Creflo Dollar - Living By Faith, Not By Emotions
Hello, and welcome to today's broadcast. I'm Creflo Dollar, and today we are continuing our series of messages on dealing with our emotions, and today we're talkin' about "Living by Faith, not by Emotions". I want you to learn how to allow faith to govern your life, and not your senses, and know that the joy of the Lord is our strength. So prepare your hearts as we bring you another life-changing message on dealing with your emotions.
There is a thing where psychology, you have to talk about psychology versus spirituality. Now, some of this stuff you may agree with, some of this stuff, you may not agree with, but I need to say it to you, so I wrote it down so I wouldn't forget anything, and I want you to just pay attention to this and just think it through with me. Psychology says, I picked, like, four things, things that I know of, things that I experienced myself as a therapist, things that I know how I was trained to do certain things, and here's what I picked out: Psychologists say, "Give vent to our emotions and allow them to run their course. Vent. Give vent to your emotions and allow them to run your course". They also say, "Don't feel bad about feelin' that way. Don't feel bad about feelin' that way". They also say, "Don't hold onto anything. Don't hold anything in. Don't hold anything in. Let it out". And sometimes the whole objective is "Let it out".
All right, now, look at what I just described to you: "Vent, let it out, don't hold onto nothin', allow it to run its course, just let it do what it do". All right, now, I want you to think with me for a moment. What if you were on a horse and took this same advice? "Don't try to control that horse. Just let that horse just run wild. Let it get it out of, don't have a bit in his mouth. Don't have a bridle. Just sit on the horse and let him just go. Let him get it out. Let him vent". How many of you know that would be dangerous to your life? If any of you who are familiar with horses, getting on a horse without a bridle, a bit in the horse's mouth, it's gonna be very dangerous not having your equipment to be able to turn his head, and you just get up there, and let's think the psychologist is talkin' to the horse: "Get it out. Vent. Don't hold nothin' back. Go for it".
Well, I'mma tell you what. You better get off that horse 'cause you about to die. In other words, you know, there is no control in that horse. There's no control in it. Now, watch this carefully now. This is so very important. So the danger or riding a horse that's out of control is just like not controlling your emotions, which will lead you to serious trouble as well. It's the same thing if I advise you to just, like they advise you to do. Psychologists have basically taught us how to cope, how to blame everyone else for what we feel, and act so we don't have to experience guilt or take responsibility, and so it's all about coping, and so the best the world can offer you is coping skills. Coping skills. This is not about how to cope. This is about how to have authority: Master and control your feelings and your emotions. I'm not saying you're not gonna have some negative feelings. I am telling you, you can control them, that those negative feelings don't have to control you.
So somethin' negative happens to us on the outside, then you're obviously gonna probably have somethin' that happen to you on the inside 'cause that's how, just, things are made, but we've got to have the knowledge that we can control our emotions. Now, I think I've said enough. I think I'll be able to take you through this next part, but I've gotta really lay some foundation. Let's go to James chapter 3, in 3. James chapter 3, in 3. I think this is really gonna help you. Now, the Scripture says here, "Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouth, that they may obey us, and we turn about their whole body". Now, let's deal with the anatomy of a horse. Did you know that a horse is led by its head?
In other word, if the horse wants to lie down, his head's gotta go first before his body can follow. If the horse wants to rise up, his head's got to go first, and then his body follows. In fact, if you want to keep, a horse is probably about 2,000 pounds. If you wanna keep a horse down if he lays down, if you wanna keep him down, all you gotta do is sit on his head. You keep his head down, you control a 2,000-pound horse, just by controlling his head. Keep his head down. His body cannot get up because the head has to lead in order for the body to follow. That's how it works. When you get on a horse and, you know, first thing, you get on that horse and you've got the bit in the mouth and you've got the bridle, and so what happens, if the horse starts wants to get away from ya and go ahead, his head is goin' that way.
So you take, for some of you, I'll use, you just take those, you've seen those cowboy movies with the straps? And you just pull it to the right. What're you doin'? You're pulling his head to the right. His body can no longer keep goin' straight. His head has turned, so he's gonna have to turn and maybe go into a little circle until you learn how to balance the thing off, but he's led by his head. And so it was so interesting how James puts this together, and he says, "Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouth, that they may obey us, and we turn about their whole body". That's awesome to me, man. That's a 2,000-and-somethin'-pound animal that's controlled by a small bit in his mouth that we can now control his whole body, glory be to God.
So, likewise, the Word of God is the bit in our mouth. It's the bridle in our mouth, and the Word of God, hallelujah, in your mouth, praise the Lord the Word of God in your head, the Word of God where your emotions are concerned, if you get the Word of God, that bit, in your emotions, then you can, it controls your whole life. When you don't have a bit in your emotions or the Word of God in your emotions, your emotions will run wild, but you wanna control 'em? Do just like you do that horse, same thing, and the Word of God is that bit. The Word of God is that bridle. The Word of God, if you can control a horse's head, you can control the entire horse.
