“The feelings I get when I see the high mountain ranges —
stirrings of desire, longings for the heights—
Remind me of You, and I’m spoiled for anyone else!
— Song of Solomon 7 MSG
Feelings, wow, these emotions can make or break us; have you noticed? Women were once very careful to keep their feelings hidden, kept very much to themselves. Just watch older movies to get a sense of how different women used to be. But now, the woman of this century is not only allowing her feelings to be known, but her emotions are given full reign over everything. Feelings and emotions are allowed to take over and rule, or should I say ruin, her life. The primary reasons our emotions are destructive, I believe, is because we have no idea how much power our emotions possess, once again, for good or for evil. So, we use them unwisely, or should I say, they use and soon destroy us and everything we hold dear to us.
Women, in particular, are made up of many feelings that are generated by our emotions, and these emotions create the highs and lows in our lives. But what if we could actually learn to benefit from our emotions, by using our feelings as a barometer? This is the purpose of this chapter: to help each of us learn how to measure the changes in our emotional pressure, which will indicate that our spiritual atmosphere is changing and will show up in our feelings; we must redirect them toward the good, rather than the bad.
Recently women have taken a beating, in regard to their emotions. It really wasn’t that long ago, when a woman simply hid or controlled her feelings totally and completely in public, and even privately; however, it may very well have been that extreme that ushered in the complete opposite, which is now to “let it all out.” Many women, today, are literally out of control when it comes to their feelings—if so, she is being totally manipulated by her emotions, rather than using them, as I believe, God intended.
Well then, should we simply control our feelings, or should we, instead, learn to use how we feel, so that we can actually benefit from our emotions?
In the beginning of the Feminist Movement, many women (who were trying to prove that a woman was every bit like a man) began to deny that they had any emotions or feelings at all. These women stuffed their emotions and feelings down, only for them to erupt a few decades later into the foolish antics we see on television and in movies today. No one would have imagined how reality shows would not just foster bad behavior but encourage it. How many of us have seen at least one of the very popular reality shows that depict the sorry state of women who are completely out of control—their emotions flying everywhere for the world to see, and they are not one bit ashamed? Read what the Bible says, “‘Were they ashamed because of the abomination they have done? They were not even ashamed at all; they did not even know how to blush. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall; at the time that I punish them, they shall be cast down,’ says the LORD” (Jeremiah 6:15).
Knowing that women were created, uniquely, with emotions, it is therefore extremely important for us to understand these emotions and then use them—by redirecting them in the proper way. In addition, once you share your feelings with someone, the emotions have escaped; it will mean dealing with them again and again and again. I’ve taught my children, especially my daughters (due to how we women are notorious for sharing our emotions too openly), never to speak about anything when there are negative emotions attached to them. Instead, like a storm, negative emotions will soon pass, and once they are again stable, only then is it safe to share them.
So, when do our emotions begin to run havoc in our lives? For many women, it is when someone has hurt us, often through rejection. However, for most women, it is due to being denied what we want, when we believe we deserve better. This is especially true, when we, as Christians, believe that someone or something is standing in the way of our miracle! We all feel that, don’t we?
So then, what are we, as godly Christian women, women who “smile at the future,” women who exhibit a “gentle and quiet spirit,” supposed to do with our very real feelings? One way is to use a principle that I wrote about in a previous chapter, when my son’s fiancé believed the miracle of getting married was from God, but her desires didn’t match up with the authority over her. When someone is in our way (or maybe it’s just our limited ability to make something happen), when it’s what we truly believe God wants us to do or have, then that’s when God is just asking us to ponder these desires in our hearts. The many times I’ve done this, I sense it’s almost tenderizing my heart.
*Difficult to do? Yes, but oh so powerful! That’s because, once these desires are hidden from plain view and not spoken of freely, they are then put in a place where God visits. And He is there, in order to give us our most secret and precious desires! Remember? “Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4). Going beyond this, while looking up this verse, I read the entire Psalm that truly blessed me. Read it yourself, because it confirms so much of what has already been said. Read it slowly:
“Do not fret [to be worried, irritated, or agitated about something] because of evildoers, be not envious toward wrongdoers. For they will wither quickly like the grass and fade like the green herb. Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the LORD; and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He will do it. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light and your judgment as the noonday.
“Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who carries out wicked schemes. Cease from anger and forsake wrath; do not fret; it leads only to evildoing. For evildoers will be cut off, but those who wait for the LORD, they will inherit the land. Yet a little while and the wicked man will be no more; and you will look carefully for his place and he will not be there. But the humble will inherit the land and will delight themselves in abundant prosperity” (Psalm 37:1–11).
Notice how the second paragraph begins with the word, rest. As a parent, I know that my children can’t be expected to act their best when they are overly tired. We women also need rest, rest from our overworked emotions, and that rest can only be accomplished when we give each care (or worry or burden) to Him and when we simply “wait patiently for Him;” “and He will do it.”
Feelings to Move
Now, it’s time to discuss how our feelings relate to moving mountains. Just like everything else, resisting (even resisting feelings, like fear) is not the right way to deal with these negative emotions—emotions that have the potential to do so much harm and stand in the way of our miracle. So, what can we do with this powerful, and often deadly (to a miracle) force, when our emotions try to overcome us? What I found, just recently, when a bout of fear kept flowing over me—fear that was trying to penetrate my heart—I chose, instead, to use those feelings, by modifying and actually redirecting fear into thrill and excitement. That’s when I realized that I could actually benefit from them!
Have you ever noticed that fear and excitement are opposing emotions, and yet, they are really just a fine line apart? There are some people who love to ride a rollercoaster, for example, because of the thrill of it. Then there are others, like me, who don’t feel a thrill, but, instead, feel nothing but fear. Our emotions, simply a fine line apart, are very similar. What is different is in our perception of what we are experiencing. And a lot of how we perceive something is due to how much we think about it, but more important is in what way we think about it.
For instance, I doubt that many of the young people in line at the amusement park are thinking of how well the coaster is built, but I would be; therefore, my perception would result in fear.
The verses we just read above (Psalm 37) point to the very same thing, which is: how we think about things. For instance, do we think about how much money we don’t have to pay for something or what people are going to think about us when they find out about something we did or didn’t do? The list is endless to what we might fret about, which may even lead us to doing something evil or wrong. And even if we don’t resort to actually doing something wrong, fear alone, as most of us have learned, is actually the opposite of faith, which means we are not pleasing God when we fear. The Bible says, “without faith it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6).
Just recently, I faced quite a few mountains that loomed over my life, and each time I found that the fear of what might happen next, or what might be the result of my actions, stood in the way of moving that mountain, due entirely to how I felt. What I found was that if I took a step back, and then refocused on the thrill of what I knew (in faith) was about to happen, I could use those feelings to fuel the spiritual strength needed to move the mountain through the positive force of faith.
It is when we choose to turn our eyes from what appears to be happening, and instead look at what He has already done for us (and others) in the past, that our perception changes. Thinking over in our minds all the other mountains that He moved begins to thrill and excite us. And that’s when we are able to turn our doubt into real strength—mountain moving strength.
Now, let’s take the principle a bit higher, by also reminding ourselves, and Him, of the promises that He has made to us—even promises He may have made to you and me years ago. These promises (added to what He’s done) will further increase our faith and move those feelings from fear to excitement, and we will have the thrill of watching another mountain be thrown into the sea!
As I said, the Lord saw fit to bring one mountain after another into my life just recently. And each time I told myself that if I truly believed, then I would not be frightened or worried, but I would be excited—therefore, I needed to let my feelings reflect what I believed.
- That’s when my feelings became my barometer and a way to let me know just how I was thinking about those mountains and whether or not my mountain was going to move or continue to loom.
Another import aspect is knowing that the absence of fear can move your mountain. Almost all of the testimonies of restored marriages are from women who came to the place where they no longer feared being alone, nor feared their husbands might not come back to them. Once they experienced having a heavenly Husband and His love, once they knew they’d never be alone, that’s when there was no more fear. Once fear was gone, almost instantly they saw their situations turn around, and their husbands’ hearts were turned back to them.
