God’s Will: I have a bad feeling about this…

Posted: September 29, 2011 in bible, christianity, personal, theology
Tags: , , , , ,

One of my favorite lines in the Star Wars series is “I have a bad feeling about this”. Variations of this phrase can be found in each of the six Star Wars movies and it always cracks me up when I hear it. Ok now that I let my inner Star Wars geek out on to more important matters like…discerning God’s will.

As I reported earlier our family has been in the process of figuring out next steps and we have been guided from Philadelphia towards Pittsburgh. It is a long story but the change in plans was due to some godly counsel, wisdom from the word, circumstances, and the witness of the Spirit. My question now as I process what God is doing is the fact that I had a bad feeling about Philadelphia and a good feeling about Pittsburgh. Now I am from the school of thought that says do not trust your feelings but I also know that my feelings have been used by God to solidify decisions. What do I mean by this? This has happened twice in major moments of decision: leaving the church I grew up in
choosing to date my wife Yvette

Example #1: The time I left the church I grew up in to be a church planting intern was a tough time. I had not known any other brand of Christianity and was solidly rooted in that faith community. On top of that all of my maternal family was connected to the church and at the time my grandfather was the pastor. I processed the decision and logically it all added up but I still was not released to go forward with it until one day I was in a major prayer/fasting service and while praying I “felt” nothing. Just so you know this particular season of prayer/fasting was something that I had consistently prayed about for 30 days straight. I took this lack of feeling as a sign that God was leading me to be a church planting intern at VX church. That step led me to finding a wife, developing my gifts, and seeing God do some amazing things through a small multiethnic church fellowship.

Example #2: When I first started developing feelings for Yvette we had become really good friends over the years and more intensely for two months before I realized that I was definitely falling for her. At that point in my life I did not take “feelings” as the only indicator that I should pursue marriage with her because I knew that it took more than feelings to make a good marriage. So we waited and talked and discussed things. I gathered information on her and even interviewed her. In retrospect I was brutal and treated it more like a job interview than a relationship. Then at 3am in the morning after many hours of prayer I could not feel anything. I took this as God releasing me to date her. Here we are almost 7 years later and I am glad that I took that step.

In retrospect both of those examples were decisions that led to great blessing in my life and they were both associated with feelings or a lack thereof. Fast forward to 2011. I did not have a good feeling about moving until Yvette discussed it with me a couple of weeks ago and we figured out logically that Pittsburgh was a better place to relocate considering our immediate goals (rest, be near her family, change of scenery, better cost of living). On the other hand I also got an immediate surge of good feelings and emotions about it and I felt free to pursue it wholeheartedly. Ultimately as in the previous decisions it is loaded with uncertainty and mystery which is characteristic of every step of faith but I can’t help but think that emotions and feelings are not always bad in making decisions. I think the Star Wars characters were right in at least they were aware of their emotions and feelings during their crazy adventures and believe me..I am on one crazy adventure.

What do you think?

Are there any biblical examples of people moving on emotion?

Have you ever been led by your emotions and believed it was God?

Do you think that God chooses to speak to emotional people through their emotions?

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Comments
  1. wisejunction says:

    God can use a variety of things to guide us. None of which should contradict scripture. And emotions should never be our only reason for making any decision. He may confirm something with some emotions or vibes, but good counsel, the scripture and the Holy Spirit should confirm decisions.

    • mayotron says:

      That is very sound advice wisejunction. Advice that I have taken to heart but you bring up the Holy Spirit and I think that is very ambiguous. How do we know the Holy SPirit is speaking to us? What some have described as the Holy Spirit sounds like emotions or vibes as you say. So my question to you is how does the Holy Spirit comfirm decisions? Please give a concrete example.

  2. JasonsBlogg says:

    I would agree that God can and does use our emotions to speak to us sometimes, just as he uses our intellects, spirits, and so on. All of these faculties of the soul are a part of the individual person. He speaks to us ‘holistically’ just as we speak to him ‘holistically’. If I can offer my emotions to God in my every day worship, then he can sure use my emotions to commune with me and speak to me about different things.

    Biblical example:
    Proverbs 15:13
    A joyful heart makes a cheerful face, But when the heart is sad, the spirit is broken. (Our emotions are indicatory of our spiritual state. This helps in discernment.) – (weak example)

    Romans 8:23
    New Living Translation (NLT)
    23 And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children,[a] including the new bodies he has promised us. (strong example)

    Our groans are 100% emotional. Here, they are used to keep us vigilant for the age to come. There are countless examples in scripture for the part that our emotions play in our relationship with God, but that leads to the last and final point: the word of God is the ultimate way God speaks to us, because by it we can actually utilize our emotions in their proper context.

    • mayotron says:

      Jason. I think there are biblical examples. Like when Paul was grieved in his spirit and then cast the demon out the girl at Philippi. Grieve is a feeling word. There are probably other examples and now I’m motivated to do some serious searching of the text.

      I also think that God might speak to us in a specific way that gels with our personality type. The rationals get spoken to in a rational way. The artisans in an artisan way. The guardians in a guardian way. The idealists…well you get the point. If these differerent personality types make decisions, relate to others, lead etc. in different ways I think God would speak to them in different ways as well.

  3. Marilyn says:

    Excellents comments above! I won’t repeat the points they make.

    A tension exists. I’ve always been leery of people who take their emotions and claim them to be signs of God’s will. On the other hand, people like me, overly aware of the grave mistakes people have made by following their emotions, can forget what it is to “go with our gut feeling.” We can become far too distanced from it. And certainly when one has walked with the Lord – in His Word, in prayer, in sweet communion – for years, your “gut feeling” can very much be the Holy Spirit prompting you.

    Anyone who claims to have the once-and-for-all, definite and last answer to this mystery…..I’d question that. Walking by faith will always have this tension. Still there can be great peace that what God wants He will make clear.

    I always pray to Him that I will recognize each next step that is being pointed out to me and have the courage to take it, trusting the series of steps will lead exactly where I need to be.

    • mayotron says:

      Marilyn,

      I think mystery is the key word. We are always leaning into mystery and I think that there definitely needs to be a balance. God gave us our emotions for a reason. They are not all bad. The mind is not all good either. They are both just gifts from God.

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