Separation of the Flesh and the Spirit
In prison everyone is told to leave their emotions outside the door, if you don’t you will not do well.
It is the same concept with God. I’m not saying to dismiss your feelings towards God, on the contrary. Share your feelings with God.
Did something good happen to you? If so, thank God. Did something go wrong with you? If so, discuss it with God. You can even yell at Him if you choose. God is your father so you can talk to Him about anything, and He even wants you to, not necessarily yell at Him, but share things with Him. Isn’t that right, Father?
And just like the prisoner left his emotions outside the door, leave yours with God and let Him guide your spirit. If you don’t, you won’t do so well in this world. That does not mean not to have feelings for other people.
Emotions and Behavior are like Water and Oil.
I had to retake my driver’s license test. In Texas, if you fail the parallel parking you fail the entire test. I practiced for a couple days parallel parking and when I took the test I failed, twice.
I was extremely nervous when I went to take the test the third time, but before I even left my house I asked God to not take away my nervousness, but to let me pass the test. I can’t explain it, but starting my test and ending my test seems like it took no more than 2 minutes and I passed with flying colors.
I think the hardest job on earth is being a good mother and it’s for life. I think the second hardest, or close to it, is being a good pastor because you know the devil is going to try and trip him up and when he does, emotions can really take a toll on them. I’m neither a mother or a pastor. Being a priest would be easy because priests are Catholics and Catholics are evil. Being evil is a simple thing.
So tomorrow we’ll look at…
1 Timothy 4
Instructions for Godly Living
1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
“In the latter times” – the time beginning with the first coming of Christ. Paul is not referring only to the time immediately prior to Christ’s second coming is obvious form his assumption in v. 7 that the false teachings were already present at the time of his writing.
2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
This unbiblical asceticism arose out of the mistaken belief that the material world was evil – a central belief of the Gnostic heresy.
4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:
5 For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.
6 If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.
7 But refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.
“Exercise thyself rather unto godliness” – godliness requires self-discipline.
8 For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.
“Bodily exercise” – Paul isn’t talking about keeping in good physical shape, he is speaking of religious exercises, such as asceticism – not marrying, and not eating meat.
9 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation.
10 For therefore we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, specially of those that believe.
“Savior for all” – obviously this does not mean that God saves every person from eternal punishment, for such universalism would contradict the clear testimony of Scripture (e.g., Matt 7:21-23).
God is, however, the Savior of all in that He offers salvation to all and saves all who come to Him.
11 These things command and teach.
12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
13 Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.
14 Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.
15 Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.
16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
“Thou shalt both save thyself and them that hear thee” – God alone saves, but Christians can be God’s instruments to bring about the salvation of others.
“Save thyself” – salvation is both an event and a process. We are saved at the time of conversion (when we accept Christ) but are still being saved in the sense of being made more conformed to Christ’s image (1 Cor 1:18) and ultimately glorified.
How to Live for God
People live by their feelings more than anything else much of the time. If you listen, you’ll hear people talk about how they feel more than just about anything else.
Therefore we must ask, are we serving the god of our feelings more than the God of the Bible?
For example, someone says, “I don’t feel God loves me.” Well, He does. Or “I don’t feel I have a future.” Well, you do. The Bible clearly says God loves us and that He has good plans for us. But when we believe the lies the enemy puts in our mind over the Word of God, we will feel like the lies are true and then live like it.
The Danger of Emotional Living
Emotional people make big mistakes when they base decisions on how they feel rather than obeying God and what they know is the right thing to do. We have to learn how to live beyond our feelings and do what’s right even when we feel wrong.
What Determines How You Live?
We have to learn how to live beyond our feelings and do what’s right even when we feel wrong.
How often do you say, “I feel like…” or “I don’t feel like…” and then do what you feel? Do your feelings dictate how you treat people? Or what you say? Do feelings run your life?
Jesus did not live by His feelings, but by the word of God. Some may say that He did live by His feelings because of the incident when He overthrow the tables in the tabernacle, but they are wrong.
Sure, Jesus was mad, but He didn’t overthrow the tables due to His anger, but because what they were doing was against God.
“And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,
And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves” (Matt 21:12-13).
You may be thinking, Well, I can’t help how I feel! I agree. I can’t help how I feel at times and I’m not going to pretend I don’t feel anything. Emotions won’t go away – we must learn how to manage them and not let them manage us.
There are times when I have felt insecure about speaking at a conference. But I decided to trust God and have confidence that He would help me. When I stepped out to teach, the feelings of insecurity went away.
Moses had the same problem:
“And Moses said unto the LORD, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.
And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD?
Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say” (Ex 4:10-12).
…twelve kinds of pastors today.