Have you ever been made to feel guilty or to question your expression (worship, prayer, praise, etc.) toward God because of the teaching that God is not moved by emotions? I have. Earlier in my walk I fit the description of children in Ephesians 4, “tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine” (verse 14b). I took the opinion of someone “older” in the faith, or who seemed to me more “mature” and I took myself through changes trying to get God to tell me if I was right or wrong.
Why do I pray with such expression? I get loud. I cry. I jump. I scream. I use my flags. I stretch out and lay on my face. Why is my praise so exciting? I jump high. I sing loud. I dance — and sisters, I mean I dance. I holler. I cry. I yield myself. Is this how you made me, Father? Is this wrong?
A cliché is “something that has become overly familiar or commonplace (Merriam Webster, “cliché”). The problem with the familiar in the body of Christ is interpretation. When a thing becomes familiar, we have a tendency to position ourselves as experts apart from biblical precedent. Sometimes, we do not know what God is doing or will do.
The cliché I challenge in this post says “God is not moved by our emotions; He is moved by our faith.” What is implied but not clearly stated is that God is not moved by emotions alone. That is the more appropriate rendering. If we believe with the heart unto righteousness (Romans 10:10), then how does God get to our heart? Through the reason of the mind? Through the logic of the times? I don’t think so.
I propose that God works through our emotions to move us further in faith. Ecclesiastes 3 talks about time. There is a time to love, to hate, to kill, to embrace, to weep, to mourn, to laugh, and so on. Are these things done with no feeling at all? Yet, God ordains the time for them all. Emotion with no root is the stony ground hearer who falls in the time of persecution. Emotion is a tool, not the proof of God. Emotion is not an indicator of the presence of God. It is a tool God can use to get to us in our senses so we can come to Him in faith.
Join us for the next session of Esther’s Call II. This is the last call for Esther’s Call II (more on that in another post). We will look at Purim, but more specifically, we will consider how today’s Kingdom Queen goes about remembering the delivering work of God. Please join us — (218) 862-6400, access code 6360503 at 8PM CENTRAL.