2018-04-21 / Religion

Tune in to understand God

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? … Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered. … There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. Even in laughter the heart may ache, and the end of joy may be grief. … The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice. (Jeremiah 17:9, Proverbs 28:26, Proverbs 14:12-13, and Proverbs 12:15 ESV)

Do you remember those days when you had to play with the radio dial to get the signal to clearly come through? I remember! It was often hard to tune the radio, but a sure way to a clear signal was proximity to the station.

To understand our feelings, we need to tune in and maintain a close proximity to the Station. One thing we seem to do is work hard not to feel bad. Honestly, sometimes, we need to feel bad.

Sometimes, it’s good to feel bad. Perhaps I should explain.

Our feelings are a gift, and though not always accurate (you know, since we are broken and imperfect), our feelings can be very helpful. Our feelings always should be subjected to truth, so we have to subject them to truth and tune them to truth.

Part of the new covenant offered to mankind through Jesus Christ is a new heart (see Ezekiel 36:22-32). When we surrender to God, true transformation comes with a new life and a new heart. The Holy Spirit continually works in a believer’s life to internalize the law of God, to give us a desire for holiness and to teach us to walk by his leading. The prophet Isaiah expressed it by saying, “And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.” (Isaiah 30:21 ESV)

Isaiah goes on to say that a changed conscience, under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, will lead to changed behavior. Isaiah said, “Then you will defile your carved idols overlaid with silver and your goldplated metal images. You will scatter them as unclean things. You will say to them, ‘Be gone!’” (Isaiah 30:21 ESV)

See it? When we are tuned to truth, and being led of the spirit, we turn away from sin. When conscience and feelings are tuned to truth and led of the spirit, we will turn away from some things before we engage with them.

It’s just that we don’t like guilt. We don’t like post-guilt (you know, feeling bad after we do wrong), and we surely don’t like pre-guilt. However, we need both post-guilt and pre-guilt. Post-guilt leads us to repent; pre-guilt leads us to seek God for power to think and behave in holiness. We just don’t like the feelings. However, as much as we might not like it, we need the feelings!

For the believer, understanding truth and righteousness and holiness is tuning in to God’s character. When we have guilt before we act, many times, that is simply morality in action.

Morality leads us to moral behavior, and it leads us to turn away from immoral behavior. Morality doesn’t always feel good. Morality is rarely easy. Even though living by morals based in the character of God is hard and does not always feel good, it is always right.

Some of us are only tuned to our own feelings and desires. Some of us are tuned to our culture. Some of us are tuned to our friends. Some of us are tuned to multiple stations and everything is confused.

I want to be tuned to God. How about that?

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