Yes, I did. It’s true. Yes, I did ask my husband to buy me a mood ring. No, I’m not a flower child stuck in the 70s, and no, I’m not a wanna be Gen Y adolescent of the 90s. I’m a middle age grandma who loves the idea of a ring that changes colors. How cool is that! And so, my husband’s small, yet wise investment of $2.99 secured himself a genuinely happy wife.
Because my ring changes color based only on my fluctuating body temperature, it can never precisely identify the complex emotions I carry around. Nevertheless, I find this ring entertaining. It’s fun. It’s groovy. It’s rad. It’s fits any finger. It makes me smile. It was cheap, and it changes colors. Hard to beat all that for just $2.99.
I was thinking the other day that feelings can change as quickly as my ring turns from golden yellow to royal blue. Feelings are fickle. They can be complicated; they can be confusing. Nonetheless, God has blessed us with the capacity to feel and express emotion. We get to experience indescribable joy in His presence as well as deep seated sorrow over sin. However, as beautifully as feelings color our world, they don’t have intellect; they’re not smart.
Feelings are merely first responders to life’s encounters. Sometimes they’re rational. . . . Sometimes they’re not. Just like me. Sometimes I’m rational . . . . Sometimes I’m not. How grateful I am that God created me to walk by faith and not by feelings!
I can tell quickly when I’m living by feelings rather than walking by faith. When I’m focused on my feelings, I’m focused on things of this world - with myself being at the top of the list! I’m focused on my pain, my loneliness, and my insecurities. Sadly, I find myself believing and not resisting lies the enemy whispers in my ear. Living by feelings also fuels the desire to get my needs met in ways God hasn’t ordained; it also leads to frustration and disappointment because unspoken expectations haven’t been met. Living for myself is not pleasant, and it’s not pretty, but the most grievous part is that it doesn’t glorify God.
However, when I’m walking by faith, my gaze is fixed on Jesus, and I always find Him lovingly gazing at me. Delighting in Him, I find myself living above disheartening circumstances; my soul is resting and peace I’m enjoying. My eyes are fixed. My resolve is unshakeable. My God-confidence soars. I’m others focused, and I’m thankful for everything; my old life is crucified and God is glorified.
God has given us all the opportunity to choose what we focus on. Where we look determines where we’re going, and who we focus on determines who we become. Simply stated, living for myself makes me inward focused; living for Jesus makes me outward focused. It’s me or it’s others. It’s selfishness or it’s selflessness. It’s my glory or God’s glory. How desperately I need the grace of God every minute of every day! Only by the power of the Holy Spirit can I remain dependent upon Jesus and live victoriously in Him.
Just like you, every day I have to prayerfully consider what I’m focusing on. My mood ring can’t tell me, but the Holy Spirit can. When necessary He will lovingly convict me and compassionately lead me back to the throne of grace. He enables and empowers me to realign my heart and refocus my eyes; He alone creates in me a clean heart and renews a right spirit within me (Psa. 51:10).
Dear friend, what are you focusing on today? Who are you living for? Take some time and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any selfish ambition or conceit. Repent as necessary and run into the strong arms of Jesus. He’s waiting to envelop you and give you more of Himself. Who wouldn't want more of Him! The LORD Himself proclaims He is merciful, gracious, long suffering, and abounding in goodness and truth (Ex. 34:6). He’s more than enough for anything and everything we’ll ever need. Let’s all fix our eyes on Jesus and delight ourselves in our God who is delighting in us - IN us. To Him be all glory!
Oh, LORD God, how great You are! How marvelous is Your love; how merciful are Your ways! The beauty of Your holiness is breathtaking, yet it’s also humbling as our sin is exposed in Your presence. Lord Jesus, we humbly ask You to forgive our repulsive, self absorption and fill us to overflowing with the gracious Holy Spirit. May we desire nothing more than to please You and bring You glory. Encompass us with Your perfect peace as we set our minds on You and trust Your ways. Lord Jesus, You alone are the answer to all our questions, the provider for all our needs, and the sustainer of all our joy. How blessed we are to live, move and have our being in You. Be the lifter of our head as Your unfailing love captivates our heart. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. Isaiah 26:3