Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Inside Out: Allowing God To Transform Your Emotions

On Father's Day this year, my wife and kids wanted to take me somewhere to eat. They threw out a variety of local places or said we could make the hour drive to Dallas to eat somewhere. With a quick change of clothes and a snack, we hoped in the car and made our way to Dallas. We decided to catch a movie while in the Big City. We found what was playing and decided to watch "Inside Out," a Disney/Pixar movie about a preteen girl named Riley who has five emotions (Joy, Sadness, Disgust, Anger and Fear) that battle for control of her mind. In the motion picture, Riley and her family had moved from the Midwest to San Francisco. The movie had a profound impact on me. It may be the fact I had a preteen daughter and we had just moved to a new community nine months earlier. The movie caused me to think about how we let our emotions control us. Then, it hit me. God wants to transform us....including our emotions....from the inside out. 

2 Corinthians 5:13-17 (NLT) “If it seems we are crazy, it is to bring glory to God. And if we are in our right minds, it is for your benefit. 14Either way, Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life. 15He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them. 16So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! 17This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”

When we accept Christ, He can transform our emotions. Those old emotions are gone and Christ's love can control us. 2 Peter 1:3 tells us that "God has given us everything we need to live a Godly life." That includes help with our emotions. Vs. 4 says that we can "share his divine nature and escape the world's corruption caused by human desires." Tim LaHaye, in his classic book Spirit-Controlled Temperament, wisely stated, “The ‘divine nature’ which comes through Jesus Christ is the only escape from the control of our natural temperament, for only through Him are we made ‘new creatures.’”

The Holy Spirit can transform our emotions. In Galatians 5, Paul contrasts the acts of the sinful nature and the fruit of the Spirit. When we allow the sinful nature to control us, the results are obvious. Many of those results are emotions gone wrong or the results of bad emotion. Sexual Immorality, Impurity and Lustful pleasures all play on our emotions. Hostility, Quarreling, Outbursts of Anger and Dissension are all based on emotion.

The Good news is the fruit of the Spirit can be evident in our lives as well. Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT) states, "22But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!" Love, Joy and Peace are all emotions that are fruit of the Spirit controlling our lives. Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-control help us control our emotions. We can be that new creation Paul talked about in 2 Corinthians.

When the Holy Spirit is in control of our emotions, He changes the way we think. The battlefield is in our mind (our thoughts and our intellect), but it is controlled and ruled by what takes place in our heart (the seat of our emotion). Romans 12:2 (NLT) states, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” When we allow God to change the way we think, He transforms us into a new person. It is possible for us to be new creations....including our emotions. It is possible for God to transform us from the Inside Out.

If you would like to learn more about allowing God to control your emotions, join us this Sunday at First Assembly of God in Sulphur Springs at 10:30 am. 

No comments: