The Holy Spirit and Emotions Part four

THE HOLY SPIRIT AND EMOTIONS                part four

Emotions are an ignored reality in much of the Christian Church, but it is not so in the Bible. Within the Bible’s pages the Trinity manifests a rich emotionality. Within the New Testament the Person of the Holy Spirit not only manifests rich emotions Himself but is given to the believer to profoundly influence her or his emotional life. As we cooperate with the Spirit and sound spiritual principles, we shall experience an increasingly rich emotional life. The health of our emotions is a critical category of our spiritual life. The why and how of that is explored.

THE TRINITY—THE SOURCE OF OUR EMOTIONS

Where do these amazing things called emotions come from? Feelings are the bane and blessing of our existence: a blessing, for example, as they create a DEEP joy within us as we look upon our children; or a SENSE loss as we experience times of grief. At those various times our emotions match the delights and disasters of life. The source of emotions is a surprising place. This ability to feel comes from our being made in the image of God.

What is true of our bodies is true of our emotions: God did it! Our bodies are repositories of wonder. Within our frame is an unimaginably complex set of abilities. From whistling a tune, to thinking up the splitting of the atom, we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Yet the greatest wonder of all is, all of this is expressed by a moving and flexible pile of chemical and electrical activity. Such is so wonderful that it makes the existence of God reasonable. Not only what we can bring forth is a marvel but what is within is also. Inside of us is a world of emotions, appetites, and imagination.

Our ability to do things without (like I am doing now) and sense things within exists because God molded clay into an electric chemical masterpiece that makes the complexity of the most advanced computer laughable. What was his model in doing so? The answer is himself. We are flesh and blood expressions of the divine; we are made in his image.

PURPOSE OF OUR EMOTIONS.

Our emotions tell us of our spiritual state. The emotions, by whether they enhance our lives or else they afflict our lives, tell us where we are with God. Spirituality is a life normally dominated by primary emotions. These primary emotions are encapsulated in the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23).

We will cover the primary emotions in part five using the Fruit of the spirit Gal.5:22-23 and Colossians 3:1-12.  Each term of the fruit of the Spirit carries an emotional connotation. If love for others is present, along with contentment with life, and a deep sense of wellbeing, that means we are being ministered to by the Spirit of God.

We must recognize what is going on within our emotional life and in the management of our appetites Gal. 5:16-24.

Carnality is a life dominated by misused emotions and appetites (Gal 5:19-21). IT IS A CHOICE FOR LUST RATHER THAN GOD (Rom 6:11-12). If confusion, addictive feelings, and discontent are present, the person’s state may certainly be carnal or non-spiritual.

We cannot be spiritually mature without a ministry to our own emotional life. In this text, Col 3:1-12, setting one’s mind on things above (vv. 1-2) becomes the first step in the process of controlling one’s emotions.

This gives us information as to where we are starting from, either with spirituality or carnality.

Our emotions tell us about our thoughts and perspectives. Our emotions (Col 3:2, 8) READ may be present before our conscious thoughts. This may be due to the Fall. The reason they may be a result of the Fall is that the level of confusion that occurs between the thoughts and emotions may reflect fallen realities. Whom did we obey when we were dead in our personal spirit? Who was Lord over us?

THE HOLY SPIRIT’S WORK

If it is true that the work of the Holy Spirit is involved with our emotions, then the work of the Spirit of God is profoundly psychological in regards to the mind or mental actions. Moreover, even though the Holy Spirit is a divine, mysterious presence, he occupies a strategic place within us. He functions at the confluence(MERGING) of our imagination, perspective, ego, and emotions. At this confluence where two or three things merge, He works synergistically (TO CREATE A BETTER FINAL OUTCOME) within us. As we relate to God as a Father through our identity in Christ, deep change takes place through the Spirit of God.

Spiritual realities are emotional realities. One cannot say that counseling and psychology deal only with emotional issues. Emotional issues are intertwined with spiritual issues, for the nature of spirituality is relational and relationships are deeply emotional as even a quick glance of the fruit of the Spirit would show. This means that spiritual realities have psychological implications and vice versa.

Spirituality involves nearly everything. In much of evangelicalism, a false spirituality is placed in the

[slowly emphasize intellect, psychological, physical]

space between the intellectual, psychological, physical aspects of humanity. No such space exists. Biblical spirituality is the management of all those aspects in relationship to the reign of the Trinity.

The work of the Spirit is synergistic. Synergy is two or more things working together in order to create something that is bigger or greater than the sum of their individual efforts.

It is more than just cooperation with the Spirit; it is cooperation with the Trinity. In prayer we relate to the Father. As we do so we remain confident and conformed to the life of the Son. The Spirit empowers us. This empowerment can be sovereign as in his flooding ministry (Luke 1:15, 41, 67; overwhelmingly filled) or we can cooperate as in his filling ministry (Eph. 5:18; filled with character the mental and moral qualities of God).

Our character is developed through our experiences and what we choose to learn and do from them… character in many ways is a combination of our mind, will and emotions our soul, and backbone. As I have said many times character is the backbone of the soul.

HOW TO MINISTER TO OUR OWN EMOTIONS.

We must set our minds on our relationships above; we control our thinking (Rom 8:1-6; Col 3:1-3). The terms used in both Rom 8 and Col 3 refer to perspective. Meaning the way, we look and see things.

By reckoning we relate to God personally instead of to our appetites (Rom 6:11-12). The focus of a person’s inner life can either be the God on the outside or the appetites on the inside. Sadly, our appetites many times have far more impact on many of us than God does. The focus of our inner person must be on God the Father, and our identity before him as found in Christ, and not in our appetites. So, no matter the level of pressure from our inward desires, we must freely approach and share ourselves with God.

By reckoning we control our memories (Phil 4:8-9). Believers are enjoined to take the positive blessings God brings into our lives and use them as our personal definition and assumption as to what reality is. Oftentimes the fearful and anxious person selectively takes from experience only those things that can be linked to the past trauma and dread. One can just as legitimately take the positive, noble, and happy experiences and have them as the definition of the core of reality.

As a result, we experience the primary emotions. Love, joy, and peace can appear and become the stabilizing force in our personality and relationships.

As Christians we cannot afford to downplay the importance of emotions. The work of the Spirit of God is deeply emotional. Since those realities are so, they carry weighty implications for how Christians should teach and preach and counsel and lead.

Making God richly emotional does not negate his divine attributes; his omniscience, omnipotence, and sovereignty are intact but deeply enriched. He is not a dry philosopher, but a passionate lover and ruler.

 

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