“I don’t want to!” ~ “I’ll do it myself!” ~ “That’s not fair!” ~ “How come?” ~ “Why?”
If you have ever dealt with a toddler, or a teenager, or had your very own little tantrum with the Lord, you’ve heard these phrases before. These are all-too-common things we say when we are operating out of our feelings. When we are honest with ourselves, if we only operate out of feelings, we wouldn’t get anything productive done. Quite frankly, we would have lives full of mess after mess with no clean up on the horizon.
I don’t always feel like doing the family laundry – but I know we all enjoy wearing clean clothes.
I don’t always feel like going grocery shopping – but I know my family appreciates a home cooked meal instead of a bowl of cold cereal for dinner!
I don’t always feel like being kind to myself – but I know when I do, I am setting a better example to my daughters to treat themselves respectfully.
I don’t always feel like making the time to read my Bible and devotions, but I know that my day will be far better organized when I first set my mind on Him.
I’m sure you can fill in the blank here with many, many more examples. When I operate out of a covenant of love towards my family, myself, and most importantly the Lord, I can set aside the stubborn “feelings” of apathy.
A covenant is “an agreement between two or more persons to do or not do something specified; a solemn agreement to act together in harmony; to pledge.” (www.dictionary.com)
Speaking of covenant and what it means on a personal note, my husband Tony and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary this past July.
It is a magnificent accomplishment but not because of what we have done on our own, but what we promised to each other all those years ago, standing in front of family and friends ~ to keep Christ as the very center of our lives, our marriage, and our family. In essence, we “made a solemn agreement to act together in harmony” ~ and when harmony has been out of tune, we always knew Who to go to in order to get back on track! To honor this celebration, we renewed our vows, our covenant to each other in a surprise ceremony in our backyard. Those marriage vows mean so much more now that when we first said them. We know from where we have come and we know that the future that is sprawling out ahead of us is certain to be a breathtaking ride of a Christ-centered life.
Psalm 105:8, 42-45 “He remembers his covenant forever, the promise he made, for a thousand generations,” – “For he remembered his holy promise given to his servant Abraham. He brought out his people with rejoicing, his chosen ones with shouts of joy; he gave them the lands of the nations, and they fell heir to what others had toiled for — that they might keep his precepts and observe his laws. Praise the Lord.”
There are over 330 verses that speak to the concept of ‘covenant’ all throughout God’s Word. God made covenants with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; Moses, King David, King Solomon, with His Son….and with YOU! That’s right!! If they existed, and you could take a peek at the “Covenant Journals” of God, you would find your name included. What we do have proof of, is that He has given us His Word as one big ‘journal’ of the covenant He has made with us!
In scripture, we see time and again how people didn’t believe or fully trust in God’s covenant with them, and we make the same mistake today.
Hebrews 9:15 declares, “For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance – now that He has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.”
Had Jesus acted from a place of ‘feelings’ and not from within an attitude of ‘covenant’, we would be a lost people forever. The Lord is gracious to show us the beauty of dealing with difficult feelings yet outwardly moving in covenant. He was in partnership with the Father.
Luke 22:41-44 shows us this beautiful picture ~ “He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.”
Jesus had a choice! Covenant or Feelings!
Don’t miss some very important clues in these verses above, as to HOW He accomplished this. The only part that Jesus did on His own, was to kneel down and pray. The strength He found was given to Him by a ministering angel and by trusting no matter what, His Father had the best in mind for Him. We can learn so much here! We need not wait until “all else has failed” to fall down on our knees in prayer. Let’s START with that and watch the pieces fall into place down the path that the Lord has intended for us to take.
In this day and age, we are a society of people who don’t know how to stay in covenant with each other and many times take the easy path rather than staying in the course. As Christians, we must choose between remaining in covenant relationship with the Lord, or stepping outside of His protection and going our own way.
We don’t feel like going to work, so we call in sick.
We don’t feel like we love our spouse, so we site “irreconcilable differences.”
We don’t feel like being a ‘whistle-blower’, so we allow illegal work practices to happen in front of us.
We don’t feel like we are being “productive enough” as a stay-at-home mom, so we seek outside attention in various forms.
Before you log off and think I’ve lost my sanity and practicality (or my understanding) because of what you just read ~ please hang in there with me.
There are always two sides to the situation. I have friends and family who have dealt with, and who are currently dealing with, serious emotional and mental health issues. These are REAL FEELINGS due to some kind of severe trauma experienced at some point in their life. Anxiety. Depression. Bi-Polar Disorder. Schizophrenia. These and other situations like this, are real and I do not discount any of the feelings that go along with it.
What I do know, is that these are not labels that have to define who you are. The identity of who you are is in the fact that you are a child of God, created in His image. **If you are in doubt of this, or don’t know what I’m really talking about, I would love to help you pray as you ask Jesus Christ to forgive you of your sins, to become your Savior and Lord of your life. Please feel free to message me.**
Remember in the passage in Luke 22, Jesus “sweated drops like blood” ~ I would venture to say, in my basic theological perspective, that He was under a tremendous amount of anxiety to have produced such an intense physical reaction.
If you are experiencing extreme emotions and don’t quite “feel like yourself,” please give yourself the gift of seeing a counselor, your Pastor at church, or your doctor. God has blessed these professionals with the ability to give you the help you need. I will be praying too that as you read these words you will allow yourself to be freed from the lie of the enemy that you are in this life alone ~ YOU ARE NOT!
As you name the Name of Jesus as the Lord of your life, you have been given so many gifts that can never be taken away…
- You are a friend of God (James 2:23)
- He calls you by name (Psalm 91:14 and Isaiah 43:7)
- You are never alone (Psalm 71:12)
- The Holy Spirit dwells in you (Acts 15:8)
- You have the gift of eternal life (Romans 6:23 and John 3:16-17)
- We can call on Jesus name personally (Psalm 116:4)
Can I get an Amen! Come on…say it…SHOUT it out loud ~ HALLELUJAH!!
Today, right now and every day, you can choose to live and operate out of covenant or out of feelings. When living in the moment of feelings, ask yourself “How’s that working out for ya?” Take a breath, spend some time in prayer with your heavenly Father who loves you so very much, and start again. There is a tremendous amount of LIFE that our Lord wants us to live ~ family to cherish, friends to support, and neighbors to encourage. All of this can be done as we live an outward life of covenant with the Creator of the Universe. What a blessings and a privilege to walk with the Alpha and Omega. He knows my name ~ and He knows your name too!
**Scripture references below**
- James 2:23 “And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend.”
- Psalm 91:14 “Because heloves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.”
- Isaiah 43:7 “everyone who is called by my name, whom I createdfor my glory, whom I formed and made.”
- Psalm 71:12 “Do not be farfrom me, my God; come quickly, God, to help ”
- Acts 15:8 “God, who knows the heart,showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us.”
- Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death,but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
- John 3:16-17 “For God so lovedthe world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”
- Psalm 116:4 “Then I called on the nameof the Lord: “Lord, save me!”