“Stretch out with your feelings . . . Let go of your conscious self and act on instinct.” That was the encouragement wise, old Obi-Wan Kenobi gave to young Luke Skywalker in the movie Star Wars.
“Let your feelings be your guide. Do what feels right.” That is the mantra of our world today. How do you know what is the right job, right spouse, right church for you? Search your heart. Let your feelings be your guide. Do what feels right.
From early on, our children are taught in our public schools and on television to search their hearts to find truth. They are told to follow their hearts no matter what anyone else says. But is that such a good idea?
My feelings change from day to day. Some days I feel happy. Some days I feel sad. Some days I feel like pizza. Some days I feel like hamburgers. Some days I don’t feel like making any decisions at all. As fickle humans, our feelings are always changing. Even worse, as sinful humans, our feelings are stained with selfishness and doubt.
A woman once came to me in tears. “I don’t feel God’s presence in my heart any more,” she said. “God has left me. I am going to hell.” I asked her if she knew Jesus died for her sins. She said, “Yes.” I asked her if she was sorry for her sins and trusted that God had forgiven her because of Jesus’ sacrifice. Again, she replied, “Yes.” “Then you are saved,” I told her, “no matter what you feel.”
Our feelings can betray us. Sometimes we truly feel the overwhelming joy of salvation and the warming presence of our God. Some days, however, God feels far off. He seems to hide his face. All we feel is the cold, dark stare of the world around us. Thankfully, the roller coaster ride of my emotions – how I feel – does not change the fact that Jesus died for me, that God is with me and that I have heaven.
Faith is the knowledge and trust in Jesus as my Savior. Faith is not a feeling. At times my faith produces the feelings of sorrow, regret, joy and satisfaction. As a sinful human being, though, my feelings cannot always be trusted.
In the end, just because I feel something is right, doesn’t make it right. What feels right for a teenage boy in the back seat of his car with his girlfriend isn’t what is right in God’s eyes. Too many people today make decisions about such important things as what church to attend or how they live their lives based on how they feel that day.
Don’t base your faith and life on the quicksand of feelings. Rather, base them on the rock of God’s never-changing Word. Base them on the absolute truth revealed by a God who does not change like the shifting shadows.
Our world today is always changing. Fads and fashion change with the blink of an eye. Politicians flip flop with every opinion poll. Our economy seems to go from boom to bust every other week. Our feelings jerk us around like a roller coaster. In such an ever-changing environment, what a comfort to stand on the never-changing, absolute truth of the Bible.