By David Stahl

The longer I go in God the more I see just how subtle and destructive my emotions are to the work of God in my life. I hear Christians beg God for a deeper walk with Him, to be taken deeper in knowledge and revelation, well a deeper life in God is nothing more than obedience to God and us putting to death (God wants us to do it) our wild yet very subtle emotions and feelings. Now I could talk about how our wild emotions can cause physical manifestations (that would be more in line with social or personality analysis what most Christian counselors do and call it something spiritual) such as: sadness, anger, wrath (there is a big different between the two) selfishness (host of others), and of course the biggest fear which causes insecurities, anxiety, panic attacks, but I would like to address the subtle not so discussed emotions in the church because they are accepted as something that is from the LORD or just ignored to satisfy our inward fleshly desires. I will be honest the subtle manifestations are more dangerous to our spiritual growth and development than the physical. Anything that affects us spiritually always has far reaching consequences in our lives more than the physical. Please understand I am not justifying the physical manifestations one bit, but when something affects our spirit it has struck deep in our soul and the longer it lodges in our spirit the harder it is to remove. We must be very careful with what we allow to affect our spirit. All too easily we open the door of our spirit, our heart and whatsoever we allow behind the door we shall become that. In Proverbs we read, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.” (Proverb 23:7) In the Greek the words, “For as he thinketh in his heart” is translated as a man opens his gate. The gate all though out the Bible has been seen as a place of decision. So whatsoever we open our heart (or gate) to we will become that or “so is he.” It is our choice what we open our gate (heart) to or not to. Remember when we open our self up to something there is something we are not opening our self up to. That boils down into two camps either light or darkness. Things that support the work of God in our lives or those things that do not support the work of God in our lives. And if we allow our emotions both physical and spiritual to rule our lives they will run us into a huge ditch and get us so far off track it becomes almost impossible to get back. This is why Christians fill the mental health institutions or why Christian run like lost sheep to so called Christian psychiatrist (an oxymoron). I will be honest I know what I am talking about. I have allowed my emotions to run wild (in the past) at times as I traveled overseas in ministry to the point I became sick coming home early and sadly

the work God wanted to do in me and in the lives of others was not accomplished. Again it is our choice do we open up to feelings, pains, lumps, and bumps or ignore them driving on, “looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.” You know they say you are not really ready to live until you are ready to die. And die we must because no one gets out of this life alive. It is better we die to our selfishness, self-seeking allowing God to work in our lives than to live in fear (and all of the emotional things that comes with it) a life filled with hell on earth which is not God’s intention. God’s intention is to bring us into a place of rest not struggle. I heard a TV preacher say, “if you are not butting heads with Satan maybe you both are going in the same direction.” Well, there is another option, maybe we are at rest in the LORD and need not to struggle? After all struggling in areas in our lives is our choice dependant on what we allow behind our heart.

Now there are two subtle spiritual areas that do great harm to the spiritual growth and development of many Christians and they do not even know it is happening. The first is the subtle deceptive difference between something of the spirit of God and our emotions. In a service as the music cranks up the music leader says, “stand to your feet, wave your hands to the LORD, and sing out!” Well, if your feet and hands move before your heart it is not the Spirit of God it is your emotions (dangerous) that are moving you. Today in the Christian world “churches” are filled with people who only know an emotional ascent to God their spirit is so pumped up and ignited there is no way for the Spirit to calm them down and allow the word of God to take root in their lives. Services are nothing more than an orgy of lights, sound, smoke, hard music (entertainment) feeding the flesh and the people love it. Again they love the music and not God. The biggest church (a non denominational) in Jacksonville that has three services every Sunday has announced they will add a fog machine and more lights to their worship experience. The Body of Christ is filled with seeker friendly churches (we know we are the church and not some denomination or building) that teach their people to worship our feelings and emotions and not God. Many ask what happened to the hymns; music that has carried the Believers for 100s of years? Well they have been replaced by songs that affect our emotions and not our spirit. Hymns affect our spirit. They are songs that are sung to God, songs like: Sweet Hour of Prayer, Blessed Assurance, and Turn Your Eyes Unto Jesus, but songs like: God is as Awesome God, Standing on Holy Ground (written by a homosexual) affect our emotions. They are songs about God. They get our hands and feet moving before the Spirit can get our heart in a low place before Him. Now people would say what is the danger in this emotional approach to God, well when our emotions engage it