It happened exactly like that both times with me. The first time my husband left, my entire life was consumed with fear. It took almost two years to rid myself of unimaginable fear (of being a single mother alone with small children and often thinking of how it would adversely affect them growing up). It wasn’t until I came to the place where there was no fear at all (all due to knowing and experiencing an amazing intimacy with the Lord), then, once my all-consuming fear was gone, my husband returned almost immediately.
The second time he left and filed for divorce, I didn’t fear at all (this time due to an even greater intimacy with the Lord, which was at an all-time high)—even though I had much more to lose the second time. Instead of fear, I rested in my trust, knowing more fully of His goodness and always looking for the good in what was happening. These dictated my emotions. The result of absolutely no fear, which was replaced by excitement, turned my husband’s heart around almost instantaneously, in equal measure.
The question I have is, was the immediate change due to how I felt? Or is it something the other person can sense, like we all read in Erin’s marriage restoration books? Can it be that our negative emotions, like fear, are an unseen energy force that God created and (countless times) has warned us not to allow into our lives, because it is what will inhibit our God-given moving mountain power?
The song made popular in the eighties says, “Feelings, nothing more than feelings…?” Though we try to dismiss the importance of how we feel, our feelings just might be the deciding factor to whether or not our mountain moves, or whether it appears to grow larger and wider than it was before. What we believe in our hearts will determine how we think and will result in how we feel about that mountain.
For instance, if we believe during surgery that our doctor knows what he is doing and the surgery will go well, it will alleviate our fears, which we now know results in a better outcome and quicker healing. What multiplies the outcome is when Christians put their trust in God, who is in complete and utter control. However, if we instead begin thinking of and rehearsing all the possible complications, the many risks, and what could potentially go wrong, our feelings will be much different—we will be overcome with fear! Fear, the Bible tells us at least three times, is how we open the door to whatever it is that we are fearful of, to be allowed to enter our lives.
“For what I fear comes upon me, and what I dread befalls me” (Job 3:25).
“Fear and trembling come upon me, and horror has overwhelmed me” (Psalm 55:5).
“What the wicked fears will come upon him, but the desire of the righteous will be granted” (Proverbs 10:24).
- So, we see that what we meditate on (fearful thoughts or faithful thoughts) has the ability to be manifested in our lives, and our feelings are the barometer to know what we are actually allowing into our lives and what ultimately lies up ahead for us.
Lack and Fear
Fear is what turned the tide of prosperity to lack, in my life. And when I say prosperity, I am not only speaking in regard to finances, but in every area of my life.
The lack that came into my life, I can now clearly see, began with a series of events while I was traveling. An event broke into my haven of rest, faith, and tranquility—the peace that surpasses all understanding that I had been enjoying. It began while I was in Africa, on the very tip of the continent, in Cape Town. For the first time since I left home weeks earlier, I was finally able to speak to my daughter, who had gone to live with her dad just before I left. Though I was extremely happy to hear her voice, it made the reality of “losing her” very real.
Once we hung up, I headed to my room, anticipating a great night’s sleep, since I was going to be flying back to Johannesburg the next morning. I needed sleep; I was scheduled to speak there when I arrived. However, in the next room, there was a wild party going on, with people or furniture constantly hitting the wall, loud voices and yelling, and worse, cigarette smoke that began filling my room. There was not another available room in the hotel, and even though I called the management, the party continued throughout the night.
Solomon, who is said to be the wisest man who ever lived, told us to be careful to “Catch the foxes for us, the little foxes that are ruining the vineyards, while our vineyards are in blossom” (Song of Solomon 2:15). Though I had been through so much, and in comparison this was nothing at all but a bit of lost sleep, it proved to be that little fox that I was unable to catch. It wasn’t this alone; it was also immediately after the reality of my daughter not living with me hit me, and I’d not taken time to speak to my HH or her Father about it. Once the door of fear was wide open, one fear leading the way to another. Fear led to me worrying about my very short flight. More fear led to me missing my scheduled flight, which put me on another flight that took off in a horrendous thunder storm.
