I remember talking to a young, recent Bible College graduate, who related that as he preached a sermon he could feel the power of the Holy Spirit come over him. It was obviously a moving experience for him.
I’ve preached hundreds of sermons in multiple churches and in several different countries and I’ve never had that feeling.
Is there something wrong with me?
The subject of feeling God or feeling the presence or power of God is not an easy one to address. It is compounded by our personal experiences and emotions. No one wants to deny what another person says they experienced.
But what if I don’t feel God?
What if I’ve never felt God?
Does that mean that I’m not walking in fellowship with God? Or that I have a sub par faith? Or worse yet, I have no faith at all?
One writer put it this way: When I had expected to feel His warmth, I felt cold. When I had expected to feel peace, I felt fear and anger. When I had expected to feel His presence, I felt emptiness.
Has that been your experience?
I think that it has been the experience of more Christians than want to admit it. After all who wants to admit that they don’t feel God, when everyone else is saying just the opposite?
I don’t know that I have the final answer to this discussion, but there are several things that we need to remember about feelings.
While Scripture talks about feelings, and you’ll see this in relationship to feelings about God in places like Psalm 22:1, our feelings don’t occupy a major place in God’s revelation. Doing is emphasized far more than feeling.
In fact, we’re told that our feelings aren’t always trustworthy (Proverbs 14:12, Jeremiah 17:9, 1 John 3:20). With actions you either do or you don’t, but with feelings you can never be sure.
Another problem with feelings is that something fallible becomes our spiritual guide. While we are on a journey toward ultimate sanctification, we are not there yet. Our feelings or emotions have not yet been fully sanctified. So, what is less than sanctified (feelings) becomes our guide to spiritual reality, decisions and actions. That’s a dangerous place to be.
Instead of focusing on our feelings we need to concentrate on those things that the Word of God holds out to us as reliable guides. Things like faith (1 Peter 1:20-21), hope (1 Peter 1:13), and love (1 Corinthians 13).
When it comes to your feelings it’s best to keep in mind what one writer said; your emotions are gauges not guides.
So, if you don’t feel God, don’t worry. It’s more important to obey God than to feel Him.
Stay in the Word