“If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.”~ Jeremiah 29:13 (NLT)
Oftentimes, when I share my faith with others, the response is “I wish I felt like that, but I just don’t.” Faith in God is not a feeling. It’s a choice.
When God commands us to love our enemies, He knows we are not going to feel love toward them immediately, but He expects us to choose to love them. Once we make the choice, God will take care of making the feelings eventually follow. He cannot do that; however, unless we first make the choice to obey Him.
There are times in my Christian walk that I don’t “feel it,” but I still believe it and I make the choice every day to be a follower of Christ, regardless of my emotions. I love the Word of God, but admittedly, there are days that I don’t ‘feel’ anything when I read the Bible. I choose to read it anyway.
If you are not a Christian, you may say that makes me unauthentic, thinking that I am just going through the motions. Nothing could be further from the truth.
People who have been married a long time often say that there were times they had to choose to love their spouse, even when they didn’t feel it. The “honeymoon phase” diminishes over time but just because you don’t feel that heart palpitating rush of new love, it doesn’t mean you no longer love your spouse. Emotions are fleeting and ever changing.
Imagine if we lived our lives based solely on our feelings. We would go to work only when we felt like it. We would love our children only when they made us feel proud. We would only stop at red lights when we weren’t feeling rushed to get somewhere. It would be a world of pure chaos.
It is no different in our spiritual life. If we only praised God when He answered our prayers or read the Word when we felt like it, our spiritual life would be chaos. We would no longer have a relationship with God because it would be based purely on our terms. That’s not a relationship; it’s a dictatorship.
When I first became a born-again believer, I was flying high! Overzealous and obnoxious too! 🙂 I remember telling my “sister,” Leigh, how happy I was and that God was answering all my prayers and all these wonderful things were happening in my life. She giggled (as she always did!) and told me to enjoy it while it lasts.
I was a bit confused with her response, but it didn’t take me long to realize what she meant. Being a Christian is not a walk in the park. Life still happens, both good and bad, and we don’t always walk around on that spiritual high.
Being a Christian, however, means that you choose to be obedient to God, even when you don’t want to. You choose to praise Him, even in the storms, because of who He is. You choose to be fervent in your prayers, even if you don’t hear His voice. You choose to immerse yourself in His Word, even when you don’t sense His Spirit revealing anything to you.
This week we will go to the polling place and choose the next President of our country. I’m hopeful that we have all put a great deal of thought and prayerful consideration into our choice. As a country, we will have to live with the consequences of this election for the next four years.
How much more important to make a choice to follow Jesus? You will have to live with that choice for all of eternity.