Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Boxing Match

Feelings. We all have them. Strong emotions that cause us to react. This morning I have to admit that I'm a bit sleepy. It's overcast and beginning to drizzle, and I'd like nothing more than to dive back into bed and let the rhythmic dripping of the rain lull me back to sleep. But I have things to accomplish today. I have a choice to make. Give in to my feelings and sleep the day away, or push those lazy feelings aside, and choose to be productive instead. Sounds like another area of discipline to me!

Let's face it. Sometimes I just don't feel like doing anything. My list of tasks may be a mile long, but my list of reasons for ignoring the list is longer. The struggle begins. My old nature desires comfort and convenience. Feelings are paramount. They do everything within their power to convince me that I have the right to do what I want to. After all, it's my life, isn't it?

My new nature rises to the challenge, reminding me that life isn't all about my comfort or convenience. A verse from God's word packs quite a punch, "...Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me" (Mark 8:34; KJV). I imagine the heavenly hosts cheering, and I respond - "Take that, you good for nothing old nature!"

The fight is on. The old nature continues to box with everything she's got. Toying with my feelings. Trying to convince me that I'm my own master. Surely I don't have to deny myself all the time. After all, I deserve to be comfortable, don't I? What makes me feel good, IS good, isn't it? Doesn't God want me to be happy?

The battle heats up. The new nature responds with an uppercut that leaves the old nature reeling. I realize I am not my own, "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's" (1 Cor. 6:19-20).

While the old nature bounces off the ropes, the new nature responds with a swift left hook that puts the old nature out of commission for a time. Jesus didn't die on the cross to purchase my happiness, but to pay my sin debt. I now have the incredible opportunity to fellowship with Him. "That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;" (Philippians 4:10).

It IS possible for me to bring my feelings under control. As a believer, I have access to every type of 'punch' that will render my old nature powerless. The key is remembering that I'm a child of the King and submitting my will to His agenda. Self-control is a direct product of yielding to the Holy Spirit of God (Galatians 5:22-23).

We were created with feelings and emotions. They are a very real part of how our Creator designed us. But they are not to control us. Lay them out before the Lord and pray for His wisdom to train you to respond properly to them. It's a battle. And you can be victorious!

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for creating me with feelings and emotions. I pray that You would open my eyes to the ways I've been deceived by them. Help me to submit my will to You, that I might reap the fruit of self-control in my life. I choose to walk with You, today. In Jesus' name, Amen.


  1. Amen! Been pondering this topic a bit lately. Don't want to deceive myself either. Good post.

  2. Really good post.

    I need to think more on this topic. Isn't it easier to put off things? LOL

    Have a wonderful day.

  3. Hi Maria, I don't know if you do memes, but I've tagged you for one called 8 questions. Come on over and check it out.

  4. Great post Maria and a good reminder... we do NOT live by feelings (or facts for that matter) but by faith!
    Thanks for your words of truth on this matter!

  5. Hi Maria -

    We're having a brush with a hurricane today. I wanted to stay in bed too! The new nature won. I got up. :)


  6. Karen - Discipline spills over into virtually every area of our lives. I just finished reading Elisabeth Elliot's book, Discipline, the Glad Surrender. Great read! Have a wonderful weekend, my friend! God bless you! :)

    Amy - It's so easy to put things off. I think my middle name is Procrastination! There's lots to think about on the topic of discipline...Something we have to choose daily! Blessings to you!

    Deborah - So good to see you! I'm not familiar with memes, but I'd love to give it a try - sounds fun! I'll hop over to your site! :)

  7. Diana - I'm giving you the "Most Complimentary" award! You're so sweet! Have a beautiful weekend and God bless! :)

    Marja - Living by faith is a challenge, isn't it? The old line, "seeing is believing' wants to suck us right in. I'm glad the truth of God's word helps me sort through the lies of my feelings! Have a great weekend, friend! :)

    Susan - Wow! You had a much more compelling reason to stay in bed than I did! Glad you stayed safe! Hooray for you, that you got up and your new nature prevailed! Enjoy your weekend! :)

  8. Hi Maria,
    Love my visits here! So uplifting,encouraging and inspirational!
    Oh yes living by faith can be difficult at times but I am thankful that we have a faithful Heavenly Father!!
    Have a great day!

  9. This is so true, and sometimes if I just read something instead of wallowing in my own inertia, I snap right out of it.

    Have a fun weekend!

  10. great devotional thoughts for me.
    nikonsniper steve

  11. Linda - So glad the Lord can use these posts to encourage and inspire you! It's all about His faithfulness, isn't it?! Have a blessed week, my friend! :)

    Jill - I know what you mean! It's easy to get bogged down with the thought of doing something - when in reality if we just begin the task, it's so much easier than we thought it would be (or at least we have the satisfaction of beginning & the motivation to continue!). Have a great week! God bless you, my friend!

    Stephen - Thanks so much for stopping by! I appreciate your comment. Have a truly blessed week. Looking forward to checking out your pictures this week!