THE DEVIL’S GREAT LIE!
“You must feel it before you do it!” – the devil
Over the last 46 years, I have seen this great lie from the devil, paralyze and ruin many Christian’s lives. The lie, that we must feel something before we do it. That unless we feel like doing the good right thing before we do it, we are being disingenuous, hypocrites! Nothing could be further from the truth! This is the devil’s great lie to Christians, that we feel our way through life. God tells us to do the right thing no matter what we feel like doing. God shows us this is the most powerful way to live, and in time our feelings will follow.
We are not to feel our way through life, we are to will our way through life in obedience to God.
This lesson was brought home to me in a very powerful way as a new husband. I was discovering some things my wife did that really aggravated me and I reacted to them in very fleshly ways. One day after a particularly difficult argument, I was sitting alone downstairs where I had retreated to lick my wounds. My mind was racing with many destructive thoughts. I was angry and frustrated, my emotions were in overdrive. For some reason, I picked up the Bible that was next to me and opened it to this page, and to this verse.
“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil by doing good!“
It was a profound divine moment. God said to me, “Mark, right now you are feeling overcome by evil. You are letting your emotions run wild, and they are overcoming you. You are letting what your wife did cause an evil response to grow in you. I want you to get up right now and DO something good for her. DO something good that will directly benefit her.”
I said, ” But Lord, I don’t feel like doing that. I don’t want to do that. I would be faking it!” God said, “Mark, It is never faking it to go DO a good thing in obedience to me.”
I got up, went to the ironing board, turned on the iron, and began to iron her shirts, there in the downstairs laundry room. I knew ironing was hard on Kathy’s neck and back, I knew it would benefit her and be helpful to her, though I hated ironing myself. But God met me that day and showed me a tremendous life-changing truth. “Mark, you overcome evil by doing good, not by feeling good.” Learn to act your way into feelings, not feel your way into actions.
This powerful truth changed my life in wonderful ways. I discovered that in the doing of many different good things, as a discipline and choice of my will, that this doing good actually overcame evil and eventually brought about wonderful feelings and very good emotions. But never the other way around. By choosing to do loving, good things for Kathy, in time I really felt deeply in my emotions, much greater love for her.
I found this with the Lord as well. The more I chose to thank Him for the many things He has given me, done for me, thanking Him for very specific things, praying them out loud with my voice, this doing of good brought about tremendous feelings of gratitude and a deep closeness to the Lord. It became a wonderful cycle leading me deeper in my faith and closer to God.
Even now, following God’s voice, the ministry I founded, Strong Disciple, the vital work I am doing through it, the articles I am writing weekly, are a deliberate choice, a focused endeavor to do good, to overcome an egregious, evil injustice, perpetrated against me by a group of malicious, compromising Christians. You see, I am determined to spend the rest of my life overcoming their malicious evil by doing good, rather than spend the rest of my life in a quest for justice, trying to right the wicked wrongs done to me, and regain all that was stolen from me.
Do not let the devil’s great lie rob you of the life, faith, and marriage you could have if only you would do the good, right thing, no matter how you feel. In doing good, you will overcome evil!
Helping you become a Strong Disciple,
Because of Jesus,
Pastor Mark Darling