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Don’t Be Duped by a Feeling

If we wait for our feelings to catch up to our faith,
we may well never move from our place of comfort.


Imagine you’re finishing up your studies to be a doctor. You started with such a passion! You put in the time, worked hard to get the grades, and after all those classes, it’s time to graduate. You are thrilled at the accomplishment and so many are ecstatic with you! You can hardly believe it’s finally come.

Everything is in place, but there’s a problem nagging at you. Even though you have everything you need to begin practicing medicine, you just don’t feel like a doctor. You tried to work up the feeling, to reflect on what might be behind it, but your feeling never did match what you had gained so you decided this must not be your path.

What do you feel like? You wanted a job that was fairly simple and straightforward so you decided to get an application to run the counter at a gas station convenience store. The manager was a little leery of hiring someone so overqualified, but you convinced him that was right where you needed to be so he hired you.

Years passed and you never really did feel like a doctor so you stayed right where you were and made the best of it.


I think the sad thing is so many Christians live like this every day. They don’t feel like an overcomer or a world-changer so they go through life like they have nothing beyond what’s right in front of them.

This is not a metaphor knocking gas station attendants, but if you’re trained and ready to be a doctor, it doesn’t make sense to take this other position.

Fears and anxiety and pressures want us to back down and play it safe. We often don’t like to feel the responsibility that comes with what we’ve been given, but we must engage.

This is not about working for salvation. You have gifts that God gave you. Those gifts had (or have) to be developed and shaped into something more usable. Beyond your personal gifts, you have all the resources of heaven behind you so that His Kingdom would come and His will would be done on earth as it is in heaven.

In the illustration, the person never became a doctor. Why? A doctor can only be called a doctor when he is practicing. In other words, he’s a guy with a fancy paper on his wall until he steps out and does something to help people.

You can tell people over and over that you’re a Christian, but if they don’t see the evidence in the way you live your life and act, there is something wrong.

James 2 tells us plainly that faith without works is dead and useless. Even demons believe He’s God and He’s great, but truth means something and becomes a part of us when we put it into action.

Do you ever fall into the trap of following feeling over faith? Is there an action step you can take today to show your faith?

12 Comments

  1. I think part of the problem sometimes, at least for me, is we focus on not wanting to prove God wrong instead of living to prove Him right. If I don’t step out, I can’t fail. If I don’t fail, I won’t make myself or other “Christians” look bad. That in no way is a right attitude to have by anyone, but I know it exists all too often.

    Thanks for putting these things down in a way that made me address that thought process. God is big enough to lead us to success and more than big enough to cover our failures. If I don’t “feel it,” it just means I haven’t dug deep enough yet. I will claim and march toward victory until I am victorious.

    • His word is greater and more important than my feelings. It’s not that the feelings aren’t important, but they often follow along after we take the step (at least in my case). Between how I feel and His word, I gotta go with His word! You bring one of those “greatest hits” excuses we’ve probably all used. The way to break through that is to act on our faith. Thanks Philip.

  2. Man, if I waiting every time for my feelings to catch up with my faith I be in soooooo much trouble. Yet there are times when the two collide and what an awesome moment that is. Trust, faith and believe that the Father is leading us to do what He has given us to do…yep, that’s the ticket. Thanks Jason…good, thought provoking stuff!

    “In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you.” Romans 12:6 NLT
    Jay Cookingham recently posted..ValidationMy Profile

    • Maybe I should have said it in the post, but I don’t believe that our emotions are evil or we should suppress them or anything like that. They just aren’t higher than His word and purposes for me and when I trust Him and step out, the feelings of fulfillment can’t help but come! You’re so right--action, faith, and emotion come together and it’s powerful! Thank you so much, Jay.

  3. Not sure if this fits or not jason, but must admit there are times i wake up and certainly don’t feel like a pastor. Even after I get to the office I have to remind myself of what I do and why I do it. If feelings ruled, I would be unemployed, or in some other field.
    bill (cycleguy) recently posted..DestructionMy Profile

    • I fought against the idea for a long time, Bill. First it was preaching, then pastoring--but God knows what He’s doing and I FEEL so blessed now to be able to do what I was made to do. You’re definitely on topic, Bill! Thanks so much.

  4. Words are easy… Action is what defines our lives, especially in the difficult parts of it. If God leads us to a place and gifts us in an area, He will see us through the rough spots.

    Telling the world who we are is far below showing them who we are and Who we belong to.
    floyd recently posted..AND THE RAIN CAME DOWNMy Profile

    • Incredible to imagine what millions and millions of Christians waking up and living like Jesus would look like. He didn’t just go about speaking good, He went about DOING good and healing all those oppressed by the evil one (Acts 10:38). What an awakening that would be! Thanks Floyd.

  5. So easy to let feelings dictate our lives- it takes practice to focus on God. It takes practice to take every thought captive and to be transformed into the likeness of Christ, it’s not something we can achieve by occasional meetings with God.
    TC Avey recently posted..Guest Post: LOOKING AHEADMy Profile

    • Absolutely! In the same way our human relationships mold us and transform us, our closeness to Him changes us. Unlike human relationships though, His is only transformation for the better and for our advancement. Thanks TC.

  6. i feel like that too sometimes…
    i’m a worship songwriter and we sing some of those songs at my church and we are even recording an album but it still does not feel like i’m a songwriter…i hear another song and think i could never write something like that…
    it’s a ugly trap…
    arny recently posted..Find Friends Who Use WordPressMy Profile

    • Oh Arny, that trap of comparison is a dangerous one! I know all about that. I have been terrified before because I watch someone else and panic thinking, “I can’t do it like they do it!” Then God always reassures me that He wants me to be me. He’s talked me off quite a few ledges! Blessings on your recording project--that’s very exciting!