Recently I read this thought by John Maxwell:
"If you do what you should
only when you really feel like it,
you won't keep your commitments consistently."
That got me thinking about the choice we have between living by feelings or living by faith.
When we live by our feelings, we simply make choices and take actions based on our emotions at that particular moment. Obviously, this is dangerous, because we can not always trust our easily swayed feelings. And yet we all must admit that some of our poorer decisions in life took place when we made decisions based on what was happening inside of us emotionally at that time.
When we live by our faith, we make choices and take actions that are based on what God says and wants for us. This means we trust Him enough to live His way, even when we feel like living our own way. Living by faith is happening when we live by the teachings of scripture and the promptings of God's Holy Spirit.
The Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:7, "we live by faith, not by sight." His point was simple and straight-forward: He, along with other believers, chose to seek God and live in a way that was in step with what God wanted. His faith led Him to set aside his feelings and trust God's plan for His life.
This is not to suggest that our feelings are bad or wrong. Not at all! God wired us with emotions, and they serve a wonderful purpose. But we do have to carefully keep our feelings in check and remember that they can sometimes be influenced by things that are not of God.
I'm glad I read that statement by Maxwell. It really spoke to me. This was what I was hearing: "David, don't do the right thing only when you really feel like it! Be better than that. Do the right thing even when you don't feel like it. Trust God more than you trust your feelings. Live God's way rather than your way. Have enough faith in God to travel the path He has laid out for you."
Let's all live by faith instead of feelings! Doing this will keep our life moving in the right direction. And it will protect us from dangerous traps that our feelings may cause us to overlook.