Obedience and submission are hallmarks of the Christian life. As we journey, we gradually learn to release control, to let go of the wheel. The journey gets rocky, full of conflicting emotions, but I am learning that the “feeling” is not what’s most important–submission is. Meaning that our emotions don’t always have to support us, and we don’t have to wait until our emotions are in agreement to walk in obedience.
I often pray, “Lord, I want to do your will, but help me to want to do it.” Sounds crazy, right? I know. Let me explain. I want to do his will. I want to please him by fulfilling all I’m called to do and be. But submission is hard and sometimes I really just want to do what I want to do, just to be honest. So sometimes when I’m praying for his will to be done in my life, in a corner of my heart, I still want my will to be done in my life. I want to submit, but my emotions aren’t there yet. Anyone else, or just me?
So here’s the thing. We don’t have to be afraid of our feelings. We can be honest with him about how we feel and he will continue to transform our emotions and make our desires line up with his will. Philippians 2:13 NLT says this, “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” I so love that verse. It’s a reminder that everything doesn’t rely on us. He is the one that gives us not only the strength to do what pleases him, but even the desire to want to please him in the first place. Ain’t God alright?
And then there’s Psalm 37:4 NLT which says, “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.” When he is our delight, he will give our hearts what he wants them to desire, and then he’ll grant us those desires. Really though, ain’t God alright???
All this to say, don’t wait to obey until you feel ready to obey. And don’t be discouraged if your feelings don’t always back you when you’re trying to do God’s will.
So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. There two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.
Galatians 5:16-18 NLT
The fight against our feelings is normal. Everyone experiences it to some degree. But God is patient in our struggle. We don’t walk by our feelings anyway, we walk by faith. 2 Corinthians 5:7 NKJV, “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” Stay focused on Jesus. Just give him a “yes.” He’ll make everything work together for your good. Obedience is worth it! There is a blessing attached to obedience. There is safety attached to obedience. There is peace of mind attached to obedience.
How joyful are those who fear the Lord- all who follow his ways! You will enjoy the fruit of your labor. How joyful and prosperous you will be!
Psalm 128:1 NLT
Relinquish control to the One who has written each of your days down in his book. He fashioned you for a purpose and He knows what He’s doing. Let go and let God be God, your feelings will catch up.