“As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he:” Prov. 23:7
How often have you heard someone try to explain a thought, but prefaced their thought by saying, “I feel that, …”? We hear people’s thoughts introduced that way all the time, so often in fact, that we hardly think about it anymore. It would not matter if the thought was of a deeply held personal belief or maybe a passing opinion on a much simpler matter, the question for the moment is, can a thought be called a feeling? Personality tests have been a real influence to further this paradigm. For instance, many businesses who want to determine the “type” of their potential candidates use these tests, such as the well-known Myers-Briggs personality test, to determine whether you are more of a thinking or a feeling personality. These tests, mostly based on man-made psychology, with their origin in the four temperaments and the occult, claim to show why you choose to do what you do. We have a helpful book on this subject called, “The Four Temperaments, Astrology and Personality Testing“, available here at the bookstore. (Click on the title for more info). Ah, feelings! They are so fleeting, are they not? How then do we differentiate between our thoughts and feelings?
Have you ever given any thought to where your imaginations originate? We have become very accustomed to being taught that we think with our brain, that dark matter between our ears. But, do our thoughts actually originate with our brain? Are we all captors of our own brain? If we were to ask the brain scientist, they would talk about the complex chemical make-up and the neurology of the brain, but is that where our thoughts originate? What if we were to go to the Creator of the brain, what would He tell us? Let’s do that!
The New Age Position – Feeling Based
Many self help books have been written to aid the person in his thoughts, feelings and actions, particularly in the last few decades. Many very influential personalities such as Joyce Meyer and Joel Osteen from the Word of Faith movement, right along side with the New Age gurus of the day, including Oprah Winfrey and Eckhart Tolle, et al., peddle this ‘name it and claim it’, psychological self-help religion. An example of one such very influential book is called, “As A Man Thinketh“, written in 1903 by James Allen. This very dangerous book uses a verse of God’s own words from Proverbs as a title, but do not let that fool you! It is extremely new age in it’s selfish progression, excluding God from humanity and making God in man’s image. It is referenced by many influential people: from Hollywood, in the film, “Rumble Fish”; to people such as the vile rock star, Marilyn Manson, an ordained priest by Anton LaVey in the Church of Satan who referenced portions of Allen’s book in two of his recent albums. Sometimes, you can know what to think about the book by who quotes from it! But, James Allen, himself, describes the book as follows: “A book that will help you to help yourself.” (from: jamesallenlibrary.com). And, the first chapter of his book quotes from the Buddhist scriptures, the Dhammapada explaining the effect of Karma. At a glance, you can clearly see the new age direction this book will take you; and not from a godly, biblical position. This book and many like it are furthering a feeling based religion. One that takes God out and supplants man in place as God, such as we discussed in last month’s newsletter, “Is There Something Wrong?” These ‘spiritual leaders’ would have you live by your feelings in the flesh and not employing prayerful thoughts to make your decisions. You can surmise from this that feelings, as opposed to thought, have their basis in the flesh and not in the Spirit. This is the New Age, feeling based position, but what is God’s position?
The Creator’s Position – Knowledge Based
If we were to look to the Biblical position to answer the question, “where do thoughts originate”, we can see throughout the scriptures that God never brings us to a feeling, but only ever to knowledge. Feelings are fleeting and rash at times, but godly knowledge leads us to wait upon God to make good decisions on a matter. What does the Holy Bible say about this?
Even in our text at the beginning of this article, it teaches that a man thinks in his heart and not with his brain; the thought originates in the heart. What does the Bible say about our heart? Firstly, God’s Word, the Holy Bible, exposes the heart’s thoughts and intentions, as this verse says:
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Heb. 4:12
This verse is saying that the Bible exposes the heart to you so you can know the intent of it and so you can make good hearty decisions, leading you down the right path. However, the world and the new agers we spoke of all raise up their voices in unison today demanding the masses to, “follow your heart”. But, can you trust your heart? What does the Creator says about the heart?
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Jer. 17:9
If the Bible, that discerns the good and bad intentions of our heart, tells us our heart is beyond wicked and even that it lies to us, should we follow the guru’s advice in following it? I think not! Furthermore, in this following verse, the Bible clearly teaches the actions start in the heart and not the head, describing the intentions as treasures and that you can know what is in the heart, good or evil, by that which comes out of the person’s mouth!
“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.” Luke 6:45
“But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.” Matt.15:18
Can you reference God’s Word to find out the Bible teaches you to follow your heart or that God brings answers to you by feeling? Nowhere in the Bible will you find that teaching. The Bible clearly says that God, the Spirit of Truth, will bring knowledge and understanding from your heart to your brain and then out of the mouth and in your actions. The truth in this verse says, not of a feeling.
“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth:” John 16:13a
Thoughts vs. Feelings
So, really, there is no such thing as feelings as such in the context of decisions and choices. There are only thoughts, good and evil. Feelings and emotions are not synonymous with thoughts, they are different. Feeling based decisions are generally off-the-cuff and require little thought. Acting on your feelings is acting in the flesh, as the Bible speaks of, and not by the Spirit, that Holy Spirit who brings us unto all knowledge.
Therefore, acting on emotion is never advisable. Thoughts, on the other hand, are what we ought to use to dictate our actions. Taking thought will cause you to stop and consider God first. It is for us to fear God and fall down before His face for without Him this day would be destroyed; praying to the Creator of the universe, who has no clock on the wall and is not subject to time and therefore knows everything, including what is to come. We are to put our thoughts before God, because our thoughts can be wrong and because our heart could be wrong. Consider this:
“Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?” Matt. 6:27
The battle is between the flesh and the spirit. Are we placing every thought in captivity before God? He wants to hear from you before you decide anything;
“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” II Cor 10:5
Thoughts come from the heart…yes there are evil thoughts that come from the evil heart and good thoughts that come from the good treasure of the heart. It is the heart primed with the knowledge from the Holy Ghost that makes good decisions. The next time you have a thought from the heart, ask yourself this: did I talk to God about it first and wait on an answer or did I only do what I wanted to do?
“Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matt. 26:41
“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.” Gal. 5:16
If you have not made the decision from the good treasure of your heart to accept Jesus as your personal Saviour, right now is the accepted time. This is not feeling based, but knowledge based. You may feel emotion after you make the decision, but now you know the Truth:
“For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:” 1 Pet. 3:18
© 2018 Remi Fernhout