Proverbs Challenge | May 25, 2020
Key Text: Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control. Proverbs 25:28
“One can be the master of what one does, but never of what one feels.” – Gustave Flaubert
Ever felt uncertain about how you feel? Desires are fickle and unyielding, yet they follow us around like a loyal puppy! The Greek word for desire is “epithymia.” I’m somewhat of a word-nerd and like to understand the history of the word and its use. Broken down, “epi” means “focused on” and “thymos” means passionate desire. If you have ever had a focused, intense passion, you understand the power that comes with it. Why are desires complex and uncertain? The Bible gives us an answer and, as you see in Proverbs, cautions us to pay careful attention to how we feel.
Galatians 5:17 says, “For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.” Now you know! The inner battle that comes with feelings is an everyday, conflict-producing hot mess. But don’t be discouraged. Jesus sent us the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, who we walk with so that we do not do whatever we feel. Feelings can and do betray us, which is why self-control is key to our discipleship journey and protecting the “city” of our hearts.
We cannot master how we feel, but God’s Spirit can. As it was the breath of God that first animated dirt to man, so it is the breath of God that sustains us. Depending on Him keeps us from acting out in speech or action contrary to the wisdom of God. As you move through the minefield of desires produced by the world’s happenings, don’t trust your feelings. Trust the Spirit.
John LeVahn, Senior Pastor
Today’s Challenge: As you feel desire, submit that desire to the Spirit of God.