In the process of God changing you there is one issue that has a dramatic effect on your success or failure. This issue is the battle between your feelings and desires and God’s commands. Every day you must make a decision whether you will yield to your feelings and desires or obey His commands. The writer of Hebrews declared that Moses had to make this choice. He choose “rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin” (Heb. 11:25). This is the choice that each of us must make on a daily basis. Consider for a moment the importance of your feelings and desires.
Yielding to feelings and desires is what caused Adam and Eve to disobey God’s direct command in the garden (Gen. 3:6).
Yielding to feelings and desires is what caused the children of Israel to disobey God in the wilderness. Scripture declares that they “yielded to their intense craving” (Num. 11:4). They did this because they didn’t trust God (Num. 14:1-10).
Moses overcame his thoughts and feelings of inadequacy by simply obeying the command of God (Ex. 4:1-20). This example reveals the way to overcome your thoughts and feelings. You must simply make a choice to obey God in spite of your thoughts and without regard for what the circumstances or consequences may be.
Jesus gave another very important instruction to His disciples concerning how they could overcome their feelings of not wanting to forgive when others offended them. He taught them that even if a person sins against you seven times in one day, and repents each time, you must forgive him. The disciples were amazed when they heard this teaching. They said, “increase our faith.” Jesus proceeded to tell them a simple story concerning a field worker. This man had worked all day and was tired when he came home.
He didn’t feel like doing any more work that day; but his master said, come and serve me, then you can sit down to dinner. Then Jesus said, “Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not” (Luke 17:9). Jesus is relating the action of this servant to His disciples and their responsibility to forgive even when they don’t feel like it. His point is that they must forgive simply because they are commanded to forgive. Therefore, if you wait for a feeling of forgiveness to come you’ll never do it. Do what is right because you are commanded to it, like the field worker.
All aspects of the Christian life and the victory you hope for will be determined by your decision to obey God’s commands in spite of your feelings. Don’t wait for a feeling before you obey God. Choose to obey Him whether you feel like it or not. The correct feelings will always follow your correct obedience (John 13:17). Remember, you probably didn’t feel like getting up out of bed this morning to go to work. However, you chose to get up and go to work because your boss commanded you to be there at a certain time. After you got up and were off to work your feelings changed.