Feeling God . . .

“You all are addicted to feelings! It’s all emotionalism with you Pentecostals!”Well, phooey on you too, you jerk faces!” – is what I said in my head. But not out loud, because that would have played in to their point (I was thinkin’ – haha). Those kinds of accusations make you think – should we FEEL GOD!?! Are emotions wrong in faith and spirituality!?! The answer is yes (we should feel God) and no (emotions are NOT wrong in faith). Here’s why . . .

The Bible is FULL OF EMOTIONS and emotional responses to God! The word “heart” lev (601x’s in Hebrew OT) and kardia (156x’s in Greek NT) are emotional words. There’s lots of dancing in Scripture, shouting, crying out, falling on knees and face, lifting hands, clapping, laughing, crying, etc. Read Psalms and see if you can get through 3 verses without emotional language. Read prophecies (about 1/3 of the Bible) and see if they don’t quickly tug on your heart. Jesus’ teaching focused on heart language first before doctrine. In fact, it’s fairly obvious that the Bible is full of more emotions than it is doctrine – that sounds controversial, but it’s really not. Take an honest inventory.

Here’s the bottom line – I would charge that people who DON’T seek to feel God are following their lack of emotions rather than the Word of God. The Bible is an emotional book, BECAUSE we are emotional beings. The Bible comes to the mind through way of the heart. Jesus healed or prophesied BEFORE he taught in most cases, and so did the apostles. I’m not saying that we should be addicted to emotions. I’m not saying that we just need to go from one Holy Spirit fix to the next, like Holy Spirit junkies. The Word of God can stabilize us in times where the feeling is not there. However, if my experience doesn’t line up with the Word of God, then it’s my experience that’s wrong, not the Bible. The Bible is overwhelmingly full of emotional responses to God and His works – we’re allowed to seek to be more like God in this way . . .

Here’s how – ask God right now, “God, is there an area of my emotions I’ve been holding back from you? God, I open myself up to you, to work in EVERY part of me right now, in Jesus name. Amen.” Then stay in God’s presence . . . just . . . stay.

Do you feel God?

Snot everywhere, tears spitting out with the convulsions of grief, joy, hope and embrace that filled my soul and that was just at the “box of chocolates” line in Forrest Gump – haha. Sometimes our feelings can get triggered by the silliest things, and then don’t get triggered when they should, and we feel like a lifeless robot. For better or worse lifelessness is life without feelings. God created us to experience life with our five senses (six, if you count sense of direction – but mine left the moment GPS came around – haha), and our emotions. Our bodies are wired for compassion and elation, for anger, sadness and profound contentment.

So, when was the last time you felt God? I sense (haha) a couple of you tensing up just reading that J. Here are some thoughts as to why that is, and how we let God win in our senses . . .

God is not a feeling. God is love (love isn’t feeling either – haha), but He’s bigger than love – love serves God’s desires. Therefore our feelings also submit to God and His Word. Feelings can be deceptive (Jer 17:9).

God is greater than your feelings. John 3:20 – it’s a thing. God owns that area too and He will operate in our feelings areas more when we align ourselves with His purpose there.

God works in your feelings. You’ve experienced God before in this way – there was a rush of happy tears for freedom or sorrow for sin or joy that caused you to move out of your emotional box with [insert response – laughing, shouting, jumping, clapping, dancing]. These kinds of responses are normal all over the Bible – Jesus had them, the apostles had them, and everyone who interacted with them did. Feelings can provide a gateway for God to work (Prov 21:2, Phil 4:7).

When we don’t feel God that doesn’t mean He’s not around, and when we do feel Him that doesn’t mean we’re super Christians. So open your whole being to God and you will feel Him. He’ll prove that He’s here, that He’s on your side, that He’s love, and if you ask He’ll probably give you words and marching orders that move you beyond feelings. So open your whole being to God right now, quiet your mind, ask Holy Spirit to come, and stay there until you’re ready to take Him with you.