ON QUEST – Replace Feelings With Faith
February 18, 2019
Verse for the Week: 2 Corinthians 10:5 “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ”
We are now in the second week of our QUEST for freedom from habits that hinder, anxieties that alienate, and addictions that destroy. I hope you were able to incorporate the practice of prayer last week. Continue to use it as a first response, and a foundation to build upon.
This week we are unpacking the second letter in our acronym C-R-A-V-E:
C-ommit To Pray
R-eplace Feelings With Faith
E-ngage New Behaviors
This one I love because it is such a powerful tool for transformation. Not only is it a tool, but it will prove to be an effective weapon in the war that rages within.
Often in stressful situations, our default is to operate off of emotions. Emotions evoke reactions that are typically supercharged and reflexive. In this state of impulsivity, we find a certain powerlessness over them.
Don’t get me wrong, I love emotion—a good book, an inspiring movie, or powerful conversation can evoke deep emotion. A good cry or even a good fit feels good too. But on the flip side, emotions can cause chaos and destruction when left unchecked and unchallenged.
In as much as history has a way of repeating itself, this assertion also holds true to the history of our soul. Our experiences effect our thoughts, our thoughts effect our emotions, and our emotions provoke certain reactions that prompt behaviors. This cycle will run on repeat until we short circuit the loop.
And this is why we will implement this second strategy for change by replacing our feelings with a statement of Fatih.
Our key verse this week gives us direction on how to fight with faith by taking all pretensions—thoughts, beliefs, feelings—captive and challenging them with the truth of God’s Word.
This exercise of capture and confront is essential in helping us break the cycle of emotional reactions. The underlying intention is to reconcile the struggle within because where feelings fail, faith fights. It is a spiritual absolute, one that at the end of a hard-fought battle, stands tall and true.
Scripture confirms that faith is fierce in its fight for truth. It knocks down walls and demolishes strongholds. Challenges belief systems, incites spiritual vision and enables uncommon obedience. But in order to mobilize faith, we must assume the posture of trust.
So what does a posture of trust look like? Without fail, the posture of trust requires confidence in Christ over your life. A firm belief of His love for you, and the expectation of His power to transform that which you cannot change on your own.
With that in mind, ask yourself the following: Do you trust your self? Or do you trust God?
Do you rely on your feelings? Or do you put your confidence in His power to overcome them?
Wherever you land on this overarching concept of trust, continue ON QUEST anyway. Practice this posture daily by replacing feelings with faith, and watch this simple approach change your entire perspective.
Fair warning, this exercise will require a staunch amount of spiritual grit. We are creatures of habit. We enjoy predictability and the status quo, especially when it comes to feelings and emotional responses.
And even when our responses are consistently harmful, we welcome them because we are more comfortable in the familiar. Regardless, feelings are fickle. They lead us astray. We have to work hard and smart against the current of the familiar.
When feelings threaten to overwhelm your thoughts and shackle your resolve, check yourself.
This needs to happen in the first few moments of temptation and anxiety. Call yourself to the carpet, and do a quick check of the feelings driving your thoughts. And almost in the same breath, replace them with a statement of faith.
This statement of faith does not have to be long-winded or even profound. The only rule is that it is a truth from Scripture. In doing so, we verbalize our trust in God.
God is not obligated to respond to our feelings. He is obligated to respond to His Word. Because of this spiritual truth, faith is the only weapon fit for this war.
Lord God, you are my truth; help me to trust in you. Teach me how to capture the feelings that consistently lead me astray, and fight with faith. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Reflect and Respond:
This week our goal is to practice the art of capture and confront. First, capture the feeling before it leads you astray. Second, confront it with a truth from God’s Word.
Use technology to help you in the search for scriptural truth targeted to your specific struggle. Keep it simple but find at least one truth, one statement of faith, as your go-to for this challenge.
Hugs for a great week and remember, you are not alone. Be blessed, because where feelings fail, faith fights. So don’t feel it, faith it!