Thursday, October 20, 2011

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.

*a repost from 9-30-2010


  1. So inspirational Maria! something about this reminds me of the quote "things don't change, we change" by Henry Thoreau. I have realized that my emotions are strongly linked to what goes on around me, and i know i am not the only one. But, i am learning that when things change around me, and my emotions get under pressure, it draws me so much closer to God, and in turn teaches me valuable lessons about myself. Thanks for sharing this!

  2. I love reading your posts, Maria--always so encouraging, and things we can all identify with. Thank you!

  3. KC - Hello, my friend! Love the quote you mentioned by Thoreau. Emotions are wonderful - God created us as emotional beings. Yet, we were not meant to be controlled by our emotions. I'm so thankful that the Holy Spirit gives us the ability to live a self-controlled life! Our responsibility is merely to surrender our will (including our emotions!) to Him! Have a truly blessed weekend! Hugs! :)

  4. Cheryl - Thanks for stopping by! And for your sweet words of encouragement. Have a blessed weekend, enjoying the beauty of God's creation!

  5. Yes, we can wrestle with feelings but we can have the victory. I am a big work in progress in this area! :)

    Thanks Maria!

  6. Love this post! We always need a good reminder that our emotions need not dictate our actions!

    Well said.

  7. Oh the feelings! They can get us in so much trouble. I agree we can control them, with God's help, but in today's world it's all about acting on how you feel, not repressing your feelings no matter what and my favorite, ha ha, "I can't help how I feel." To a point I agree, but then there is always control of them. Great post, Maria.