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Sanctified Emotions

• Mike Davis

The definition of something being “sanctified” means that it is separated (set apart) unto God for His exclusive use. God desires our entire being to be sanctified and conformed to His will. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6:5). Our intellect, will and behavior are aspects of our being that we can learn to surrender to God. But, there is also another part of our being, one that is given very little attention to within teachings on sanctification; our emotions.

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The definition of something being “sanctified” means that it is separated (set apart) unto God for His exclusive use. God desires our entire being to be sanctified and conformed to His will. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6:5).

Our intellect, will and behavior are aspects of our being that we can learn to surrender to God. But, there is also another part of our being, one that is given very little attention to within teachings on sanctification; our emotions. The common attitudes regarding emotions either fall along the lines that “emotions should be ignored” or “you should not act on emotions.” However, emotions are important and are a part of how God made us. They are not just a passive result of change in life. God can use our emotions as an active means of change within our lives.

Many passages in scripture speak as to how we can serve God with our emotions. Psalms 100:2 speaks about serving the Lord with gladness and joy.

In Psalms 1:2 it says “But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.” The Hebrew word for “delight” (chaphets) means a passionate desire. God wants us to be passionately desiring to know more about Him. Just as a baby desires and longs for milk, so we are to desire and be passionate for the things of God (see I Peter 2:2).

God uses our passionate desire to know Him as a catalyst for our actions and behavior; “…for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose” (Philippians 2:13).

Walking in the Spirit involves using our intellect, will and emotions in conformity with God. “Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires” (Romans 8:5). In Greek, “mind” (phroneo) means to “incline the intellect, will and affections (emotions) towards.” Phroneo (the mind) includes all the faculties of the mind, including emotions. As we walk in the Spirit, our intellect, will and emotions are being conformed to God’s will.

How then do we sanctify our emotions for God? There are several practical steps you can take.

  1. Make a decision as to how you want to respond within a specific situation, and then decide that you will respond that way. You have a choice as to how to respond in your circumstances. Choose a response that joyfully desires to follow God no matter what the circumstances are (see Deuteronomy 30:19 and James 1:2).
  2. Reject and say no to every thought, attitude and emotion that is contrary to God’s will and your decision.
  3. “….say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives…” (Titus 2:12).
  4. Practice and rehearse in your imagination the mental-emotional response you have chosen to live. The tendency is to spend more time on performance and less on preparation. It is important to prepare and plan how to respond (see Proverbs 12:5 and Romans 12:17).
  5. Remember (call to mind) all of the things that God has already done for you. Bring to mind these things within your present situations.
  6. Rehearse this new mental-emotional response daily until it becomes your natural way of thinking-feeling-behaving in the specific situation you identified. Acknowledge God’s presence and power at work in you (see Proverbs 3:5, 6 and Philippians 2:12), and give thanks to Him as you practice and rehearse these new responses within (see I Thessalonians 5).
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Topics: Transformation


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Focus Scripture:

  • I Thessalonians 5:23

    May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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