Troublesome Topic: Satan Uses Our Emotions against Us

The Purpose of Emotions

God gave us emotions as responses to things that happen in our lives. He never intended that we be guided by our emotions. A guide goes before; a response comes after; emotions are responses not guides. Therefore, we should never follow our emotions, but simply use them as God intended—as responses.

For instance, the response of fear can be a powerful tool in keeping us alive. With fear comes adrenaline and with the adrenaline comes the ability to out-run that bull, jump the fence and save our skin. Fear has its place and can be very useful, but God never intended that we live in fear all the time. That is not healthy.

Other emotions are similar in that we are not designed to feel them constantly, nor are we designed to follow them.

How Satan Uses Our Emotions Against Us

Satan likes to use our emotions against us because they are almost impossible to deny. Emotions just are. We can’t explain them, or control them, they just come from within us, and express themselves despite us.

If Satan can get us to follow our emotions, then he can manipulate our emotions and get us to go almost any direction he pleases.

How does he do that? Through messages. The problem comes when we allow Satan to ascribe meaning to those feelings. But that is going the wrong direction. 

Feelings are the caboose not the engine!

Emotions are valid responses to given stimuli, but Satan wants us to hear a message in those emotions. If you think about it, the message you get from your emotional condition usually makes you feel even worse, and the downward spiral continues. Based on what you have been hearing in your head you should feel the way you do; so let’s change what you have been hearing.

In reality there should be no message coming from our emotions. Life is what it is, and we respond with emotion. That’s where it should stop.

To be honest and real, I need to say a word about one of the differences between men and women. We men usually feel emotion after something is over.  We do something and then say, “That rocked! Let’s do it again.” Or we say, “That stunk! I don’t ever want to do that again.”

Women, however, feel emotions leading up to an event, not just during and after the event. That is especially evident as a young woman plans her wedding. So it’s easy for me as a man to say that emotions should not guide us. But hear me out on this. Even for women, emotions are responses. They are responses to the anticipation. But they are still responses. Women especially need to be careful to not let their emotions guide them.

The fact that God wants to mold us into something better does not mean He is repulsed by us, or that His acceptance is reluctant. In reality He sees great potential in all of us—potential He placed within us.

God wants us to express our feelings to Him, then release the problem to Him. If you read through the Psalms looking for how many different emotions are expressed in them, you will see that basically all the emotions are expressed by David and the other psalm writers. If David was angry, he told God about it. If he was angry at God, he told God that he was angry with Him. We can tell God the same the same type of things – don’t worry, He can handle it. God would much rather have us express those strong emotions to Him, than to bottle them up and keep them inside. Expressing them to God does not hurt Him in the least, but holding them in definitely damages us in many ways.

The Example of Elijah

According to I Kings chapter 19, there was one point at which Elijah felt completely alone. Did that mean he really was alone? No. Feeling alone does not mean you are alone. He also felt useless, as if all his efforts did not really bring any long-term results. But once again, does feeling useless mean you are useless? No.

Elijah wanted God to take his life, because he believed the messages Satan had inserted into the emotions he was feeling. Despite the emotions Elijah was feeling at the time and the messages Satan was communicating through those emotions, God was definitely not done with Elijah.

The next lesson is Satan Is Threatened by You!