Faith versus Feelings
The belief that “our feelings have to change in order for our behavior to change” is at the core of how the horn (nation/kingdom) motivated by Satanic agencies moved to take away the perpetual or daily sacrifice (tamiyd) and to overthrow the foundation of the sanctuary (Daniel 8:11-13). It has been culturally transmitted through a viral misconstruction of faith (a culture virus), that has become ubiquitous in all societies.
The daily or perpetual sacrifice is called in Hebrew 'tamiyd.' It was offered on an ever-burning fire, representing God's continual presence. It was a reminder of our continual sin nature (hereditary and learned or environmentally conditioned) and the goal to live by faith without living according to our nature, to thus reflect only God's loving presence. Whatever serves to take away our constant awareness and confession of our sinful heredity (Psalms 51:5) and environmental learning history (Romans 7:18), along with God's constant presence to heal us (Romans 8:2) has robbed us of the daily sacrifice. A system of worship, a medicine, or any cultural practice encouraging denial and avoidance of the reality of our painful condition (Romans 8:23-25) serves to take away the perpetual sacrifice. If sin (or our learning history) could be simply extricated, then there would be no need for a perpetual sacrifice nor a sanctuary system nor daily faith in Christ. We are crucified with Christ, until we go home with Him. We are dead to sin and alive to righteousness in Christ. We live by faith: 'the substance of what is not seen. The evidence of what is hoped for' (Hebrews 11:1). Paul spoke of the return of Christ to take his 'sleeping' and living saints home, proclaiming that 'in a moment, in a twinkling of the eye, this mortal shall put on immortality and this corruptible shall put on incorruption.' Until that time we live by faith and have need of picking up our cross (think 'tamiyd') and follow Him (I Corinthians 15:51-53).
Our emotions are the sum of our learning experience. They are the boot program from which our behavior usually operates. To erase our emotions is tantamount to erasing our history. People often beg God to take away the feelings they act on destructively. Such an intervention from God makes abstinence a fact, not a faith walk. God's miraculous interventions in taking away certain feelings may establish a base for belief in God, but it may not facilitate faith. The individual who is healed in this manner may reason that all that is needed is fervent prayer and God will do what I ask. Yet, if God were not to have intervened by taking away the emotions enslaving them, the person might never again ask anything of Christ. God is constantly put in situations where we are damned if He does and damned if He doesn't. How patient, kind and longsuffering God is with us! Behold the Love of God! Let His mind guide you.
It is deadly to expect Christ to cater to our emotions. How frustrated we often become when we realize that He doesn't. The crowd who had sought to crown Jesus king, after he healed them and fed the 5,000 men plus women and children, were dispersed and eluded by Christ. Their desires were frustrated. The miracles of His grace only fed their selfish desires to use God for their own socio-political ends (John 6:15). They found Him on the other side of the lake, as he was continuing His healing ministry. He gave a powerful Passover sermon, declaring Himself the Bread from heaven. He said that one must drink His blood and eat His flesh in order to have eternal life (vs. 53). Many left Him that day, never to follow Him again (vs. 59-60, 67). He later noted to some of those 'who believed in him' that they were seeking to kill Him (John 8:31, 37). Jesus plainly witnessed that we are to follow His example. To do this we must feed on Him and drink Him in. We can accept His blood, or find ourselves guilty of His blood.
Faith is exercised when we have selfish emotions/feelings and follow God's leading that is contrary to our feelings. This is how, through the Spirit, we are to mortify the flesh with the deeds thereof (Romans 8:13; see Galatians 5:26-24). Our carnal emotional history needs to be daily crucified as we develop new emotions consonant with the heart of God. Our life of faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. Notwithstanding, we develop in Christ emotions that, by His grace and the process of sanctification, become stronger than the carnal emotions that they are transplanting. However, the nature of sin remains. Albeit, crucified. We are sinners. There is none good but God. We do not need a spiritual adjustment. We need a rebirth. We are to pick up our cross daily and follow Him.
Confession and repentance are needed constantly, as we learn daily the depth of the inroads of sin in our lives. Our culture virus has lead us to confess good deeds and motives, to the exclusion of those that are otherwise. We have lost the daily, and continue to suppress it. The result is Laodiceanism. We think we are something we are not at all.
It seems to me that all those who Jesus healed had more afflictions and difficult circumstances to deal with in the aftermath. They then received the greater blessing of being maligned and persecuted for Christ's sake.
The disciples had grown to the point that at the last supper when Jesus noted that one of them was to betray Him, there was an echo that went around the room 'Is it me.' Peter, however, protested against that. He had not yet come to understand his own heart and his daily desperate need of Christ. After Peter had denied Christ, he poured out his heart in bitter contrition. It wasn't just that he had denied Christ. He did not realize that there was truly nothing good in him until that point.
In contrast, I think the faith of the demoniacs exploded instantaneously. As they continued to witness regarding their deliverance, I imagine their ongoing witness covered all the ground of the traumas they had been acting out when they had been running around naked cutting themselves, living in the tombs, and aggravating and terrorizing those who came to subdue them and those who lived in proximity.
Whether our faith walk is like the Apostles or the demoniacs, it heralds wonderfully good news. No one has any eminence over any other. The one who loves much is the one who is forgiven much is the one who serves much. Some of us are much more reserved and our hearts are harder to soften.
Faith is like a muscle. It takes exercise to develop. I have seen individuals working through emotional-social-spiritual woundedness in a matter of weeks. They gained victory over crippling sins that many of us have practiced all our lives without remedy. I have witnessed this level of growth dramatically happening within a community of confession within the fellowship of the forgiven.
It is often said that we need to change our feelings in order to change our lives. This lie from the devil is greatly cultivated in our world. I had this same notion prior to becoming a Christian. It was baptized with me and cultivated in me as a Christian. My clients almost universally have this notion. I hear it secularly, and in popular Christian literature and song. It is demonic and encourages disappointment and further engagement with our sins. It is part of the 'culture virus' that takes away the daily sacrifice.
Trying to block out one's feelings in order to be right with ourselves or with God, only causes us to be more engaged with those feelings. Since we don't confess them, they are expressed in our behaviors. We continue to look for feelings to subside or go away. We act on those sinful feelings. We are encouraged in Christ and then confess and repent looking to eradicate the unwanted feelings; cycling continually through disappointment and encouragement. From this kind of prison, Jesus comes to free us. This prison is filled with many, if not most, of God's children. It is time to be set free in Christ and led to the reality of the cross; living by faith, restoring the daily (tamiyd) and walking in newness of Life.