My pastor taught about a reoccurring pattern he saw in the lives of those he ministered to. What they thought about influenced what they did and as a result they had certain feelings. This pattern is the same whether it is about good and healthy things or negative and unhealthy things.
For example, if my thoughts are focused on how my needs are not being met, my actions are influenced to do something to get my needs met and my feelings tell me it’s not working. Those feelings influence my thoughts and so the unhealthy cycle continues. If, however, we choose to keep our thoughts on God, our actions are influenced by God and our feelings become healthy as we look at things from God’s perspective. It’s the same reoccurring pattern or cycle; thoughts lead to action, action leads to feeling and feelings influence the thoughts.
That’s why Paul told us to be renewed in our minds. Romans 12:2 NKJV says “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” When we forsake that which the world does and focus on God, our thoughts are renewed and we are able to know what is pleasing to God.
Another example of this pattern is given by Jesus in John 3:18-21 NKJV: “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.” Can you see the pattern?
He who does not believe (verse 18, thoughts)
Their deeds were evil (verse 19, actions)
Hates the light (verse 20, feelings)
He who believes (verse 18, thoughts)
Does the truth (verse 21, actions)
Comes to light (verse 21, feelings)
If we find our self on the unhealthy side of this cycle, we can change by allowing God to change our thoughts and by taking godly actions whether we feel like it or not. Our feelings will catch up as we do what God prefers. From my own personal experience, God enabled me to love my husband when the feelings weren’t there. Due to obedience to God’s Word, my thoughts were renewed, my actions were godly and the result was new feelings of love developed between us.
Though we are not ruled by our emotions because Christ alone is our Lord and King, feelings can be used as an alert system. Feelings can tell us if we’re operating on the unhealthy or healthy side of this cycle. Check your feelings, dig into God’s Word and let the mind of Christ lead you forward.
Lord, thank you for your saving grace and empowerment to do what please you. Keep us on your godly pathway and help us remember our righteousness comes from you. In Jesus’ name Amen.
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