(Friends: Most Saturdays for the duration of this year, I plan on sharing a message that relates to the character and nature of God, and our response thereunto. I hope you will find it helpful, and as always, thanks for allowing us to send the devotionals to you. Glen).
The Saturday Series - 5
"Feeling and Fidelity"
God is the most emotional being who exists. The Bible frequently depicts Him in terms of joy, sorrow, pleasure, disappointment, affection, hatred, satisfaction and anger. Our own emotions also confirm the truth since the Lord created the human race in His image. Moreover, the Lord Jesus Christ who revealed the very nature of God lived an earthly lifetime wherein He experienced the full mode and measure of feeling, both positively and negatively. Thus, to view God rightly requires that we consider Him in terms of feeling.
"The speech pleased the Lord… The things which he did displeased the Lord" (I Kings 3:10; Genesis 38:10).
Because we know God to be all powerful and fully sufficient in Himself, we may be tempted to think of Him as unaffected or dispassionate. Nothing could be further from the truth, as the Scriptures so clearly reveal. We must resist any notion that our Lord possesses merely a mind, as it were. He also has a heart, to the degree that He thinks not only intellectually, but also emotionally: "The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of His heart to all generations" (Psalm 33:11). Things matter to God. Events affect Him. He joys in the joys of others, and sorrows with the hurting. We can greatly please Him, and we can sorely grieve Him. His nature flows with the current of pleasure in His people (Psalm 149:4). But human beings can invoke His ire as well. "The Lord was angry with me" (Deuteromy 1:37). Relating to God rightly requires that we perceive Him in terms of great passion and feeling, again, to the degree that we recognize Him to be the most emotional of beings.
A spiritual and moral caveat does present itself, however. We must also realize that unlike ourselves, God's emotional expression always coincides with His character and nature. His feeling perfectly synchs with His fidelity. For example, God never loses His temper. He may act angrily and execute wrath, but His reactions always perfectly flow in accordance with His love, holiness, purpose, wisdom, and complete control of His faculties. This constitutes a vital truth about our Lord that believers must know and embrace, primarily because we have no personal experience of feeling and fidelity existing in such perfect union. Our emotions quite frequently stream against the tide of our Christ-inhabited hearts and the intentions formed by His involved presence. Sometimes feelings lead us to act sinfully rather than faithfully. We must therefore be careful to not project our emotional experience onto God. He feels. Things, including and especially people, affect His feelings. But He always acts according to nature and purpose. His emotions do not cause Him to violate His character. "The Lord is righteous in all His ways, and holy in all His works" (Psalm 145:17).
The truth we presently consider offers one of the most winsome ponderings of our glorious Lord. We must know and believe Him to possess a character of pristine purity. "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God almighty!" (Revelation 4:8). We must also recognize His heart to be "full of compassion" (Psalm 86:15). He is who He is for eternity, and He feels what He feels in infinite measure. Perfect unity exists between His character and His passion, between His fidelity and His feeling.
"We have not a High Priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmity."
"I am the Lord, I change not."
Weekly Memory Verse
He that trusteth in his riches shall fall: but the righteous shall flourish as a branch.