Feelings were created by our Maker for our utmost pleasure. But when man fell into sin, feelings became man’s second greatest enemy, after the Devil himself. It is only when a person has received the Holy Spirit, does the original purpose of feelings work in es life.
Even in fallen man, feelings have a great role in making es life happier and safer. Such feelings are those relating to falling in love, paternal affection, friendship, thrill in wholesome encounters, and many other positive emotions. But overall, the heart, the generator and harborer of all feelings, in such a person is full of deceit, and desperately wicked. Jer 17:9 It is feelings that incite a man or a woman to anger, hate, lust, pride, jealousy, resentment, murder, rebellion, and all other negative emotions.
In a person begotten of the Holy Spirit, feelings are the greatest tool of both the Devil and our natural man to lead us to temptation. Temptation without feeling is no temptation but only a proposition to the soul. When Jesus was tempted with food after his forty days of fasting, his feeling of hunger was beyond human comprehension. But some temptations are not real temptations, but only propositions because there is no feeling involved. Satan’s temptation of Jesus with all the glory of the world’s kingdoms was no temptation at all, but only a silly proposition given in a desperate bid. Because there was no feeling in Jesus to have what was offered. Usually, Satan does not bother to lure a person with a temptation for which e has no feelings. For example, if the Devil were to tempt me with a cool offer of a million dollars by some easy fraud, that’s no temptation at all, but a silly thought to me. Similarly, for any temptation that you do not have a feeling for.
But the Devil knows exactly what are the specific feelings you have submerged in your heart. As a Christian, you don’t allow anymore the evil feelings to override your will and cause you to sin. But often, the negative feelings in a Godly person are strong, and there is a struggle to suppress the feelings and act contrary to the natural feelings. Sometimes, the struggle ends in the failure of the will and in the victory of the feelings. An example is when David was overwhelmed by his feelings for Bathsheba while he was pacing about on the terrace of his palace. Think of a case in your own life, where, after you became a Christian, you yielded to your feelings contrary to the injunctions of your will.
I cannot put even a rough estimate of the percentage of good feelings and evil feelings in a Christian. Perhaps, 50 percent of the feelings in em are good and 50 percent evil. Perhaps only 10 percent of feelings in such a Godly person is positive, and 90 percent evil. The latter is probably the proportion in my case, and probably also in the case of Paul, who cried out against his feelings, ‘O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?’ Rm 7:24 ‘Body of death’ is just another term for the powerful feelings of the natural man buried inside our body.
Often, when a strong feeling fills you, and the Holy Spirit gives you discernment that it is not from your ‘I’ but from the sinful man lurking inside you Rm 7:20, the best response is to act exactly the opposite of what your feelings want you to do.
The Lord give you the discernment and the power to always react toward your feelings in perfect accord with your will, which is always directed by the Holy Spirit.