January 24, 2017

If I Am a New Creation, Why Don’t I Always Trust God?

Written by Shana Schutte

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – January 24, 2017

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 Reading

2 Corinthians 4:18; 1 Corinthians 13:12; 1 Peter 5:9

Post/Tweet today

When finicky feelings knock on the door of our hearts, faith lets God’s truth answer.  #WisdomHunters #FeelingsvsFaith

Worship Resource

5 minute video: Kari Jobe: Be Still My Soul Check out Shana and Boyd’s newest devotional book Two Minutes in the Bible for WomenPre-Order now! If you are blessed by these daily devotionals please prayerfully consider a donation to support Wisdom Hunters Resources. We are trusting the Lord for His provision. Learn how to help. Our free Apple app

Comments

  1. Jeff says:

    What you were calling the soul I would call the flash or the carnal nature. According to Genesis the soul is a combination of the dust of the ground and the breath of life. We are souls.

    1. Gwynne says:

      Dear Jeff,
      Thank you for your comments about the meaning of “soul” after reading “If I am a New Creation, Why Don’t I always Trust God?”.
      Your comments were thought-provoking and I went to our “Holy Answer Book”, His Word, and dug deep into what our soul is.
      In the concordance of my Bible, it states “Soul(s)- person’s essential self; that part of a person that is eternal”.
      The word soul means life. However, in the Word, we find the soul is spoken about in many contexts along with the flesh (as you mentioned it is referred to in Genesis 2:7).
      For example in Job we read, “Have not I wept for those in trouble? Has not my soul grieved for the poor?” (Job 30:25)
      Again, in Matthew 10:28, Jesus tells us :”Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul” (distinguishing between the physical body and one’s soul).
      Another example of the distinction between the physical self and the soul is found in Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than a double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
      Jeff, I agree, I believe we are souls. But besides the flesh, I believe that the soul is more than flesh, it is the immaterial part of us that exists beyond our physical life and is eternal.
      Just one more verse that reveals that a soul is something other than just our physical self:
      “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5: 23)
      So, Jeff, I thank you. Anytime I get to dig deep into the Word for answers and clarity, it is a blessing.
      We are so thankful that you are a fellow wisdom hunter and look forward to hearing from you again.
      Blessings,
      Gwynne

  2. Becky says:

    Excellent Shana!

    1. Gwynne says:

      Thank you Becky! I will pass along your enthusiastic comment to Shana! I agree with you! It was excellent and a great reminder to all of us in the body of Christ! If we, indeed, are to walk by faith, we are to truly trust our God.
      We are so thankful for you and look forward to hearing from you again!
      Blessings,
      Gwynne
      “I called to the Lord in my distress, and He answered me.
      From the depths of the grave, I called for help, and You heard my voice.”
      Jonah:2:2

  3. Kurt says:

    Thank you so much that was enlightening to know about our soul and our spirit. May we trust God and His word which is truth and should surpass our feelings

    1. Gwynne says:

      Dear Kurt,
      Thank you for reaching out to us with your response after reading Shana’s devotional. I agree with you; “it was enlightening to know about our soul and spirit”.
      I felt like this devotional was a great reminder for us, as believers, to cling to the verse “For we live by faith and not be sight” and truly live it out!
      Kurt, I think you beautifully summed up what we are to do (our “call to action”). You wrote “May we trust God and His Word which is truth and should surpass our feeling”. Thank you for that clear and wise suggestion.
      We are grateful for you and look forward to hearing from you again.
      Trusting God and His Word~
      Gwynne
      “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
      in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”
      Proverbs 3:5-6


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