The One Reason My Feelings Shouldn’t Affect My Obedience

I have a confession for you all. I am kind of laughing, because it seems like I always have some kind of confession for you.  

Today my confession is that I really don’t want to be writing a blog right now. I don’t “feel” like it, and I don’t have a ton of motivation to sit down at a computer and put thoughts on “paper”. I have felt like that a lot over the past few months, and not just in writing, but in other areas of ministry.  

I have felt kind of “eh” in that department. 

And I will tell you what really didn’t make me want to sit down and do this. The fact that I had this post mostly written (like 750 words almost written), and I deleted it. 

Now, I have to wonder how many times what I feel like, or don’t feel like doing, affects my obedience.

How many times has fear stopped me from being obedient to what I know God wants me to do? How many times has my insecurity prevented me from being confident in my identity in Christ? How many times has doubt left me questioning who God is, when He would have told me to keep walking? How many times has my disappointment affected my decisions I should be making in obedience? 

I can summarize all of these questions in one question though: How many times have my feelings affected my obedience?

I don’t know the answer, but probably too many to count.

Feelings should never determine our obedience. The only thing that should determine our obedience is faith.  

The only thing that should determine our obedience is faith. Click To Tweet

And why should our obedience not be determined by our feelings? Because feelings change. And honestly sometimes our feelings change quickly. And I don’t just mean the bad feelings either (fear, doubt, insecurity, disbelief), I mean the good feelings too (happiness, security, certainty). 

But I want to give you one really solid piece of scripture (spoken by Jesus) on why we should keep going when we want to give up, throw in the towel, walk away, just not go on. 

Jesus said, “Anyone who puts his hand on a plow and looks back at the things behind is of no use in the holy nation of God.” (Luke 9:62) Another translation for “of no use” is “not well placed”, “fit”, or “useful”. 

Harsh? It can sound that way.

But is it true? You betcha. 

5 Scriptures to help you keep your eyes on Jesus

So basically here is what happened. While Jesus was traveling he had people who would tell Him they wanted to follow Him, but then let Him know they had something to do first.  

Here is what Jesus is ultimately saying. If you make a commitment to follow Christ, and then give Him every excuse in the book on why He has to wait for you, there is no place in the Kingdom of God for you. 

You can’t concentrate on what is in front of you, if your attention is on what is behind you. 

And let me tell you why this is a problem.  Let’s say you are mowing the lawn (which is similar to a plow). If you are constantly looking behind you, your lines wouldn’t be straight, and you may miss some patches of grass, or accidentally run over something.  

It is the same thing with a car. If you are driving, but are not looking at the road in front of you, you are probably going to crash.  

It gets worse when you think that when you turn around, your hands are not as firmly on the thing you are gripping. Like the plow, the lawn mower, the car steering wheel.  

So how does this affect me in my writing? Because I committed to doing it, and I am looking all around me, and focusing on my feelings (or lack thereof), instead of keeping my hand to the plow. 

I mean, what would have happened if Peter had turned around after he stepped out of the boat to walk on water, so he could try to get back to the safety of the boat? Honestly, if he had done that, his story may have ended a bit differently. 

What does that look like in your life? I don’t know, but where in your life do you have fear? Where in your life do you feel “eh”? Your ministry? Your career? Your marriage?  

Where are you stuck on your feelings, instead of your obedience that comes from faith? 

5 Scriptures to Help You Keep Your Eyes On Jesus

Let me offer some encouraging scripture of what we are told in regards to keeping our eyes on what is in front of us (Jesus). 

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.  

Hebrews 12: 1-2

Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you.  

Deuteronomy 31: 6 

Those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. 

Psalm 34:10b 

Those of steadfast mind you keep in peace—because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for in the Lord God you have an everlasting rock. 

Isaiah 26: 3-4  

Seek the LORD and His strength;  seek His presence continually! 

1 Chronicles 16:11

When I was in high school, I got in a car accident. It was 100% my fault. I wasn’t paying attention to what was happening in front of me, my eyes were not on the road, but what was going on, on the side of the road. And I hit the car in front of me.  

After this, I was scared to drive. I was afraid it would happen again, and my confidence was gone. And then my dad called me, and told me we were going for a drive. I said no. But he said that I needed to, because if I didn’t, I may not get back in the car again. And he was right, just like our Father is right in wanting us to keep our eyes on Him in a faith that leads to our unwavering obedience. 

Join the Conversation

What area in your life do you need to choose obedience to Christ? In what area of your life are you looking to what is behind you? Share it with us so that we can be praying for you! 

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If you liked this blog post, you’ll also love our anthology, Candid Conversations. While each story shares a unique perspective, the prevailing theme is that while we all struggle, there is hope to be found in Jesus. Get your copy from Amazon or click here to learn more.

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