Be Grounded!

“I am so thankful that you are steady and grounded.”  She is dependable, self-aware, and faithful to the calling God gave. The wild swings of emotion that make life stormy for some do not rule her life. She is capable of being warm, loving, joyful, sorrowful, but her emotions enrich her life, not govern it.

God made us with the ability to know joy, to be able to feel afraid, to become anxious, to know serenity, to feel love however, when our transitory emotions are the primary influences that shape our decisions, we will become unstable and unproductive, often childish. We expect a toddler to plummet from giddy heights of laughter to stormy tumult of tears within 5 minutes. That same emotional roller coaster in an adult is cause for concern!  At the opposite extreme, the person who represses emotions, who refuses to experience them, is bereft of true humanity.

Christian are you grounded in your faith or are you chasing a feeling, at the mercy of the up’s and down’s that are part of life?

God has given us the Truth and He is the foundation of our faith.  Isaiah, in his inspired word, says of the LORD,  “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, whose thoughts are fixed on you! Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock.” (Isaiah 26:3-4, NLT)   Jesus extends that metaphor urging us to find our security in Him. “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.” (Matthew 7:24-25, NIV)

In no way do I mean to imply that we must divorce our feelings from our faith. Our spiritual experience includes the enriching gifts of joy, love, and peace that can be found in times of worship. There are moments when I find myself so full of emotion that it spills over in tears or bursts out in a rolling laugh. But, Jesus taught us to love God beyond the feelings.  “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’” (Mark 12:30, NIV) Our walk with the Lord is a combination of passion and discipline, of feelings and Truth.

Days will come when our hearts are cold, when sorrow is nearly overwhelming, when disappointments roll over us in waves. What then?  We KNOW that God’s love for us is still real, greater than our hearts. He does not only love us when we feel all warm and fuzzy inside when they sing our favorite worship song in church! He is present when tears spill over in a particularly touching time of prayer and still God on those days when we are numb, our prayers without passion. He is still Lord when exhaustion overwhelms. He is still Lord when anxiety about the future produces a temporary soul paralysis.

Disciple, don’t fall in love with a feeling. Choose to be grounded in the Truth! If we build our salvation on a special state of mind, on emotional well-being, we are resting on a foundation of sand. Yes, we will find ourselves then chasing a feeling, looking for a religious high, running here and there wanting somebody to renew the excitement.  Zephaniah reminds the people of the Lord to trust the Truth! “The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17, NIV)   Do you see the focus of that faith? It is not on the person, on finding a state of mind, even on doing something to provoke a response from the Lord. That person who would stay consistent in devotion focuses on God’s faithfulness!

Here is a word from the Word. Make the Truth of it yours today and be grounded.  “Do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord, no matter what happens. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised. “For in just a little while, the Coming One will come and not delay. And a righteous person will live by faith.” (Hebrews 10:35-38, NLT)

Steady on, my friend.

(Video of this blog at this link)

______________________

Immortal, invisible

Immortal, invisible, God only wise,
In light inaccessible
Hid from our eyes;
Most blessed, most glorious,
The Ancient of Days;
Almighty, victorious,
Thy great name we praise.

Unresting, unhasting
And silent as light;
Nor wanting, nor wasting,
Thou rulest in might.
Thy justice, like mountains,
High soaring above;
Thy clouds, which are fountains
Of goodness and love.

To all, life Thou givest,
To both great and small;
In all, life Thou livest,
The true life of all;
We blossom and flourish
As leaves on the tree,
And wither and perish
But naught changeth Thee.

Great Father of glory,
Pure Father of light;
Thine angels adore Thee
All veiling their sight.
All praise we would render,
O help us to see
‘Tis only the splendor
Of light hideth Thee.
Amen

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