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A Strength and a Weakness?


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#1 Revdavid

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 06:56 AM

I am so grateful to my Risen Lord that much of who He made me to be is a deeply feeling individual. As a Pastor it has been a strength. Many people are willing to investigate things in their faith if they see how much it means to me and how strongly I feel about it. My struggle though has been the times when I am not feeling my faith so strongly. The times when my sensitivity to the Holy Spirit's promptings are minimal or even appear to be missing completely. When I desire the fire and the feelings aren't present; it is most difficult for me to keep a steady faith and focus. I hate when I don't feel or sense Him. Deep feelings, emotions and passion is the cut of my jib. So if God knows this and made me this way; why does he so often keep the feelings and the emotion, the passion and the sensitivity to His promptings away? I'd appreciate hearing what God will give me through your good counsel!
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In Christ our Healer,
Pastor David

#2 C. Kirby

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 03:48 AM

Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Is your faith in God, or in your feelings? Are the experiences in danger of becoming an idol? It was right for Abraham to love Isaac, but not more than God. John of Cross talked about this in "Dark Night of the Soul" - http://www.ccel.org/...ark_night.html.
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#3 Revdavid

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 06:50 AM

I don't think it's that serious; just bothersome at times. I will check out your link though. Thank you!

Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Is your faith in God, or in your feelings? Are the experiences in danger of becoming an idol? It was right for Abraham to love Isaac, but not more than God. John of Cross talked about this in "Dark Night of the Soul" - http://www.ccel.org/...ark_night.html.


In Christ our Healer,
Pastor David

#4 Guest_Abi's Son_*

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 01:17 PM

We need to be very careful when it comes to basing our walk with God upon feelings. He has no doubt, given us both feelings and emotions to be used in our daily lives; however, we are not to rely upon them to walk with God. We walk with God by faith, and trust in who he is ie, (his character) and what he states in his word. These are the foundation stones that keep us afloat in the day to day circumstances and dealings of life. "We walk by faith not by sight!"
'Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding." 2 Cor 5:7; Prov 3:5-7. God surely wants us to feel his manifest presence, and to know when he is moving us by his Spirit; however, these experiences are not to be what sustains us in our daily walk with him. Remember that he commands us to abide in him by spending time day and night in his word. Walking in the commandments of Christ, is the primary part of abiding in him. John 15:4-11 vs (10-11); Josh 1:8; Psm 1:1-3 Posted Image
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#5 elizabethcog

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 06:06 PM

It is hard when God says wait,but I think maybe that is when we can hear clearly.What seems like forever to us may be just a second to Him.Keep praying and reading His word is what I do when I find myself there,I will pray for you now also.god knows our feelings,our heart,we should not base our faith on feelings too much because our feelings can distort and change just because of our deceitful heart.
Jesus and Jesus alone saves=D

#6 Travis Richey

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 04:22 PM

Brother David,

My first thought was to ask you how you would respond to this question if one of us had posted it, or if one of the members of your congregation came to you asking it. I still believe that might be a valid excercise, but I also believe you are in a position that requires more of an answer than that would give.

You my friend have "the calling" of being a Pastor, and I believe that does change the picture. You have more and different challenges than many of us do....and also more is expected of you...rightly or wrongly as that might be. So, I still ask the first question, but recognize that there is much more here. Do you have access to a group, or groups of ministers who gather together to share and to pray one for another? I would think that the better answers might come from those who have "been there, done that".

Another area I would bring to mind is one of personal time in The Word, and in Prayer. I know Pastors and teachers who start feeling like the time they spend preparing lessons/sermons is enough to count for devotion time as well. I can state from first hand experience, that it isn't so. When I'm spending hours in lesson prep, I am "working" just as if I were doing my electrician job, or mending fences here around the place. Lesson prep isn't the right kind of time in The Word for personal spiritual growth and healing. I discovered that I still require that personal, one on One, prayer closet time. I can be energized and excited by my lesson preparations, but that is not always an answer to what is going on in my own day to day life experiences. It is difficult to seperate the two.

Another area you might look at is what is required or expected of you by your Church. I firmly believe that we in the U.S. have an unscriptural idea of what a Pastor is called to do and to be. We expect the Pastor to be a prophet, a teacher, a leader, a counselor, a hand-holder in time of need, a friend to everyone, an emcee at church functions, and maybe even a music leader or youth leader. We want and expect the one person, the Pastor, to fulfill all the functions laid out in Scripture as belonging to "the body of Christ" so the rest of us can set back and listen to a well prepped sermon and feel good about all the wonderful works the Pastor is doing on Monday thru Saturday while we take care of our fat, lazy selves. In other words...are you being burned out by the very people you have been called to serve? I believe that is a major problem in our churches today....we try to pay someone to do our body of Christ jobs for us, and then wonder why he or she burns out in a few short years, while we haven't even broken a sweat yet.

Finally, I would direct you to the Psalms. So many of these wonderful songs begin with or include words of despair, words of being left alone by God, of not being aware of His presence. The book of Job comes to mind also. And not just there, but throughout the Bible we hear of just what you describe as happening. Is it a testing of Faith, a time of growing our Faith? I'm not sure, but I bet God has a reason for it being included in His Story.

