Humans are made in the image of the Father.
God is emotional. He rejoices over restoration and repentance. He feels sorrow. He is upset when we are hurt and mistreated. He hurts when we reject Him. He is angry at sin.
Many people (Christians in particular) put a negative connotation on feelings because they fear too much emotion will sweep them off the narrow path.
We see people around us acting on every whim and selfish desire that flits through their minds. We freak out. We clam up. We memorize Bible verses in an attempt to remain stalwart in the unchanging truth, not some whim of charismatic emotion. 🙂
There is a difference between acting on every impulse one feels to fulfill the lusts of the flesh and releasing healthy emotions God intended for us to experience. Imagine if we felt no excitement when handed a wrapped gift. Imagine if there was no wonder in snowflakes, no tingles accompanying a kiss. What if we experienced no pain after a death, no shame after a sin? What if were were passive to the human experience?
Emotions are indicators. Emotions compel. Without emotion, how else are we moved? Faith is the convictions of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. I don’t rate emotion up there with faith, because without faith I can’t please God. Faith is a rock we cling to when emotions are weak. Emotions may not be a rock to stand on, but when Holy Spirit grips us, they can be powerful detonators launching us with passion to the mark we may have missed otherwise.
Job, David, Mary, Hannah, and even Jesus poured out their emotions to God.
Emotions are fleeting, in the sense that they change, yet we choose how we direct their energy. This makes sense in the light that we walk after the Spirit, not after the flesh. I think God knows what He’s doing.
God gives specific direction for the emotions that are potentially dangerous. He says to be “slow” to anger. Anger is not wrong. God is angry sometimes. Paul gave permission to be angry, yet he cautioned us to “sin not.” Protected anger usually turns to bitterness or hatred, which is murder. Then, Paul goes on, “Do not let the sun go down upon your anger,” which suggests the sin is in storing up, harboring, or nursing anger. Anger doesn’t dissolve without effect on its own. It is lethal when nursed and protected. Stuffing emotions that potentially breed sin is often an attempt to avoid an external sin, yet without a touch from God, anger begins a spiral of defeat and destruction.
So what is God’s direction for anger? “Be slow to anger, but if you’re angry, sin not. Vengeance is Mine. I will repay.”
There are spirits, not from God, which effect our emotions. Example: “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 1 Timthy 1:7
Perfect love casts unholy fear out. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.1 John 4:18
We only have permission to fear one, and that is God. Maybe if we had more fear of God, other fears would dissipate.
Yes, Satan tries to play our emotions and make us vulnerable to a lie. He tempts us with impulses and thoughts not our own. We have authority to take every thought captive though.
On the flip side, God can grip our emotions to open us to truth. God is moved with emotion. I believe Jesus lets the Spirit move us through His emotions. The more we walk in the Spirit, the more we are moved by the heart and emotions of God, which in turn directs the energy of our own emotions. Hopefully, they morph into pure, Jesus emotions at some point. 🙂
How else do our hearts grieve for what grieves God and rejoice for what brings Him joy if not for a transfer of passion of some sort? Vice Versa, our emotions can also be interpreted to God through Mr. Holy Spirit. 🙂 In the same way the Spirit also joins to help in our weakness, because we do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with unspoken groanings. Romans 8:26
Oh yes, how desperately I need more Holy Spirit. He is a tangible lifeline over an ocean of blackness. (He’s more well known as the Comforter. ;))
God is the Father and Power. Jesus is the Savior and Protector of our souls. These two persons are more external to the life of the believer. God, in an act of powerful love, gave His son. Jesus, in holy surrender to His Father, made a bridge so we could be pardoned.
But this third member, the Comforter, is the minister to the inner life of the believer now that the provisions have been made. Jesus outside a believer, in a sense, isn’t as effective as the Spirit inside a believer, because Jesus returned to God. Spirit is now able to move within the inner man, directly connected to our soul or emotions, where we are influenced. (Think about it. What part of the Trinity drew us to the Father and Jesus in the first place? The Spirit! That was before we had anything to do with Jesus or the Father’s heart.)
Since we can’t be directly connected to the Father until Heaven, the Spirit does His work within us under the Father’s supervision, if you will. Mr. Holy Spirit Himself addresses us and convinces us with HIS emotions (influenced by the heart and emotions of the Father, of course) which in turn guides our emotions towards Him, which eventually transforms our minds to the Father’s heart. Whew! In others words, Mr. Holy Spirit transforms those who have trusted Christ to the character of Christ.
If we would access the raw power of Holy Presence, instead of shouting anti-charisma speeches influenced by fleshly emotion, maybe we would actually have the freedom to experience inspired emotions the way God intended.
Submission to Christ is not a heavy weight. It comes with the greatest joy.
God gives direction and caution in dealing with emotions that can lead to sin, yet feelings channeled and touched by Mr. Holy Spirit can change lives in a few moments. I’m open to that!
I’m also thankful for the ability to choose joy in unfavorable circumstances. Joy is strength that cant be matched by seasonal emotion.