Over the past week and a half I have gone through quite an ordeal. I realize others have problems that far outweigh mine, but it was stressful to me nonetheless.
My word processor program had a bug in it. After trying to fix it myself for a few days, I called my computer support company. They eventually had me restore my computer to factory settings. This meant all my files and programs were erased. I did not think this to be a problem because I used an online backup service.
I rebooted my computer and restored all my files, so I thought. When I went to edit some video I shot on a recent trip to Egypt and Israel, I could not find any. It was all gone (I had to specifically mark the video files for back up). My heart sank. I look on memory sticks and my laptop to see if I had copies; there were none…so I thought.
A few days later I was transferring some files from my desktop to laptop. I opened a folder I normally do not look it or use. In that folder were all my videos. What a feeling of relief.
Here’s the point: For a few days I knew my videos were gone for good. The truth was they were there all along. This was a personal lesson on the fact that we cannot use our feelings to determine the truth.
Our feelings sometimes align with truth. This is no problem. As this touches many areas of life, it really has little or no consequence. If my videos were gone forever, I would have lived. If I had never found them, I would have gone on with life. However, when it comes to our soul’s salvation, this really matters.
Some people want to live by their feelings in spiritual matters. They allow their feelings to guide them. This is extremely dangerous, besides being unnecessary.
God has not left it up to us guessing at what He wants or whether or not we are saved. His Word was given to supply us with an objective standard; there is one faith (Eph. 4:15). It is the truth (Jn. 17:17). When we read it, we can understand it (Eph. 3:3, 4). There are some things hard to understand, but not impossible (2 Pet. 3:16).
Those who go by their feelings are doing what pagans do. They allow their feelings to give rise to knowledge, instead of knowledge to feelings. The prophets of Baal felt like Baal was real; so much so they cut themselves (1 Kgs. 18:25-29). King Saul “felt compelled” and offered a burnt offering, a sinful act for which he was condemned (1 Sam. 13:12). King Jeroboam set up a false religion in the Northern Kingdom as he devised it in his own heart (1 Kgs. 12:25-33).
Many today have feelings that lead them to conclusions or to “know” something. We see the disastrous results this had on the prophets of Baal, King Saul, and Jeroboam. Feelings are not proof of any truth regarding the gospel and salvation. Rather, truth is determined by what is written.
In the New Testament, there is a great example of one whose feelings were derived from his knowledge. The Ethiopian eunuch was taught by Philip (Acts 8:35). Through gaining knowledge of what God wanted from him, he acted (Acts 8:36-38). It was after he knew what God taught and wanted, and doing it, that he rejoiced (Acts 8:39). Thus, the order was knowledge, then feelings. The knowledge came from the Word of God; an absolutely accurate source of knowledge.
“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17). Those who go by the written Word are walking by faith; those who go by the feelings are walking by sight (2 Cor. 5:7).
Are you walking by feelings or faith?