Summary: In the midst of strong emotions, we must separate what emotions are good and what emotions are harmful.
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Emotions – Separating the Precious from the Worthless!
By Pastor Jerry C. Vargo
A. I spent this past week thinking about emotions! I don’t even know if I’ve ever heard any teaching on the subject.
B. Emotions (in my opinion) can either be good or bad. They can either rule our lives or inform our lives.
C. I don’t believe that God wants us to be starchy and emotionless…but I also know that too many of us let emotions rule our lives. And it is out of this rulership that we often make our decisions…often with tragic results.
D. When emotions rule we often cannot separate the issues of life correctly. Our perspective gets off-balance when we let emotions rule rather than letting the Spirit of God rule.
E. I believe often that our emotions keep us from trusting God.
F. When our feelings rule…faith is not found!
G. Listen to what Twila Paris says about Christian maturity:
“A big part of Christian maturity is learning to let God keep you steady and to be ruled less and less by your emotions and circumstances.”
H. So, my point today is not that we shouldn’t have emotions, but that our emotions should not be the dominating force in our Christian walk.
I. Faith and trust in the character of God should rule…His Word should rule…His ways should rule!
J. I want to start this morning by looking at a great man of God who was so much like us. Turn to Jeremiah 15:15-21.
15 Thou who knowest, O LORD, Remember me, take notice of me, and take vengeance for me on my persecutors. Do not, in view of Thy patience, take me away; know that for Thy sake I endure reproach. (HERE, JEREMIAH REMINDS GOD OF ALL THAT HE IS DOING) 16 Thy words were found and I ate them, and Thy words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart; For I have been called by Thy name, O LORD God of hosts. (HERE WE SEE JEREMIAH ON HIS EMOTIONAL ROLLERCOASTER) 17 I did not sit in the circle of merrymakers, nor did I exult. (ANOTHER REMINDER OF WHAT HE WAS DOING) Because of Thy hand upon me I sat alone, (OUR EMOTIONS OFTEN CONVINCE US THAT WE ARE ALONE) for Thou didst fill me with indignation. 18 Why has my pain been perpetual and my wound incurable, refusing to be healed? (EVER FEEL THIS WAY?) Wilt Thou indeed be to me like a deceptive stream with water that is unreliable? (HIS EMOTIONS ARE REALLY STRONG HERE) 19 Therefore, thus says the LORD, "If you return, then I will restore you--before Me you will stand; And if you extract the precious (COSTLY OR VALUABLE) from the worthless, (LOOSE MORALLY OR PRODIGAL) you will become My spokesman. They for their part may turn to you, but as for you, you must not turn to them. 20 "Then I will make you to this people A fortified wall of bronze; And though they fight against you, They will not prevail over you; For I am with you to save you and deliver (TO FREE) you," declares the LORD. 21 "So I will deliver you from the hand of the wicked, and I will redeem (TO SET FREE) you from the grasp of the violent." (brackets mine). NAS
A. From this passage, we see a great man of God struggle with his life and with his emotions.
B. But God has the solution! Verse 19. We must separate the precious from the worthless.
C. I am convinced that the Christian life is one of progression. When we first walk with Christ, we are often ruled by our senses and emotions. The longer we walk with Him…the less and less we let emotions rule.
D. I heard TD Jakes mention briefly this week on TV something that really made sense to me.
E. He said that the Christian life and its progression are similar to the Old Testament Tabernacle. It was separated into three areas:
1. The outer court.
2. The holy place or the inner court.
3. The holy of holies.
F. Wherever you are in your walk…we must separate the precious from the worthless. We must learn to let the Spirit of God rule in our lives and not our emotions.
We need to separate the precious from the worthless in 4 different ways…and I am going to be very brief:
1. By understanding that there will always be a wrestling with our emotions.