And by the way, did you know that defeat is what often follows great victories and hits very powerful men and women? Here are a couple of examples. First is Jonah, who saved the entire nation of Nineveh from destruction. Then, right after this huge victory, he says, “Therefore now, O LORD, please take my life from me, for death is better to me than life” (Jonah 4:3). Most of his despair was due to Jonah’s feelings for the ungodly people, who God chose to spare.
Another example is Elijah, one of the most powerful prophets, who also was consumed right after his amazing victory—when 450 Baal prophets had been destroyed. Afterward, “he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree; and he requested for himself that he might die, and said, ‘It is enough; now, O LORD, take my life, for I am not better than my fathers’” (1 Kings 19:4).
Though I never quite got to the point of wanting the Lord to take my life, unlike these two men. I, nevertheless, can see how anyone is capable of plummeting into despair, after experiencing a great spiritual victory, all due to negative feelings that were not redirected back toward faith.
It was not even a week ago that my feelings, due primarily to what you read in the previous chapter, began to escalate in a negative way. I began worrying that I had “blown it,” and therefore, I was not going to see my mountain move, and the feelings of fear started to wage war against my faith. Thankfully, due much to writing this chapter, my feelings proved to be the barometer that told me that if I was going to see the mountain fall in my life, I was going to have to redirect my worrying into positive excitement, with anticipation and expectancy. Yet, the way I was feeling was so low that I hadn’t the emotional strength to turn the tide of my emotions. So, as a bride, I simply discussed everything with my HH and asked Him to do just that—I asked Him to turn my feelings of fear to excitement, and He did!
Prior to my feelings changing, the Lord had opened my eyes to the fact that I was at the end of this leg of my journey and that I mustn’t give up. He told me that many saints gave up, just before they reached their goal, the destination, and that my erratic feelings were proof that things were near the end of my mountain moving. Even though my head knew this was true, my feelings prevented me from turning the negative force into positive feelings, and it’s why I immediately spoke to my HH, before they could become rooted and take hold of me.
Almost immediately, I got up to shower and face the day with expectancy and anticipation! Did my day run smoothly? Absolutely not; instead, it was a day full of hundreds of tests, trials and temptations, but I continued to use each trial to fuel my faith, knowing that it proved I was just a short distance away from my mountain of debt falling into the sea. Then came the test.
There were actually three large amounts of money that I needed to sow as my test. My fear and feelings of “lack” wanted me to pull back, but the eyes of faith and trust told me to move forward. The enemy had made sure that, just the day before, I saw that I had nothing left in my accounts and my credit cards were all maxed out. Nevertheless, I had to move forward. While dressing, the Lord asked me how I really believed: Did I truly believe that my accounts, which I saw were empty, were actually attached into Him and His unending source? Or, did I believe what I saw? Did I really believe that He would lead me along this path and not provide the testimony of no debt? I knew that the result of how I felt, and what I did that day, is what would determine whether my mountain of debt would fall.
Each test, trial and temptation served to strengthen my faith in all He has done for me and will continue to do for me. Though my overflow of blessings has not yet manifested, I can feel that “it is finished” and that it is only a matter of time when I see, and I can announce, that my mountain of debt has fallen. I don’t know how it will happen, any more than I know when, but nevertheless, it is about to happen—I can feel it.
Dear bride, our feelings may just be the most powerful force that can cause you and me to soar like eagles, or cause us to want to bury ourselves below the face of the earth.
Knowing their power, we, therefore, need to pay close attention to our spiritual barometer, which shows up in our feelings, and when we feel the barometer falling, speak to our HH and shelter ourselves under the Almighty—not waiting until they take root and grab hold of us. Keeping negative feelings hidden, we must then cover our negative feelings with His promises and ponder deeply what He has done for us (and others) in the past.
With our minds renewed, we then must simply speak what is hidden deep in our hearts, which is reflected in our feelings, so that our mountain will move in the right direction—toward the sea, and no longer casting shadows on our world.