “I feel a
divine jealousy for you”. The writer of Hebrews said, “We feel sure of better
things that belong to salvation”. The people
we read about in scripture were in touch with their redeemed ability to feel.
Our feelings, now
that we have been redeemed, reflect a new nature. Our new identity delivered a new set of
feelings for us to explore that were not fully present before the Spirit came
and set up residence in our lives. We
now live with the possibility of Spirit-directed feelings. Sure, the lesser feelings will always be there
to do battle with the new things we now feel, but those old feelings are not as
powerful as the new God-feelings we now carry.