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Sabrina Gauer

Faith, Life & The Journey

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Ephesians

All the Feels

“Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.” – Ephesians 6:13

Our 21st-century life is filled with hashtags for everything. We #life, #adulting, #blessed, #neverstopexploring our every photo, every post, and every moment. It’s a way of tagging ourselves into a community of millions of people who all want to be heard, viewed, and appreciated. And sometimes, when we are in a beautiful place, or experiencing something beyond words, we feel #allthefeels.

All the feels. Not always easy in a spiritual sense.

Feelings are so unpredictable. Sometimes, I can easily pinpoint a trigger or a reason, and other times, feelings and emotions hit me out of nowhere and I need a second (or an hour…or a month…) to process what my emotions are saying to me. Many times, they aren’t even TRUE feelings – rather, they are a product of overthinking, fatigue, hunger, discontentment, and distraction or losing focus.

Thank God that salvation and grace is not based on how I feel in the moment. Maybe you don’t see immediate results of following hard after Christ…sometimes the feeling isn’t what you thought it would be. God is true to all of His promises, but we doubt, we struggle, and we fight our emotions. Yet, we know that one day, we will stand before the Lord and He will reward us for our perseverance through all the craziness of life, through the heartbreak, through sickness, through broken relationships, through all the disappointment and unknown times when it was all you could do to put one foot in front of the other and keep going. 32317_Trail_Hike_6

This idea of putting on the whole armor of God is so powerful in guarding our hearts, minds, and spirit in Christ Jesus. Helmet of Truth– where the thoughts begin and end. Breastplate of Righteousness– protecting our hearts from the lies of Enemy. Sword of the Spirit– because we are in a constant battle for our souls that cannot be taken lightly. Circumstances shift and change in this life. But His Truth never wavers. Knowing where we stand in Christ when the nights are long and the journey is weary is what keeps us pressing on instead of falling away and turning our back on God.

And all of those feelings that come and go only serve to distract us from the greater purpose of our lives on this earth; serving Christ wholeheartedly, knowing that someday soon, we will be with Him in Eternity. What emotions and distractions are you allowing to sneak into your heart? Where are you losing ground spiritually because you rely on a feeling? Ask God to show you when those feelings are TRUE and when they are completely misleading. He gives us the discernment when we ask for it. Philippians 4:7 says it plainly: “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

I’m taking a spiritual step back from “all the feels” today. I want to hear from God. And I want to press on through the battle; to be living in Truth.

Good Thoughts Aren’t Enough

One of my favorite things to do is scroll through Pinterest. I can easily lose hours of my life to images of kitchen remodeling, makeup ideas, recipes (that I will probably never make…), what to wear in any season, and QUOTES. Oh, the quotes! I can quickly sift through and identify the ones that apply most to my life in whatever moment, allowing the ones that resonate the deepest to be “pinned” where I can recall them for myself at a later time.

I’ve discovered that many of the quotes that are so appealing and receive the highest amounts of pins are those that are uplifting, inspiring, and positive. “Not All Storms Last Forever,” promises one in flowering handwriting. “Start Each Day With A Grateful Heart,” instructs another. Inner peace. True love. Have faith. And, while these are definitely good things to think about or goals to aspire to, these “good thoughts” are not enough to change anything.

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Sure, a positive outlook on life can bring temporary peace and happiness in situations where it’s easier to dwell on what’s wrong. But it’s superficial. It’s like eating candy that looks like vegetables – in the end, it’s still pure sugar without any nutrients.

The world is full of “good” advice, “good” vibes, “good” ideas, and “good” options to achieve “peace”. But they’re missing a very important part. True peace, true happiness, true confidence…it’s all found through a relationship with Jesus.

We can quote positive messages to ourselves all day long. But circumstances change when we kneel in prayer. When we focus on God and His plan rather than our temporary emotions. When we release those things that occupy our hearts and minds into the hands of the One who is able to do more than we can ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us. Because, even if our situations shift like the wind, He doesn’t. No amount of positive thinking can substitute for God’s peace. And our souls rest and find real, lasting peace in His strength alone.

“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” – Ephesians 3:16-19

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