I thought it important to let you in on some emotional struggles that I wrestle with as a result of this current phase of our unexpected journey. I have endeavored to be honest about what takes place without whining or coming off as some poor helpless victim. Emotions are a very real part of daily life. They can direct our steps, our actions, and even our place in life. Several years ago an animated movie was out that our children watched many times. It was called Meet the Robinson’s; perhaps you remember it. The premise of the movie was our outlook on life no matter what happens in your life. The catch phrase was, “Keep moving forward.”
I cannot tell you how many times I have uttered those words over the past several years. Several of our walls at work are tattooed with sayings that have special meaning to the General Manager. One of those sayings is, “There are no regrets in life, only lessons.” This is a matter of perception and perceptions are often controlled by emotions. For example, if you are in a happy mood, you may look at that saying with a positive response. On the other hand, if you are battling depression, you will likely have a completely different point of view.
As a child of God, we are afforded great power and position in the kingdom of our God.
The reality of this position is based on our willingness to believe something that we have not yet seen—eternity. It becomes quite easy to agree with this position when everything is humming along without a care in the world. However if things begin to turn sour and cares begin to vie for our attention, our belief cannot only be challenged; it can become a distant memory.
The children of Israel offer us many examples of this. As long as things in the wilderness were going along in their favor, all was well. But the moment things began to get tense, the doubt, unbelief and negative language began flying everywhere.
This journey has given me a greater appreciation for that generation of Abba’s chosen people. I can truly say that I understand why they behaved the way they did. That being said, I equally understand why God became angry with them at their unwillingness to believe.
If this journey has taught me anything, it is the fact that we cannot loose for winning—despite how I feel! The difference is what I do with how I am feeling. I understand that it is easier to give in to the feelings and agree with how they make you feel. I get that it is easier to go with the flow rather than be the one who dares to stand up with determination and force yourself to go another way.
Such are the very struggles that I have battled over the past few months. I found myself rationalizing my feelings based on the circumstances surrounding me. I was building a very strong case supporting my feelings. Anxiety began to set in followed by careless mistakes; mistakes that could have cost me my employment. I remembered a phrase the late Zig Ziglar coined that went something like this. “A serious case of ‘stinkin’ thinkin’ had set in.” he went on to say, “I needed a check-up from the neck up!”
I certainly resembled that statement!
There is another saying on our office walls that goes something like this. “Change your thoughts and change your world.” There is truth to that, but as a child of God, that truth goes deeper than changing your thoughts to include speaking the word of God.
There is a passage of scripture in the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy where Moses is giving instructions to the—now adult—children of the children of Israel he took out of Egypt. He tells them that God pushed them to their limit in order to try their hearts. He did this so they would know whether or not they would follow God. He did this in order to prepare them to handle the blessing that they were about to step into once they crossed the river Jordan.
The key portion of this passage of scripture is Moses telling them that mankind lives by believing every word of God. This is the key. I believe; therefore I can. I believe therefore my emotions—as real as they are—must submit themselves to what I believe over what I feel. It is stated in the New Testament that mankind believes with the heart and thereby becomes righteous—standing right with God. It is with the mouth that mankind confesses—speaks—and becomes saved—delivered from bondage.
What I am saying is that emotions, as strong as they are, cannot be allowed to govern what you believe in your heart to be true and cannot dictate what comes out of your mouth concerning your present situation. It is paramount that what you believe in your heart comes out of your mouth in the form of God’s word.
The key to this becoming a reality in your life is the depth of your relationship with the godhead. The stronger that relationship goes, the deeper the belief that is in your heart. The deeper the belief is, the stronger the words will be that come out of your mouth.