Mark 9:24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” (NKJV)
Let’s finish talking about this difference between what our head knows about God versus what our heart (emotions) feels when things are at their WORST in our life. To make sure I give credit where it’s due, this series was prompted by Michael Wells book, “Sidetracked in the Wilderness”, particularly chapter four.
Consider some common responses and see if you can identify with any of them. Remember, we are talking about what you feel deep in your heart (emotions) when you are at the very worse points in your life. It takes a lot of personal guts to honestly consider some of this:
- Head: When I think about being with God I feel joy and love.
- Heart: When I think about being with God it scares me, or maybe He won’t even show up.
- Head: When I think about God, I wish I could be there with Him.
- Heart: When I think about God, I wonder if He really cares, or if He is really there.
- Head: I really enjoy God when I am in His presence.
- Heart: I really enjoy God when I’m sure He really forgave me for something.
- Head: Sometimes I wish God would take away all evil.
- Heart: Sometimes I wish God would just end my life and take me home now.
- Head: I can really depend on God to take care of me.
- Heart: I can really depend on God to be silent when I need Him most.
- Head: I’m quite sure that God loves me.
- Heart: I’m quite sure that God is waiting to punish me.
- Head: I’m not afraid of God, He loves me.
- Heart: I’m afraid God is going to take away the thing I love most to punish me for sin.
Think about the “heart” responses. Author Michael Wells says that many Christians want a “future faith” because their HEAD knowledge knows that IN THE FUTURE God will make every thing perfect but because of their deepest current emotional concept of God, they aren’t that joyful about “present faith”.
That’s understandable. If God really does scare us, is going to punish us, is going to take what we love and remove all the “fun” from our lives, it’s no wonder that much of our “faith” is lipservice now, and a hope for better things in the future.
Wells calls Christians who think and feel this way “unbelieving Believers”. In other words, they believe in God for salvation LATER, but have not believed what God says about salvation NOW…. redeeming us from the curse of hopelessness, depression, anxiety and insecurity NOW, in this life.
The answer? You have to rebuke emotions and feelings that do not line up with God’s truth, and purposely replace them with emotions that line up with God’s Word. Most people would tell you that they “can’t control their emotions”. That’s hogwash. By a choice of our will, by our words, by our thoughts, and by what we CHOOSE to allow in our minds, we can retrain, discipline and control our emotions. God does not leave us at the mercy of our emotions. This is a fallacy of humanism and modern “mental health” theories.
In the same way a temptation is not sin until we choose to give it “life”, an emotion does not become our reality until we choose to “host” it mentally.
Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (NKJV)
A Christian lives in a constant process of “renewing your mind”. Emotions that aren’t in line with God’s promises… get rid of them by renewing your mind with God’s truth.
God has promised us everything we need to live good and Godly lives (2Pet 1:3). He did not lie. If God is who He says He is and does what He says He will do, then we have no reason to be joyless, defeated, depressed, critical or pessimistic. To the degree that we are, it demonstrates “unbelieving Believers”.
In closing, to be honest, I’m not entirely sure what specific point or lesson I’m trying to communicate. If there is one for you, I pray the Lord will reveal it. I just know this entire idea of how our head knowledge doesn’t always line up with our true emotional concepts of God, really caused me to think alot about what “unbelief” I personally may have deep down. Perhaps you’ll find it as profitable to seriously consider if your emotional manifestation of God (during the WORSE times that life hands out) lines up with your head knowledge of God during the comfortable moments of life.
Our truest concept of God is only as good as the WORSE we think about Him. So it’s very useful in my opinion to seriously consider these things.
Lord God, help us in our unbelief to believe the truth with both our mind, and our emotions. Help us to be believing Believers. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
- What is the most obvious Bible truth you have learned today?
- What change in your life needs to be made concerning this truth?
- What specific thing will you do today to begin that change?