The same is true with our emotions. Emotions are powerful forces in the natural, but that doesn't mean we have to be at their mercy. God intends for us to control our feelings. It's simply a matter of knowing God's truth from his Word and applying them to our lives. God's Word is the bit. God's Word is the bridle. God's Word would be the reins that give us control over our emotions. The bit, the bridle, the reins, it gives us control over our emotions. Oh, my God, it gives us control over our emotions. When we live by God's Word, faith comes, and faith will override and neutralize any negative emotion, just like the bit, the bridle, and the reins will neutralize any horse that's trying to take you where he wanna go instead of where you wanna go.
And your negative emotions are tryin' to take you where they wanna go, and you got to say, "Oh, no, just 'cause you feel like that, we not goin' there. The Word of God", oh-oh, now they got to turn. "And the Word of God", oh-oh, now they got to obey. "Be still and know", oh-oh, he can't move. Emotions can't move because the bit, the bridle, and the reins, it's the Word of God, amen? So wherever the mind goes, the emotions will follow. Wherever your thinking goes, your emotions will follow. Somebody said, "I feel depressed". Well, back up because you can't feel depressed without thinkin' somethin' that made you depressed. Whatever your feelings are, they follow what you've been thinkin' about. You can always deal with your emotions by dealin' with what you've been thinkin' about. You can always deal what you've been thinkin' about by dealin' with what you're exposing yourself to.
So what're you exposing yourself to? That's producin' what you're thinkin' about. What's your mind focused on? Your mind focus is gonna determine how you feel. "Oh, I'm depressed". You're depressed because there's somethin' in your head that you keep thinkin' about, that you won't put a bit in or get the reins on that thing, a bridle on that thing and neutralize on. It's the Word of God. I wish I had a revelatory, sophisticated answer to how to control your emotions, but I am telling you right now, it's God's Word. The thing, Christian people try to be Christian without his Word. How do you try to be a Christian without the instructions of how to be a Christian? I say, the biggest sin in the Body of Christ is tryin' to be like God without God, and we still tryin' to be Christians without his Word.
There are people who think they can be Christian and live Christian life without the Word of God. If your mind is infiltrated with wrong thinking, wrong thinking will produce what? Wrong feelings and emotions, and wrong feelings and emotions will produce what? Wrong decisions, wrong actions, wrong habits, wrong character, and a wrong destination, and you did that in church. This whole process is too important to start off wrong. Wrong thinking, wrong feelings, wrong decisions, wrong actions, end up at the wrong place. Right thinking will produce right believing. Wrong thinking will produce wrong believing, and that's what we're tryin' to handle here.
Now, so we can learn to control our emotions, number two, by lookin' at things differently. How do I look at things differently, controllin' my emotions by lookin' at things differently? And you gotta be open to look at things differently. For example, go to Ephesians chapter 6, and look at verse 12. You know, you may think all this time that, you know, your battle is against that person, and your emotions are all about that person and what that person did and what that person didn't do, and you're spendin' your time breakin' up good relationships because you need to change what you're expecting.
Look at this. He says, "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood". So that's the first thing we change. We control our emotions because we start lookin' at things differently. My fight is not against flesh and blood, but my fight is against principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places". So, now, watch me look at things differently. "Wait a minute, my fight is not against that person. My fight is against spiritual beings". Wow, now, all of a sudden, my emotions are not so out of control where this person is concerned. "I just can't stand her. She", that's not what it is.
When you start lookin' at things differently, you're like, "That's not her. She's not the problem. It's those spirits that are influencin' her life and stuff like that, so I'm gonna think differently about that, and I'm gonna approach it differently, and now I bring my emotions under control just because I decided to think differently because I am understandin' what the Word is really saying, that I'm not fightin' against flesh and blood. I'm fighting against principalities and powers and wicked spirits, and all those things, in heavenly places". So when someone attacks you, you must realize that it is really Satan who is attacking you, and not people. And by looking at it differently like that, you take away emotions.
So I will submit to you that truth will also, well, it's the same thing. The Word of God and truth will control your emotions. It's truth, but I wanna emphasize truth because what happens when you think you're getting the truth, and it's out of context, and it's not truth? That's a good way to do it. If you go to church and you got somethin' that was true but you're more emotional, you might need to see if that was really the truth of the matter. So that was one way. Another way I looked at here is in Proverbs 13, in 10. When you look at this situation of, you know, one, angry, you have to figure out, "Why am I angry"? There's only one answer: because you're prideful. You're angry because you're prideful or self-centered. That's a strong statement. "How in the world can you stand up there and say that my anger is based in pride and self-centeredness"?
All right, again, it's not what I said. Look at what the Scripture says. "Only by pride cometh contention". He says it can't come any other way. "The only way contention can come is by pride". That's the only way it can come. So you have to look at your anger and your contention as a issue of pride. "So if I wasn't so concerned about promoting myself and if I loved other people more than I love myself, then I wouldn't have such problems with my emotions". "What? I'm havin' problems with my emotions because of pride"? You know that's right. If you are a prideful person and if you are focused on you, and when other people are not focused on you like you'd like for them to be focused on you, you know you gon' start feelin' some type of way.