Psalm 13

1 How long, LORD? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?

3 Look on me and answer, LORD my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death,
4 and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,”
and my foes will rejoice when I fall.

5 But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
6 I will sing the LORD’s praise,
for he has been good to me.
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#7 J4Jeff

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 06:47 AM

Dear Pastor David

I read your post several days ago and was first struck by your authenticity and vulnerable honesty. I am reminded of an article I read recently:

'WHY CHRISTIAN FICTION IS OFTEN BAD'
burnsidewriters.com/2012/03/17/why-christian-fiction-is-often-bad/

Spoiler alert-- the point of the article is "Maybe our fiction lacks punch because, on the whole, we’re afraid to be honest with who we are." The article ends with "The problem just might be that we are living a religious fiction and our bad art is merely its by-product."

I recently read a very fine book 'Prayer' by Philip Yancey. In it he profiles many profoundly spiritual people who struggle with exactly the same problem/questions which you have raised. Reading that and other thoughtful and respectful books by Yancey such as 'Soul Survivor' I am greatly comforted to find that I am not alone in my struggles and questions.

God speed on your God-given quest sir

#8 Kate Curry

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 04:40 AM

I'm the same way -- I want to feeeeelll You, Lord. I figure He's pressing my clay into symmetry when He makes me rely solely on faith. He is a Creator, after all and I am only one work of the Artist. It's Art, man, it's Art. Be glorified, Lord, when I still trust You even though I'm scared, can't see through the fog, haven't felt Your touch in months and feel like a smoked wineskin. It seems to be important for becoming like Jesus.

(I should confess that I have been known to sulk and/or throw myself on the floor kicking and screaming when God seems to be withholding His presence.)

#9 Angela Sawtell

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 09:55 AM

Hello Pastor David,

I definitely understand you on this one! For me, this happens when I am on a spiritual plateau (neither the low of the valley or the high of the mountain, but just in the realities of monotonous daily living). One of the things that has been an encouragement to me in these times is to remember that God is just as intentional in concealing a matter as He is when He reveals it. In other words, even in the times when I feel that He is distant, it doesn't change the truth that He is near and that He is at work. Above, C. Kirby mentioned the verse, "Faith is being sure of what we hope for, and certain of what we do not see..." In these times, I desperately cling onto the truth that God does see and know, and that He is working. Sometimes, this quite literally means writing His Word on my arms. Hope--to be assured that God is at work and that He will reveal Himself, even if in the moment I do not feel His presence. It is incredibly difficult to characterize those times as hope-filled, because they aren't happy. However, by choosing to rest in the things that I know to be true in my mind, hope-filled is what they become.

#10 Robert Fugate

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 03:53 PM

There is a great verse in 1 Kings 9 , Solomon finished the temple and is seeking a fresh vision from the Lord...a fresh passion... the Lord appeared to him a second time, as he had appeared to him at Gibeon. The Lord said to him: I have heard the prayer and plea you have made before me; I have consecrated this temple, which you have built, by putting my Name there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.


I can really identify with you. I am an Alliance missionary in Chile and have seen so man awesome demonstrations of Gods power to change people, but, each day, I need a new sense of Gods presence.

Spurgeon said, No matter level of spiritual maturity we are on, we need renewed appearances, fresh manifestations, new visitations from on high.
Like Solomon needed a refreshing manifestation from God...I do too. I think that part of our lesson in our spiritual journey is to always be knocking down the doors of heaven for Gods fresh presence in our life... watching the Lord work in new ways every day is the only way to live.
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#11 Charles Miles

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 09:36 AM

David, I read your e-mail and am struck by how often we feel this way during our walk. Having had some time to ponder and study on these things of faith, hope, blessings, and gifts, I don`t have the answer, but I do have AN answer(at least for me). The Bible, in several areas, teaches that the Spirit is here to comfort, teach, and convict us. When I seem "stuck" and without the feeling that the Lord is sitting in the chair with me, I find that there is something being taught to me and I don`t "have it" just yet. You are a shepherd so I know you have been here before, but there is a time to act and a time to sit, wait, and study. Waiting on the Lord is not an easy task for a "type A" person, but is just as important as completing the task, once it is identified and instructions to do it are given. Some of us want to charge ahead and do what we think God has for us to do, but often what He has for us to do is WAIT ON HIM. I am reminded of Baalem`s mule who had to tell him about the danger just ahead that Baalem could not see....but the mule could. Often we need to be more like the mule and less like Baalem. (probably not really a good analogy for you, but it is for me)
May the God of the universebe with you as you proceed in your ministry. You sound like a man who loves the Lord and truely wants to do what He has for you to do.
In His Love,

Charlie

#12 prayer0617

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 08:25 AM

Do you observe Sabbath? not like church service working on Sunday, But a true Friday evening to Saturday evening Sabbath for you to separate and spend time with Him, as He has made a standing appointment with us.
Also I think the quiet times are the times of rooting.. the times we can also have the assurance that we are rooted and not blowing around with every wisp and doctrine but just Him and His Words and His Spirit, His Heart. What you give out at church service is often not left in your heart for your life. We all need to spend time with Him, getting our own life refreshed. He is our life...