A Valentine for Jesus

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Since becoming a believer, there have been many occasions that I’ve heard it is not right to go by feelings, or trust your feelings, or your emotions in regards to God and his word. The whole realm of feelings are discounted as unreliable. The key, they say, is God’s word. And since we humans have a mind, will, and emotions, these are no match for Spirit and Word.

I have plenty of experience with emotions, as do we all. However, with a diagnosis of Manic Depression, I may have even more experience with the intensity and unpredictability of emotions and mood. From being super energized and creative and upbeat to the point of madness, to being down in the dumps, weepy, and full of despair and battling suicidal thoughts. I’ve had them all.

But I also have God, and Spirit. And here’s the rub: This business about not relying on emotions with our walk with God is total bunk. It is even gross. If Jesus Christ came to give us forgiveness and access to the Father, and to reveal his love for us that we can have fellowship with him, what on earth would that even look like without engaging our deepest emotions? We are created to love and worship and adore the Creator. We write him love songs, we raise our hands in abandonment and worship, we sing with all of our heart, and we even shout unto God with a voice of triumph! We love him because he first loved us. And he demonstrated his love for us, in that while we were still in our sins, Christ died for us. To find ourselves in his arms after the world has beaten us and tossed us to and fro like a ship out to sea in a great storm, it is only right that we collapse in brokenness and sob our eyes out.  Jesus even said it would happen: whoever falls on this stone will be broken in pieces. (Shattered, crushed, a complete mess!)

And when we receive the Holy Spirit and begin babbling in a heavenly language, caught up in ecstatic praises with rapturous joy, would this be forbidden too? Paul himself claimed to speak in tongues more than anyone, and directed others to “forbid NOT speaking in tongues.”

If your heart and emotions are not in your bible reading, your prayer, your living walk with your living God, you may not have actually met him at all. It is with the heart that man believes unto righteousness, not the mind. You do not educate yourself into a knowledge of God, any more than you can know your mate by reading about him.

So give yourself to your Savior with complete abandonment, with your whole heart, soul, mind, and emotions, and discover what a Lover we truly worship!

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Who Asked You?

Try changing the questions you ask yourself.   If you ask, “Why can’t I…?”  for example, the brain starts off to work finding answers to your question.  Instead, you ask, “How can I…?”  Instead of thinking, “What is wrong?”  Ask yourself,  “What is there to celebrate right now?”  The mind is a powerful thing.  It responds to your inquiries, and it doesn’t rest, even after you have stopped asking the question.  As you sleep the mind is still scanning all of your life experiences, all the information it has received  both consciously and unconsciously, looking for the answer to your question.  Do you really want the question to be, “What’s wrong with me?”  Do you want that highly efficient brain of yours to be tallying a list of answers while you sleep?  Be sure, it will!

Practice gratitude.  And practice good questions.  Instead of, “Why is she so difficult!” ask, “What do I love about her?”  See how it instantly changes your mood, your frustration.  Try asking some that maybe don’t feel quite true.  “Why do I feel so GOOD!?”  And see what the mind comes up with for your answers. 

A wonderful book on meditation likened the mind to an automobile, and the will to its driver.  If you got into a car and were headed for the grocery store and the car decided it would take you for a drive in the opposite direction,  you would not tolerate it.   Yet we allow our minds to wildly drive with no rhyme or reason, rarely interrupting and directing our thoughts to a more fruitful place.

                     What grace have you discovered today?  What questions are you asking?