Jesus Will Help You Sort out Conflicted Feelings
Key Verse to Read and Treasure:
I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. (Psalm 32:8, NLT)
My husband and I were watching old cartoons featuring Popeye the Sailor Man. Each one also had Popeye’s nemesis Brutus and of course the love of Popeye’s life, Olive Oyl. I found myself hollering at Popeye for the way he always fell for the tricks Brutus would play on him or how easily he was sucked into Olive Oyl’s goo-goo eyes one minute and her disdain the next. In one episode where the three were going on a picnic I noticed how Olive Oyl went between Popeye and Brutus at the flip of a switch. At that point I stopped being mad at Popeye and realized the issue was Olive Oyl. It was apparent she had a conflicted heart that kept both men in a tailspin. Because of her conflicted heart all three were stuck in a miserable place and could not move on with life.
Have you ever experienced a conflicted heart and emotions? Maybe not torn between two people but in other ways? This is a terrible position to be in and nothing gets accomplished that way. A conflicted heart and mind can give us high blood pressure, anxiety, sleepless nights, heart attacks, and strokes to name a few conditions that come out of it.
A conflicted heart is being pulled in two different directions. Conflicted heart and mind can keep us up at night, keep us from making decisions, keep us from moving forward, keep us feeling anxious.
Sometimes our hearts are conflicted when it comes to financial matters: do we take risks or stay safe? Sometimes as parents we might be conflicted about raising our children: do we give them more freedom at a certain age or tighten the reins even more so? Risking too much freedom or being overprotective.
Sometimes our heart is conflicted whether to share the truth with someone or remain silent about a matter.
Sometimes we might have a conflicted heart about making a move from one job to another: do we stay with the same company where we know our future is pretty much set or go elsewhere where we are not sure how things will go under or how new management will be?
There have been times in our life that my husband received a Call to a congregation, and he would go through the usual process. He would have a conversation with the calling congregation letting them know he had received their documents and would be prayerful, sometimes asking or a certain amount of time to review them and then get back with them. He would let the congregation were serving at the time know he had received a Call to another congregation. Sometimes we would go to the Calling congregation where they would show us around, he would preach, and have an opportunity to talk with their leadership etc. These decisions were never easy and usually very spiritually, emotionally, and mentally taxing. More than not, we would find ourselves conflicted. We might be excited for the possibility of being in a new place and doing ministry among new people, but we also anguished about those we might leave. How would they fare if we left. What ministry plans would be interrupted, etc. Over and over our conversations and prayer would go. At some point God would step in to help make the decision. He knew our heart was conflicted.
Life is not black and white; there are all sorts of gray areas, and we need God’s help to navigate through times of inner conflict. We need his guidance and wisdom to show us. We need him to give us a pure heart and clear thoughts so our conflict ceases, and we can be at peace once more. What an encouraging word David writes, especially when we are conflicted about anything.
David often looked to the Lord for guidance and leadership. He wrote in Psalm 25: 4, “Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths.” And psalm 73:25, “You guide me with your counsel, sand afterward you receive me into glory.” We don’t always know what to do or when to do it. We are sometimes conflicted in our heart and mind. Praise God he knows these inner conflicts are hard on us and hard to decide between. We don’t want to be conflicted, yet we can’t make a decision. When we give it over to him God is the one who will help us sort it all out.
Lord, you are our guide in all matters. When we experience conflict in our mind or heart help us sort things out and lead us in the path you have fixed for our life. Amen
Is there anything I feel conflicted about presently? If so, am I in the Lord’s counsel? Have I asked him to help me sort out my feelings and thoughts? Am I trusting him to guide me through?
For devotions on the topics of prayer and power visit: http://www.devotionallyyours.com