So how are we doing out there? I am SUPER encouraged to hear feedback about what the Lord is doing in some joyful java hearts. I am so thankful. God is really up to something here. Praise Him.
Now onto “Feelings” – Here we go.
We can choose…..
1. To believe what others say (or don’t say) about us.
2. To believe what our “feelings” say about us.
3. To believe what God says about us.
Today we are talking about #2 – choosing to believe what our feelings say about us.
I wish we were together. We would sit across the table, get a sheet of paper and draw a line down the center. At the top of one column I would write “Ruled by our Feelings” on the other I would write “Ruled by the Spirit“. (I even encourage you to do that) That is what we are doing today. Differentiating between these two. I pray the Lord will open your eyes to recognize the difference.
One of these two things will rule us. The Holy Spirit or the Flesh/Our Feelings. There is no gray area here. We are ruled by one or the other.
What exactly does that mean? Let’s dig.
Oh. This is too good to miss.
Galatians 6:22-25 says, “The Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. If we live by the Spirit let us keep in step with the Spirit.”
Write this list on the “Ruled by the Spirit” side. If we are walking in the power of the Holy Spirit, this is what will show – love, joy, peace etc… I love and want them all.
If we are not walking in the Spirit, but walking in our own Flesh/Feelings – here’s what will show….
“The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery (indulgence in sensuality), idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissension (quarrelling), faction (contentiousness) and envy; drunkenness, orgies and the like.” Galatians 6:19-21
How’s that for straight forward? Write those in the “Ruled by Feelings” column. Now, I don’t expect that many of you are struggling with witchcraft or orgies, but the rest of the list is very applicable. 🙂
Sweet the Lord. It is as if He gives us a “red flag” system. If we are walking in Holy Spirit, experiencing and living out peace, patience, goodness, gentleness, etc but suddenly get angry with our spouse and lash out in a fit of anger, a red flag flies, as if to say, “Hey, get in step with the Spirit. You’ve crossed columns.”
I teach a similar concept to my kids. For example, my little Ethan gets into trouble at school for using potty words. At the lunch table of all places. One of his favorite friends likes to use them, too. Get them together – trouble. 🙂 Ethan can be truckin’ along, obeying the teacher, wearing listening ears, then BAM – temptation! So here’s an excerpt from a “driving to school” conversation….”Ethan, today you need to use self control when around your friend. No potty words. Yes, ma’am? If he starts to use them, ask God to help you have self control. Even if you want to say them -Do do it. Use self control. God will help you, buddy.”
Same for me. I can have my quiet time, be so full of joy, so filled with the Spirit, then down come the boys. Within seconds I can lash out – “Quiet down! No fighting! Stop jumping off of the couch!” The flesh is quick.
So how does this apply to insecurity? Oh, in so many ways.
Look at the fruits of the flesh/sinful nature. Which words come to mind in light of insecurity? Idolatry? Envy? Selfish ambition? Hatred? Jealousy?
Do you see?
Insecurity is, in part, rooted in our natural tendency to be ruled by the flesh.
Prime example – Adam and Eve. Before the fall, they walked around Butt Naked. Confident. Unashamed. But, as soon as they took a bite of that fruit – Insecurity. Self awareness. Shame. It was the first thing they did! The first emotion they felt. They were insecure in who God made them. They scurried around looking for fig leaves to cover themselves. To cover their nakedness. Trying to create a sense of security. THEY FELT INSECURE BECAUSE THEY CROSSED COLUMNS! They were no longer walking in the Spirit of God. They were not believing God’s perfect plan for them. They were led by their feelings to eat the fruit. Wow.
It is practically impossible to hate on yourself if you are being ruled by the Spirit. My friend, if you are walking in the power of the Holy Spirit, His fruit is in OPPOSITION to INSECURITY. Read that again and again until it sinks. IT IS LIFE CHANGING.
THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT OPPOSES THE DESIRES OF THE SINFUL NATURE. period.
Peace opposes discord.
Love opposes hatred and jealousy.
Patience opposes fits of rage.
Goodness opposes impurity.
And on and on…
If you are choosing to believe how you feel, then you need to check your feelings up against the desires of the sinful nature. Are you feeling jealous? Are you idolizing other people’s lives? The way they look? Do you feel lesser than them? Do you struggle with envy? Go down the list. If you say yes, then you are being led by your feelings verses the Holy Spirit.
So if Insecurity is an overflow of these feelings – jealousy, hatred, envy, etc. Then let’s call Insecurity what it really is….
Insecurity is SIN.
It is a gratification of the flesh. Insecurity is a pretty word for idolatry. Idolizing self. Preoccupation with self. Self consumption. Even if we are down on ourselves, we are still too preoccupied with ourselves. Ouch.
OK, so I’ve said it. Insecurity, ultimately is sin. Here’s why…
Galatians 5:16,17 says to live by the Spirit….for the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other.
Also, look down at Galatians 5:26…Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
There it is. The Word says it. LIVE BY THE SPIRIT. It is a command.
So here’s how we will end today. If insecurity is sin, then what do we do now? We repent.
I want to suggest that one reason we have struggled so long with insecurity is because we haven’t recognized it for what it is. We can not experience freedom from sin until we recognize it, repent and turn our backs on it. Get mad about it. As John Piper says, “Make War With Your SIN.”
Insecurity is bondage. The Spirit of the Lord is freedom.
I encourage you to sit at his feet. Rattle off your insecurities to Him. Name them. Confess them. And ask Him to forgive.
Day Four we move forward. Believing what God says about us.
I can not wait. It’s big.
Freedom is yours.
Be blessed. (and come back – at least one more time)