I spent well over a decade of my adult life subscribing to an approach to theology that elevated logic and reason while deemphasizing emotion and feeling. It pitted objective truth against subjective experience as though the two were enemies.

And here’s the problem with that kind of thinking. God created you with intellect, emotion, and will. You can think, feel, and decide things. That’s what makes you human.

I believe an either/or mentality about faith has been hurtful to the church. We need a both/and theology that recognizes the need for affirming objective, absolute truth regardless of one’s feelings while also embracing the emotional result of a genuine encounter with the God who engages us personally.

To make a long story short, you should think and know God’s trustworthiness regardless of your feelings. And you should also welcome and cultivate the emotions that flow naturally out of a rich relationship with God.

Or as Paul put it,

Be enthusiastic to serve the Lord, keeping your passion toward him boiling hot! Radiate with the glow of the Holy Spirit and let him fill you with excitement as you serve him.

~ Romans 12:11 TPT

Notice, first of all, that being excited about serving Jesus is a good thing. Notice, also, that it’s a product of the Holy Spirit’s filling and influence. And finally, notice that it’s my responsibility as a believer to keep my passion hot.

In other words, excitement about Jesus is, in and of itself, a spiritual discipline.

How do you get there? Think about the truth about God that you already know deep inside your mind. Then, smile. Let the confidence of his truthful Word flood and fill your heart. Look up. Raise your hands. And offer him genuine and authentic praise.

Surrender your hurt, your sin, your apathy, and ask him to fill you afresh and to awaken within you the flame of passion that roars from the innermost places inside you where you are completely loved and healed.

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