Last week I wrote about living life based on feelings or emotions vs. based on a knowledge of the truth. This week, I received an envelope in the mail from my mom, with a photocopy of a chapter of a book she’s reading, that just so happens to be on this very topic. The book is The Cross Centered Life by C.J. Mahaney, and the chapter is titled “What You Feel vs. What Is Real”. Here are few paragraphs that really resonated with me.
On a daily basis we’re faced with two simple choices. We can either listen to ourselves and our constantly changing feelings about our circumstances, or we can talk to ourselves about the unchanging truth of who God is and what He’s accomplished for us at the cross.
Far too often we choose to passively listen to ourselves. We sit back and let our view of God and life be shaped by our constantly shifting feelings about our ever-changing circumstance. Life is busy. Often hard. Full of distractions. And before a morning cup of coffee, our passive listening can take us on a roller-coaster ride as we review a hundred different topics and experience a dozen varied emotions.
That which is subjective changes regularly, like shifitng sand. But that which is objective is built on the solid rock of the gospel. When we look inward, we live by the subjective, the temporal, the ever-changing, the unreliable, the likely-to-be-false. When we look outward, to the gospel, we live by the objective, the never changing, that which is perfectly reliable and always completely true.
Our life in Christ is based on objective truth, and the chief truth among the innumerable glorious truths of Scripture is that Jesus died for your sins. That’s the heart of the gospel.
Good stuff, right?? How often do we just listen to ourselves and our whims of the moment? How often do we forget that the one rock-solid objective truth in life is the work Jesus did on the cross. That one act which changed everything should impact the way we think and live. But if we allow our feelings to get in the way, we will be pulled to and for like a leaf in the wind.
I am realizing over and over again how much I need to cling to the rock which is Christ. He is the only sound and secure thing in my life. On any given day, in any given week, my thoughts and preferences and moods and emotions changes like a twisting kaleidoscope. A roller-coaster is an apt description of my feelings. God is my rock, and in the midst of the storms of life, I know that there is safety and certainty in clinging to Him. Read these verses on this very topic:
My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge; My savior, You save me from violence. - 2 Samuel 22:3
As for God, His way is blameless; The word of the LORD is tried; He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him. For who is God, but the LORD?
And who is a rock, except our God, the God who girds me with strength and makes my way blameless? - Psalms 18:30 – 32
For You are my rock and my fortress; For Your name’s sake You will lead me and guide me. - Psalms 31:3
He only is my rock and my salvation, My stronghold; I shall not be greatly shaken. - Psalms 62:2
Be to me a rock of habitation to which I may continually come;You have given commandment to save me, For You are my rock and my fortress. - Psalms 71:3
I love the language of these verses–God as a rock, a fortress, a shield, a stronghold. Sometimes, I feel the desire to just run away from the problems of everyday life… to go hide in my bed, with the covers pulled over my head to block our the world around me like I did when I was a little girl. It makes me realize how much of a child I truly am. When all is said and done, I am weak and frail, and my emotions are varied and unpredictable. The only way to make it through a day is to continually remind myself that I have a Heavenly Dad, and the truth of His love for me is as stable and secure as a fortress. He is the foundation in my life, the rock on which I plant my feet. The knowledge of this truth casts a whole different light on everything in life!