Sunday Sermon 9.5.20
Developing Discernment Series
Yes, I stole today’s title from will.i.am and The Black Eyes Peas. Woohoo. (Some of you are hearing it play now in your head, right? Go ahead, let it play out, then continue reading.)
As we continue to look at developing discernment in our senses, today we move from the senses of hearing and seeing to that physical sensation of touch, or we could also call it, our feelings.
Remember, the book of Hebrews tells us of a people who have have learned, or have trained their senses to discern both good and evil. (5:14)
So, how can we train our feelings to discern?
Feelings. those pesky things that often overwhelm us, fool us, and ignite us, can be good and controlled on one hand, and be negative, demanding and out of control on the other hand. How can they be trained and exercised for good?
We are triune beings like our Creator/Father, we are body, soul and spirit; and we know our feelings come from the soul part of us which is comprised of our mind, will and emotions.
That ole soul part can be problematic. Within it we find all of our emotions, all of our feelings, all of our thoughts, our conscience, our intuition, and our “gut” – that place where “I got a feeling”.
Because we experience our feelings consciously, and they are often triggered by events, it is so easy for their influence to be driving us. It is so easy for us to be driven by a feeling that may or may not be of God or His Spirit.
And let’s address too, our past experiences, prejudices, and traumas and admit that they too, affect our feelings.
What you have is a powder keg of explosive potential, for good, and for evil.
Hence, the desperate need to develop discernment over our feelings.
I have heard many people say, “I gotta go with my conscience”. (my inner feelings). Here’s the problem with that. Our conscience is determined by our life experiences and influences and therefore can become polluted.
1 Timothy 1:5 says that faith and a good conscience go hand in hand. In other words, without faith in God operating in your life, you will not have a godly, or good conscience.
Titus 1:15 tells us that to the pure all things are pure but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure.
The New Testament is full of this principle:
If you feed on the Word – you will obey God. If you feed on the world you will disobey God.
Therefore, your conscience cannot be trusted to lead you to God/good unless it is filled with the Word and the Spirit. That goes too for “your gut”, your intuition, your hunches and your feelings.
Bottom line, the Holy Spirit is an actual person. Not an “it”. One of his many jobs is to work in the lives of believers and their conscience to notify them of sin, to see to it that no one (or thought, or feeling) takes that believer captive. Colossians 2:8
The Holy Spirit will lead and guide us. He will convince us. He will teach us to discern between our feelings and those prompted by Himself.
The Holy Spirit is a person. He does not evolve. Cannot be conditioned. Cannot be deceived.
Yet, our conscience, our feelings can. They evolve, are conditioned and can be deceiving.
Charles Stanley teaches that there are these types of consciences:
- good 1 Tim. 1:19
- struggling 1 Cor. 8:7-12
- soiled Tit. 1:15
- seared 1 Tim. 4:2
No matter the number, or the levels, the point is that our conscience, our feelings must be washed by the Word of God and submitted to God for them to be relied upon for guidance.
God wants to speak to us and will do so in any way He chooses and if He is to use our feelings effectively, they must be yielded to Him and cleansed of our own leanings.
God has given us feelings and emotions because He has them. We are made in His image. Therefore, He wants us to feel as He does. To be moved with what moves Him. To be broken with what breaks His heart, to be moved with mercy, justice and compassion as He is.
We cannot be effective in discerning the Spirit of God if we are tied up in the knot of our own feelings and emotions. He cannot reveal His Father’s heart to us if our heart is overgrown with weeds of hurt, distrust, and insensitivity.
Our heart must be tended to, groomed, softened and healed. Our heart must be submitted to God because from it flows everything that we are. Prov. 4:23
From our healed and tuned heart will flow the promptings of the Spirit and our faith will arise to follow that “feeling” – that feeling of the Spirit of God touching a man or woman with the very heart of God. Those feelings that have been trained to align with The Word of God and the heart of the Father.
Those feelings that reflect the influence of God as evidenced by the fruit of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Gal. 5:22-23
All the other feelings have been trained to submit to the Word, and so we can quickly distinguish good from evil, wrong from right, God’s will from man’s will. We can feel Him inside of us, directing us and teaching us, we can hear His voice and feel His presence.
That heart, that person – is a powder keg of explosive potential for good!
That is the one to whom discernment will come, because their senses have been trained by reason of much use.
Again, to quote will.i.am :
“Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Friday, Saturday, Saturday to Sunday.”
Let those days be the ones that you discern a feeling…(from God).
Go with God.