Choose How You Feel

While reading through Andrew’s Harnessing Your Emotions book, I came across this statement:

We can choose to be joyful in the midst of negative circumstances if we will put our minds on what God says and focus our attention on the spiritual realm rather than the physical realm. (p. 37)

It took me a while in my Christian walk to realize that I can actually serve God with my emotions, although God and I are definitely still working on this together! I appreciate the significance behind the definition of harness that Andrew put in his book:

According to the American Heritage Dictionary, the word harness means “to bring under control and direct the force of.” (p. 1)

Feeling deeply can be a strength for anyone but only when that person knows how to funnel those emotions into something constructive. Jesus was a passionate man who flipped over the money changers’ tables and drove out those who sold animals! But He also curbed His emotions in order to go to the cross—even to the point of sweating drops of blood. If Jesus had not harnessed His emotions, there wouldn’t be a Savior today. Passion that is not submitted to God creates an environment for immorality to thrive. Unharnessed emotions give birth to sin—

Sin is conceived in the emotions. This verse [James 1:15] compares sin, or the process of the development of sin, to the process of childbirth. (p. 13, brackets mine)

While taking an extracurricular class in school, I saw that one of my friends had been promoted in the project we were working on. Growing up naturally more introverted and a bit of a perfectionist, my emotions would be all over the place when I was doing something I cared about. And after finding out about my friend’s success, I started to feel bad about myself and frustrated with my progress. Then it dawned on me that what was really going on was that I was jealous. I immediately repented and started thanking God that my friend was able to succeed in this area.

James 3:14-16 says,

But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. [15] This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. [16] For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.

English Standard Version

So, once I brought my mind under the control of what the Word says about jealousy, the pressure, stress, and even condemnation left me. In other words, my emotions followed. What I was feeling at that moment was the difference between my old nature and my new one.

If what you are thinking or feeling lines up with the Word, then that’s the new, born-again you. If what you’re thinking or feeling doesn’t line up with the Word of God, it’s the carnal part of you or the devil. If it’s the carnal part of you or the devil, you simply reject that thought or emotion based on the Word of God. (p. 84)

No matter the big or little problems you are facing right now, with the power of the Holy Spirit, you can worship God with your emotions. If you’d like to go deeper in this study on emotions, check out Andrew’s Harnessing Your Emotions teaching. It’s available in CD series, DVD series, and book, or you can watch it on the television broadcast. Gain greater stability in your life today! If this has ministered to you, please post a comment below.

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