I heard a teaching that we feel whatever we believe. It further explained that we may intellectually believe something is true but we may feel differently and respond to what we feel. I do agree that what we think and say to ourselves impacts our feelings and we often act accordingly. However, it is not quite that simple.
As I pondered this more, I realized that we believe and see things in the natural world but also in our spirit and the two may not be in agreement. We are a spirit in a body with a soul (mind, will and emotions). We can believe in our spirit that God loves us. Yet when something happens in the natural that is frightening or very disappointing, we may doubt that love or be influenced more by our emotions than by the faith we have in our spirit.
We can know that scripture says that God is our Provider, Jehovah Jireh, and believe it but when we are stressed by more bills than money to pay them, that belief may be overwhelmed by fear and worry. This doesn’t mean that we don’t believe the truth that God will provide but the eyes of our heart and spirit are blinded by our fleshly emotions.
This is simple yet profound. The enemy of our soul will cause things to happen in the natural that lead us to focus on the fleshly, earthly circumstances and emotional responses which take our focus off God and what is true spiritually. The natural circumstances loom larger or more real than what is in our spirit. There is no secret, no formula but . . . the Way to living a successful, peaceful, fruitful life is to feed and focus on our spirit, rather than on our flesh.
We are instructed in Galatians 5:16 “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.” Ephesians 2: 1-10 explains this is more detail. So our goal should be to walk and live more and more in the spirit, not in the flesh.
Jesus knew this and modeled for us by going off alone to pray. The time He spent praying, being in the presence of the Father and being filled with His anointing, empowered Him to resist the devil when tempted for 40 days in the desert and even to say “Thy will, not mine be done” in the garden of Gethsemane. It enabled Him to heal the sick, deliver the demonized, and to walk in perfect love.
Abide. Jesus tells us in John 15:5 “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing“. Let us pray to desire to abide, to make time to abide, to determine it will be a priority in our life.
It is not a duty to make quiet time; to take time each day to sit, pray and listen to what God has to say; to read the Word of God and plant it in our heart. It is the recipe for living well and walking in the spirit more than in the flesh. It helps our faith flourish and enables us to resist temptation. It helps us to choose wisely, based on what we know is true n our spirit and not by what we see with our natural eyes. We can live in victory and peace and wholeness. We can live a life pleasing to God and as an example to those around us.