Is it possible to feel God?
F F C…PO Box 1586…Broken Arrow, OK 74013…Pastor Terry Dashner
“…true religion, in great part, consists in the affections.” Jonathan Edwards
Here’s a controversial statement made by pastor and author John Piper: “Throughout Scripture we are commanded to feel, not just to think or decide. We are commanded to experience dozens of emotions, not just to perform acts of willpower.” Piper goes on to say, “God commands us to bear no grudge (Leviticus 19:18). The positive side of not bearing a grudge is forgiving ‘from the heart.’ This is what Jesus commands us to do in Matthew 18:35: ‘Forgive [your] brother from your heart.’ The Bible does not say, make a mere decision to drop the grievance. It says, Experience a change in the heart. The Bible goes even further and commands certain intensity. For example, I Peter 1:22 commands ‘Love one another earnestly from the heart’ (RSV). And Romans 12:10 commands ‘Love one another with brotherly affection’ (RSV).”
At Faith Fellowship Church we strive to worship the Lord with all our might. What that means is this: We not only worship God with all of our mind, but with all our heart and soul as well. To worship God with “heart and soul” elicits an emotional response. The Bible says that we are to “shout unto the Lord with the voice of triumph.” At FFC we are so grateful to God for the victory He has won for us that sometimes, during songs of praise, we stop and began to shout! Yes, it can be disconcerting to some, but very pleasing to God. That’s all that matters. The Bible also says that we are to “clap your hands all ye people.” This act, of course, is done as “unto the Lord.” When an entire congregation claps their hands, to me it sounds like the roar of the ocean. I believe that clapping the hands by many becomes the sound of one voice of praise to God. And, I believe it is a “joyful noise” unto God. The Bible says to “let everything that hath breath, praise the Lord.” I breathe God’s air, and I also praise Him with my “whole heart.” The musical instruments in our church produce sounds by vibrations which are carried across the room by the air. When the vibrating sounds strike my ear drums, they start vibrating also to give meaning to the sounds. I not only hear the sounds, but I can feel the sounds throughout my body. I share this by way of example, not because you need a scientific explanation of sound, but because you may want to know how it is possible for everything that draws air to praise God.
When I’ve spent 20 or 30 minutes in a church service of praise and worship, I not only have an intellectual experience (calling to mind various scriptures, creeds, statements of faith, etc.), but I also experience or feel a sincere “affection” for the Lord. King David danced before the Lord. Jeremiah the prophet cried many tears over his beloved Judah. Jesus wept over Jerusalem. The Apostle Paul displayed a righteous anger on several occasions for backsliding believers in the early church. He even wrote to the Christians in Galatia, calling them “foolish” (the word may also be translated as “stupid”). It’s impossible to live this life without expressing emotions, likewise, it’s impossible to “love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” without being emotional from time to time. Remember, pleasure is pleasing to God. When we, the children of God, experience pleasure in our praises to the Father, our Father in heaven is glorified. We are created to glorify our Creator. Our Creator is God. Because I glean satisfaction and pleasure from the worship, I enjoy—even look forward to— Sunday morning worship service. May I ask you something personal? When was the last time you experienced pleasant feelings when you thought about attending church? It is possible to feel good about your faith.
About the Author
Pastors a small church in Oklahoma. 918-451-0270
Article Source: http://www.dailynewarticles.com
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