takes over many areas of our thinking to the point we miss what God is doing in our lives. One of the greatest areas in our life to see if we have allowed God to control our emotions is do we have an ability (in God) to shut our mouth and keep our opinionated nature to our self. Do we have to tell everyone what we know? Is our opinion so important we must let people know what we feel? If yes, these are just indicators that we have not allowed God to deal and judge in our lives to the degree we can control our thoughts and feelings in God. I remember when my friend Jake Luffy told me I talked too much. We were driving to Opole, Poland from Stuttgart, Germany (about seven or eight hours) and after about two or three hours on the road Jake spared not my feelings and just told me to shut up, I talk too much. I do not have to let him know just how smart and knowledgeable I am. I do not have to have an opinion on everything. When we are over in our self (by not being able to keep our mouth) we disqualify ourselves for service. I am amazed how God picks the folks I am to take on my trips overseas. On my trip to Turkey it was no doubt that the young fellow and pastor who went God wanted him to go, not just to preach the word (and he did well), but more important to allow God to work on his character flaws as God does on every trip I go on. We think we are doing God a favor preaching the word, but not so fast pilgrim God is baiting us, even luring us with the opportunity of preaching to the heathens while His intention is to work on our character. There is a great you tube video I would recommend for anyone who feels they have a call to go preach to the heathen. The you tube is by Paris Reidhead and is called “Ten Shekels and a Shirt.” I do not want to spill the beans, but it is about Brother Reidhead going to the Sudan in the 1940’s and him thinking he was going to save the heathen, but God got him alone in his room and he had enough of God in him for God to be able to show him he was the heathen who needed saved. It is a wonderful thing in our walk with the LORD when we find out we are the heathen. Well the young pastor who went to Turkey with me never shut up, always preaching to me, and had to get his thoughts and opinion in so finally on our way home at the airport in Istanbul I had enough as Jake did (thank you Jake) and I told him to shut up! Well you know how that went over. Religious people built on themselves always get offended. He dodged me when we got to the States and when he got home he wrote in long hand, a cryptic letter (in red) which a very poorly written, self-justifying himself. He rejected every attempt I made to talk with me. It is a scary thing to come face to face with our imperfections and flaws. Only if we have enough of God in us to show us the truth about ourselves and agree with Him will we ever get over our character issues and truly be used of God. His actions just showed my words were true and he lacks the ability in God to handle truth. Funny how

people do not like hanging around or talking with someone who can see right through them. I guess they do not realize God sees through us all the time. My friend there is a holy place in God when we can shut our mouth long enough to hear His voice and learn of Him. Yes, there is a place of silence in God that brings us to nothingness. A place where we have nothing to say. The first is perfect. The second is even more perfect and the third is the most perfect. There is a place of silence in God that brings us to nothingness. A place where we have nothing to say. There are three types of silence: a silence of words, a silence of desires, and a silence of thoughts. The first is perfect. The second is even more perfect and the third is the most perfect. In the first, the silence of words, there is virtue (strength) that is acquired. In the second, the silence of desires, quietness is obtained; and in the third, the silence of thoughts . . . this is our goal: the internal recollection of all of our senses. To lay hold of the silence of thought is to arrive and abide at the center of our being where Christ dwells. Not by speaking, desiring, nor reasoning we reach the central place of our inward walk, that place where God speaks to our innermost man. It is there that God communicates Himself to our spirit; and there in the inmost depths of our being. He teaches us Himself. He guides us to this place where He alone speaks His most secret and hidden treasures of His heart to us.

The second area of our subtle emotions is when we blame everything on the Satan. I cannot believe the number of Christians who have no spiritual understanding and still call themselves Christians, yet worse some spend more time praying to Satan telling him what they are doing to do to him, “I am going to bind you” or “I going to take back what you stole from me.” If we are a Christians and walking with the LORD how can Satan steal from us? What foolishness, but the worst part is these Christians really believe Satan has power in their lives. Now Satan is real the Bible (I believe he is real) tells us so, but he is defeated if we allow him. I choose to NOT give him power in my life, but choose to be powered by God. In the Book of Colossians Paul tell us, “And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” (Colossians 2:15) Satan and his powers are defeated! When will some Christians believe this verse? When they stop allowing their emotions to run wild. After all we have to blame someone for our failures and short comings when we do not control our emotions, hungers, and desires. It must be Satan causing us to be bad. Now the real danger in blaming Satan is we let off the real culprit, our self. James tells us, “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 15Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” (James 1:14-15) It is not Satan that causes us to sin it is our lust. We get enticed and snared by

our own lust that we have not allowed God to deal and judge within our lives. And the longer we go in this lust the harder and stronger this lust becomes till we become overwhelmed and we sin. The origin was not the enticement or even the sin (Jesus died for this), but our emotions running unchecked and wild. My friend the only power Satan has is the power we give him by speaking his name, trying to define and understand his tactics and ways. So why in the world would we need to learn about how Satan functions and operates? What a pile of religious crap! I think it more important to learn about how God functions and operates. But no the religious and hyper-spiritual crowd want to go after the devil and bind him when he has no power, except for the power we give him in our lives. My mother (God rest her soul) never used his name in any way her thought was why recognize him? Let us recognize Christ and what He has done in our lives instead of what the Satan (supposedly) is trying to do in our lives. How can we be at rest in our heart and spirit if we keep Satan in our thoughts? Foolishness utter foolishness, but most of the Christians today blame Satan for all of the bad things in their lives. What is God’s part in all of this? The truth is it is not Satan that causes us to do bad things even sin, but our flesh. Paul knew, “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. 19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. 20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.” (Romans 7:18-20) Paul knew it was his emotions (his flesh). Paul knew it was his emotions that caused him to drift away from God’s promises for his life. If our emotions rule and reign in our heart we are only destined for one thing and it is not for the purposes and plan God has for our lives, but lust and then sin. So mind your emotions!