If I Am a New Creation, Why Don't I Always Trust God?
By Shana Schutte
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. Galatians 2:20
As a young Christian, I was a sensitive, creative type who was extremely driven by her emotions. I couldn’t grasp how something could be true if it didn’t feel true. As you can imagine, this made believing and trusting God difficult, especially during hard times.
The big problem with feelings is that they often give bad directions. They point us toward conclusions that aren’t true. If life doesn’t go the way we desire, we may come to the conclusion that God is passive, unkind, or weak. If we pray and God doesn’t say yes, we may believe He doesn’t truly love us. But God has a better way.
“For we live by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7).
To live by faith and not by sight means not giving emotions the freedom to rule our lives. Instead, we let God’s truth determine how we respond to life. . . to troubles, to difficulties, to the daily grind, to unanswered prayers, to relationship troubles, to doubts about who God is, who we are, and where we’re going. When finicky feelings knock on the door of our hearts, we let God’s truth answer.
Years ago, I came across a book that explained why we struggle with ungodly emotions. In “Roll Away the Stone,” Dutch Sheets shows the difference between our souls—which are made up of our mind, will, and emotions and is called the psuche in the Greek New Testament— and the spirit (pneuma). Sheets writes, “When you are born again, your spirit is instantly renewed, but it’s a different story with the soul.” Our spirits become new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17), and are made complete in Him the minute that we come to Christ (Colossians 2:10). But our souls (mind, will, and emotions) are still influenced by worldly ideas, rebellion against God’s truth, and seduction by Satan’s lies.
So, when I live by my feelings, I'm being driven by that which is flawed and can be prone to error, rather than led by faith in God and His truth. A wise woman—or man—lives by faith and by what God says, not by what they feel. Granted, this doesn’t mean that we’re unfeeling. God gave us emotions. But our feelings are governed by truth. Our faith overcomes our feelings.
In his book “The World’s Last Night and Other Essays,” C. S. Lewis writes, “Feelings come and go, and when they come, good use can be made of them: they cannot be our regular spiritual diet.”
What are you experiencing today? Do you need to remind yourself to let God’s truth—rather you’re your feelings—guide you? I hope this has been an encouragement to you today.
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).
Prayer: Lord, how I need your truth to keep me from allowing my emotions to rule my life. Help me to live by your Word! In this, there is peace and joy and safety. Thank you for loving me and giving me your truth. Amen.
Application: Spend some time with God today. Get honest with Him and ask Him to reveal to you where you have allowed your emotions to trump His truth.
Related Readings: 2 Corinthians 4:18; 1 Corinthians 13:12; 1 Peter 5:9
Posted on 01/24/2017 at 05:35:00 AM