I’ve had some confusion concerning the “happy-in-the-spirit” feelings that tend to go along with the church I was attending, following LSM. The confusion came in based on seeing how everyone seemed to be in the Spirit at all times, or at least at church. That isn’t to say that they were not but I started to wonder if it was more the positive energy aspect I was picking up from the people themselves. Especially since I felt that God was trying to tell me something based on the discernment I received while around this ministry. I’ve been asking the Lord about this and today I got my answer.
Though some places while have one feeling or another we shouldn’t base where we think God might be working on our feelings. Feelings can be deceiving, in general we are usually aware of this, so why do we assume He is or is not working in a certain place based on what we feel?
In reality it is not having a constant awareness of the presence of God through feelings that our faith is based. When we feel a lack of presence in our personal lives we typically pray and learn to have faith that the Lord is with us always (Joshua 1:9, Zephaniah 3:17).
We also need to look for signs that the church we may be trying out is bearing good fruit (Matthew 7:17, Psalm 27:14), which can take time to really see. The other side is that we need to be open to new opportunities and consider that, just because we don’t get a happy-feel-good feeling from a church or group, God might want us there for a reason that we’re unable to see in the moment.
So when we visit with other believers or go to other churches we should therefore seek God’s counsel on if He is working there, and if He wants us there. Ask if that is where we end to be, and really, who are we to say we know where God is or isn’t working?
With all that being said, (and I still disagree with the teachings of Witness Lee) if we base everything off of feelings we may never truly know if what we’re picking up on is from the Lord or from other people. I, for one, can be sensitive to the feelings of others, and need to keep in mind that just because something feels good (or feels right) it might not always be. That is the importance of truly seeking the Lord and being open in your communication with Him. Don’t let your feelings get in the way of where you might need to be and listen for the Lord. And in that, I have even had to ask Him to let me know more specifically, to give me a confirmation, so I will not wonder if it was my own thoughts or feelings or the enemy trying to keep me from whatever His will is in my life (Psalm 85:8).