We’ve been talking about the spiritual growth and transformation that Jesus offers us as Christ Followers.
He wants to remake us into little replicas of Himself so we can live with love, joy and peace.
However, something stands in the way.
How We Hinder Our Spiritual Growth
Our feelings are often the biggest obstacle we face on the path to spiritual transformation.
Why? Because our feelings are usually what keep us from being obedient to God’s direction for our lives. Through our obedience, God begins to change us.
He tells us how to live in His Word and He sends His Spirit (our Helper – see John 14:26) to live in us and to guide us.
We have plenty of information about God’s will for our lives. Our problem lies in doing what He says.
Instead of following God’s will, we follow our feelings.
We feel depressed, scared, worried, angry, resentful, sad, weak, awkward, ashamed, vulnerable, hungry, thirsty, empty, alone, needy, vengeful, aroused, condemned, etc.
We let our feelings dictate our actions. However, when Jesus was hungry and tempted by the devil, here’s how He responded:
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'” Matthew 4:4 NIV
In other words, we can’t let our feelings, our desires or our body direct our life. Instead, if we truly want to copy Jesus, then we must LIVE according to every word that comes from the mouth of God. We must surrender to His transformation.
Your feelings change sometimes minute-by-minute. They roll like the waves on the sea. Is this a dependable way to build a life? What kind of results do you think you can expect?
On the other hand, God’s word, His guidance for living the best life possible, is a rock. It never changes.
When we behave only to satisfy our feelings, we stagnate in our growth and backslide to become like spiritual babies.
You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong. Hebrews 5:12-14 NLT
I’ll admit the verses above sting a bit, but I know I have to fight to stay on top of my feelings so, I imagine some of you might be in the same boat. Therefore, we need a strong reminder to put God’s word ahead of our feelings.
Faith Leads to Spiritual Growth
It doesn’t matter what we feel. It only matters what God says. His word is the ultimate truth no matter how we feel or perceive things to be.
Do you have enough faith to obey His word even when you don’t feel like it or when it doesn’t seem right to you?
What are you following? Your feelings or God’s direction and training? There is only one choice that leads to greater spiritual growth.
Jesus said, “Blessed (happy and to be envied) rather are those who hear the Word of God and obey and practice it!” (Luke 11:28 AMP)