So that's another way to deal with negative emotions is to get yourself out of the center, yet your self-centeredness is the key to bitterness and anger. Do you know that? When you're bitter, bitterly angry, "Only by pride cometh contention," only by pride. Somehow or another, you have allowed yourself to get in the center of the circle, and being in the center of the circle is being so dominated by your negative emotions. You're always got a problem with somebody because, you know, you're loving yourself more than you love other people, and if you'll start loving other people more than you love yourself, you will not be so contentious.
There's a lot of things that angry people can tell you about themselves. There's a lot of things that self-centered people can tell you about themselves. They might not be angry, but they're self-centered. There's a lot they can tell you about themselves, and most of the time, it is "I love me more than I love you," and when you're "not lovin' me the same way," then contention is gonna come. They got a problem with you because you're not treating them the way they wanna be treated, and self-centeredness is always, you know, "My business is how you treat me". That's self-centeredness. "I am only concerned about how you treat me". And what you're gonna have to do is say, "No, my business is not how you treat me. My business is how I treat you".
You see how that work? That works in, you know, all of the emotions that come up in a marriage, most of the time, is based in pride. It's based in self-centeredness, and "You don't know how hard I work," and "You don't know that," and "You never this," and "You never that," so your emotions are taking you somewhere because you're in the center. You wouldn't even consider that if you weren't even in the center. That would not even be a conversation or an argument. "Let's talk about how you treat me". No, let's talk about how I'm treating you and what is it that I can do that's better. What is it that I can do to make some adjustments?
I've been married, not almost there, but almost goin' on 40 years, and my wife, just not too long ago, said, "Is there anything that I need to work on"? I'm like, "Girl, you just turned somethin' on here". That is love. There's no negative emotion that can come like that. The negative emotion comes when you try to move into self-preservation, and you're tryin' to preserve yourself and not concerned about what somebody else is. It's not hard to stay together and stay married for a long time. You just gotta decide on, "When I find that I'm selfish or in the center, I need to get out because that's pride, and 'Contention comes only by pride.' My emotions are turned on by pride". Most of the time, when I'm counseling couples, they always start off with what the spouse is doin'. I would really love, for one time, for somebody to say, "Okay, let me start off with what I'm doin'". That marriage got hope then, but if the guy, you know how it is when people get contentious?
It's everybody's problem. You get two different stories. You talk to the wife, and it's all him. You talk to him, it's all her, and it just seems like it's impossible to get together. It's not if you get rid of the pride. Don't call it anything else but what it is: pride. "Oh, but you don't understand". Watch this: "If they would just do right, then I wouldn't feel like this". Ah, your feeling's governing you. You're letting what they do determine how you feel, and then how you feel, you won't take authority over it and apply the Word to it, and so your feelings are now taking you away from that relationship, and you used the excuse, "It's 'cause of what they did". Some of you feelin' like, "I'm right in the middle of it.
The last thing I want, I ain't comin' to this church no more 'cause I don't need to be, 'cause I'm not changing". Look at you. You're emotional. You're sayin' that out of your emotions. Are y'all followin' what I'm sayin'? All of these big deals, we deal with in relationships, and we're not dealin' with the reality of pride is causing your emotions to take authority, and you won't lose your pride. You won't lose your self-centeredness, and self-centeredness is the key, the master key to bitterness, and people who are bitter and intercourse with bitterness will give birth to more sin. You spend so much time bein' bitter, and then, when another person comes around and they are now willing to treat you, based on your selfishness, then it's easy to commit adultery when you're intercoursin' with bitterness, and then you do it, and then you wake up like, "What the heck have I done"?
No, you know exactly what you did. You turned the mastery of your life over to your emotions, and it took you to places where you didn't wanna be. So what you gon' do? I mean, how many more divorces are you gonna get before you decide, "Maybe it's me that needs to change". But what happens? Fear. Fear of being abused, fear of being devalued, fear of being disrespect, and in some cases, you may be being abused and disrespected and devalued, okay? And I'm not sayin' in every case, I mean, in some cases, you have to make some very important decisions. In some cases, you, you know, somebody said, "God hates divorce". He hates abuse too. Yeah, he hates abuse too, okay?
Does everybody understand what I'm sayin'? But you examine your emotions. You control your emotions. You can make a wise decision to get out of abuse and it not be an emotional decision. You understand what I'm sayin'? You can make a wise decision to do that, and a lot of, probably would've did better if you would've not been in your emotions when you married that bug in the first place, and it wouldn't have been there, but don't be emotional again. Go to God: "God help me to deal with this situation. Tell me what to do". Then do it. It's just that simple. Do it. Just make sure yourself is not in the middle, and God'll lead you and show you what you need to do and how you need to do it.