Episode #150 What You Think & Feel Matters – Cultivate Wonder

5 Minutes Read

Rest More Resolution Podcast

From Today's Episode:

Welcome! We're in our Cultivate Wonder Series and today's topic is What You Think & Feel Matters.


John 3:16; Ephesians 1:4-14 MSG

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God, what do you want to show me about my thoughts and feelings?

Here's the episode transcript

Hey friends. I want to start us off today with an interesting question: what if belief matters more than we realize?
As Christians, we talk a lot about belief and really in the context of believing in God, believing in Jesus. Even the call to salvation as we see in John 3:16, is to believe in him. But belief carries into every area of our lives not just the pivotal response to receive the salvation that God offers us.

We live according to what we believe, or said another way, we live according to what we feel and think.

This conversation has been happening amongst theologians for a long time. And I actually want to read two quotes for you from well-known Christians and theologians who offer slightly varying views on the subject. A. W. Tozer in his book, The Knowledge of the Holy said,

“what comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.”

And a few decades before then in The Weight of Glory, C. S. Lewis said this,

“I read in a periodical the other day that the fundamental thing is how we think of God, by God himself, it is not. How God thinks of us is not only more important, but infinitely more important. Indeed, how we think of Him is of no importance, except insofar as it is related to how he thinks of us…to be loved by God, not merely pitied, but delighted in as an artist delights in his work or a father in a son—it seems impossible, a weight or burden of glory, which our thoughts can hardly sustain. But so it is.”

Now, I am in no means trying to put myself in the same category of theologian or writer. But I'm also a believer and I would like to offer you my humble words on the subject.

And these few quick lines are from a poem called “What's the Difference” in A Beckoning to Wonder, which is my poetry collection.

And so in my words, it says,

“You live
to what you think and feel
toward you

to what you think and feel
toward God

to what you think and feel
God thinks and feels
toward you.” (Jen Weaver, “What's the Difference” in A Beckoning to Wonder)

I want to invite us to sit with that for a minute because our beliefs are lived out constantly in our daily lives. The church analogy goes that you sit in a chair because you believe, you think, and feel that it's sturdy enough to hold you.

The way that we live out our faith, the way that we conduct ourselves, the way that we view ourselves and view God and approach him or don't, all of those things are informed by what we think and feel.

I want to read a passage of scripture for us today from Ephesians chapter one, and I'm intentionally reading it in the message version right here, a paraphrase more than a literal translation, because I want to pull it out of the familiar words that we might know and recognize from our regular Bible reading to help us slow down and pause and consider what we think and what we feel towards the truth of these words. I'm also going to try as much as I notice them to change the plural to singular wording here.

So it might talk about his love for us and I'm going to change that wording to speak of his love for you. I'm not changing the Bible intent or meaning here, but this exercise is helpful to notice what you think and feel as I read.

“Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had [you] in mind, had settled on [you] as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt [you] into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!)

He wanted [you] to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son. Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, [you’re] a free [person]—free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all [your] misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free! He thought of everything, provided for everything [you] could possibly need, letting [you] in on the plans he took such delight in making. He set it all out before [you] in Christ, a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in him, everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth. It’s in Christ that [you] find out who [you] are and what [you] are living for.

Long before [you] first heard of Christ and got [your] hopes up, he had his eye on [you], had designs on [you] for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone. It’s in Christ that you, once you heard the truth and believed it (this Message of your salvation), found yourselves home free—signed, sealed, and delivered by the Holy Spirit. This down payment from God is the first installment on what’s coming, a reminder that [you’ll] get everything God has planned for [you], a praising and glorious life.” (Ephesians 1:4-14 MSG, [ ] adjusted to singular not plural words)

So pay attention right now to what emotions you feel, to how you feel in your body. I hope you feel encouraged. I can think back on past seasons of my life and recall how I thought maybe God had intended for me this way, but that at some point he changed his mind. And so I lived according to those beliefs.

We live each day according to what we believe, according to what we think and feel. And the good news of that is that each day we can inspect and choose again what we think and feel. And so today we get to talk with God about that. Whether it's about how you think and feel toward you, how you think and feel toward God, or how you think and feel God thinks and feels toward you.

And so here's our question:

God, what do you want to show me about my thoughts and feelings?

Have a good talk.

And if you've been encouraged by this content, please share it with a friend and help them grow in their conversational relationship with God too!

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