In my last post I talked about powerful feelings – sinful desires and temptations – that can be so strong we FEEL like we must do their bidding. Today I want to sail in the opposite direction and talk about when we DON’T FEEL like obeying God.
Have you ever thought about how many positive commands God has given us that go contrary to our feelings?
I don’t feel like loving my enemies. I’m not aware of having any, but if by any chance some of you readers are my enemies, I don’t feel like loving you. I don’t feel like blessing those who curse me and doing good to those who abuse me expecting nothing in return.
I don’t feel like laying down my life to serve others. I don’t feel like giving my money to God, bearing others’ burdens or looking to the interests of others. It’s so much easier to look to my own interests.
I don’t always feel like going to my small group. Lots of Sundays, I don’t feel like I want to worship with the saints. Jesus says his commands are not burdensome, but I must confess, to my sinful nature they seem like heavy loads at times.
“Follow your heart” is bad advice for me. If I were to follow my heart, I’d follow it to the couch and turn on the TV. What to the cupboard and get out some cheese it’s. I’m naturally very selfish.
But in the Christian life feelings aren’t supposed to drive the train. Just as we don’t have to obey sinful feelings, neither must we follow our lack of feelings when it comes to obeying God. Faith should drive the train for a believer.
Paul says that our obedience springs from faith.
…through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations (Romans 1:5)
Obedience doesn’t spring forth from feelings but faith. Paul wasn’t graced to bring about the obedience of feelings, but the obedience of faith.
So what do we do when we feel zero desire to obey?
First confess your sin and weakness to God. He won’t be surprised. Tell him, “Lord, I have no desire to worship this morning. I don’t feel like forgiving this person. I don’t want to serve my kids tonight. Remember God gives grace to the humble.
Then pray. ”Jesus help me! Please help me to desire to go to my small group tonight. Help me desire to serve this brother. Help me love my wife. Help me love this needy person. Please give me your love for him. HELP!
Then step out in faith. Obey God’s word, not your lack of desire. Just put on your shoes and jacket, grab your car keys, get in the car and go.
Faith is the engine and feelings are the caboose. When faith drives the train, feelings will usually follow. After I obey God, I’m almost always glad. Glad I went to small group, glad I served, glad I gave some money away.
What’s driving your train?