Archive for October 2006

The real solid part of the feeling, the heartfelt part (Part II, fasting example)

Father, we want to be like Moses. We want to be led by Your holy Son Jesus Christ to Eternal Life. Give It to our hearts tonight, Lord. Tear out the old stony heart; place into us the new heart, the heart of flesh, the heart that you can talk to and deal with, and we will not be haughty or different. May the Holy Spirit never leave, Lord. May It come and ordain this people. Speak to them; tear up their stony will, and put in the will of God. Save every one, Father. Give us of Thy love. Get us to a place, Lord, that we’ll get away from all the–the emotional part, to the real solid part of the feeling, the heartfelt part, the deepness of the Spirit, the riches of God, the Kingdom of the Spirit in our hearts. Grant it, O great Leader, great Holy Spirit, before You take Your flight into the skies with Your church. – William Branham, Leadership, 1965

I want to take the subject of proper fasting as an example of what I am trying to get across in the difference between being “worked up emotionally” and “heartfelt feeling”

Many times, people work up feeling to take a 40 day fast. Bro Branham cautions against this.

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You never want to fast until you’re led to fast. Then if you get hungry, it’s time to eat. “Afterwards Jesus was afterwards an hungered.” Some of this saying, these people fasting and say, “I’m going to fast forty days,” and the false teeth falling out and losing weight, and… My, you better stop that. You wait till God leads you to do that on those things. Be led of the Spirit.
I’ve had people, after a certain book was wrote and put out about fasting, people come to my line: women, pregnant and things like that, come in my line, lose their, lose their mind, come–go into insane institutions from that. See? ‘Course you can’t do that. Just because somebody else done it, that’s no sign that you’re supposed to do it. Let God lead you to do what you’re doing.
If you’re led to, when you get hungry, it’s time to eat. When God puts a fast on you, you don’t get hungry. It’s God dealing with you. “Jesus was afterwards an hungered.” See? After His fast was over, He hungered.

See, there is a right way to fast, and a wrong way to fast. Some people were not being led to fast, they were just fasting till they went insane! God is not the author of such confusion. God is not the author of that worked up emotion leading them to fast and this people losing their minds.

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (II Tim 1:7)

He says, When God puts a fast on you, you don’t get hungry, it’s God dealing with you.” This is heartfelt, spirit led emotions.

I can understand sacrificing a meal or two to show God you are serious and sacrificing something for Him, but to go so long that your body becomes so weak that the devil can drive over you with a truck does no good.

It is important to understand, I believe, the difference in the two. When God begins to work with you in your emotions, it will not destroy you at the same time. See what Bro Branham says about this in the following quote.

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111f There’s nothing in the Word tells you to have a forty day fast, not a thing. Nothing in the world telling you to fast ‘less God would tell you. And if you fast, you ain’t going to get hungry and go all these things. After your fasting, brother, you’ll be joy and happy all the time.
Said, “Don’t appear before men like hypocrites do with a long sad face. I’m on a forty day fast; my plates won’t fit me any more. I’ve lost thirty pounds, and they told me I looked better after this is over.” Oh, nonsense. It’s enticing spirits of the devil.
Get up to the altar and say, “Glory, glory, glory,” till you can’t hardly say anything else and say you got to speak in tongues before you get the Holy Ghost. Nonsense. Dump it out. Get that out of your system and come on the Word of God. He said, “Repent, every one of you, and be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” If God don’t keep His Word, He’s not God. Amen. Dump out. Get filled up. Amen. Whew. I love that. That’s His Word. God said so. That’s right. And when God said it, God will take care of it.

I think however, that it is important to note one thing here. God can and does work through our emotions. I don’t so much want to point out that many times we just work up emotions, and so “don’t have emotions” – I’m trying to show rather, the middle of the road, because I think too many have gone the “emotions have nothing to do with your Christian walk” route.

It is obvious that God can work through our emotions to bring us to do things. Things like fasting, why wouldn’t you be hungry if you are fasting for 3 days? Of course you’d be hungry, unless of course God has impressed something upon you by the work of the Holy Spirit, and you are so concerned with Godly heartfelt emotion over the matter that eating is the farthest thing from your mind.

If we are in the appropriate place, listening and communing with God, and letting God work through us, the Holy Spirit will impress upon us to fast. See, it is God moving you to fast, not you deciding to fast. “You wait till God leads you to do that on those things. Be led of the Spirit.” said Bro Branham in the above quote.

Again, I think this is just one example of the principle I am writing about. There is a right way to have heartfelt emotions, and there is a wrong way to have worked up emotions. One is good, one is not good, but let’s not throw out the good just because there is a bad that looks like it.

The real solid part of the feeling, the heartfelt part (Part I, the intro)

To feel or not to feel – is that a question that has come up in regards to our faith? Where DO our feelings fit into the picture of our faith.

Most likely at some point, you’ve heard the line “It’s not about emotions” Perhaps some well meaning brother or sister, in an attempt to get you to correctly realize that it is about faith, and not about working yourself up, has told you this.

Thus many times do we go, for days upon days, thinking…it’s not about how I feel. I just have to believe God’s Word is true. I just believe the message, and that’s it. Feelings don’t have to be there.

To a point, I am in agreement here. How many have we seen at the altars of our youth camps, and the altars of our churches, crying and screaming out to God, but at what point do we see the change? At what point do we see these same people with a change in their life…with a faith to stand on God’s Word and live it?

Having said this, I believe we need to find the middle of the road on this matter.

How can one but have emotion when faced with their sins, the depravity of their own nature, and shown the love of God to redeem them. How can one but feel sorrow and remorse? Then when repentance is truly done, and they realize by God’s Word they stand justified in God’s sight, and sealed until the day of their redemption, what joy ought to spring forth in their hearts?

Heartfelt feeling only shows one is alive. The problem today is, we have too many copies. Those at the altar begin to copy others at the altar that are truly feeling the weight of the depravity of their souls from the heart. Hence “worked-up” emotions are born.

Since we have seen so much of this, many have cried out against “emotions aren’t it!!” and we have come to a point today, where we merely tell people to accept and believe the Word of God. I believe this rhetoric has gone a little too far.

In one of the last messages Bro Branham preached, He said this:

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Get us to a place, Lord, that we’ll get away from all the–the emotional part, to the real solid part of the feeling, the heartfelt part, the deepness of the Spirit, the riches of God, the Kingdom of the Spirit in our hearts. Grant it, O great Leader, great Holy Spirit, before You take Your flight into the skies with Your church.

Now, this is rather an odd statement at first glance. Get us away from emotion, to the feeling?? Does this make sense? YES!

I believe Bro Branham understood the difference between emotions worked up because of the presence of God, and heartfelt feeling that comes from the very life of God in you. One will pass quickly…the other continues to bubble in you, over and over and over.

Over the next week or so, I’m going to try and write little thoughts on different aspects of “the real solid part of the feeling, the heartfelt part”. I hope you will join me in this quest and do your own studies on proper heartfelt feeling. If you come accross anything astounding to you, I’d like to hear about it.

I pray we’ll all be blessed.

-Bro Trevor