You desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place. (Psalm 51:6)
When you are walking out of corporate worship, how often do you hear someone say something like, “I was really moved today” . . . “The tears were really flowing”? . . . “My emotions were deeply touched today”? That can be a good thing, but if our response to the preaching of the Word of God stops at a feeling and does not move us on to faithfulness, it is less than a good thing. The goal of the Christian life is to go beyond feelings and stop at nothing short of all-out faithfulness.
When we are truly stirred by the Holy Spirit, our emotions do not simply come and go. They come and go with the hands and feet of Christ. Our emotions manifest themselves by extending the mercy of our Master to mend a broken heart. The emotions go forth and express themselves by pouring out the grace of our God in delivering good works to others. Emotions that become the fuel that ignites the fire of our faithfulness are emotions that have been delivered to us from on high . . . and for two reasons only:
For God’s Glory
The Good of All Others!
The Old Testament prophets were quick to condemn the emptiness of emotions that were not accompanied by an outward expression of good works. It is very emotional to tear the clothing . . . to put on sackcloth . . . to heap ashes upon the head . . . and to sacrifice the fatted ram. But when all of these outward expressions of emotion are not followed up with the faithful obedience of the heart, they are empty, shallow, and utterly devoid of meaning that would give glory to God. May God give us the grace to live out this profound truth from the inspired pen of the prophet Joel, “Rend your heart and not your garments” (2:13).
So . . . how emotional have you been lately in your worship of your God? Have you walked out of church emotionally moved, but with no corresponding movement of your hands and feet?
Let me close today with a word of great encouragement from the apostle Paul:
I pray that out of his glorious riches [the Father] may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. (Ephesians 3:16-17)
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!