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L. E. Maxwell
Faith Versus Feelings

“In certain religious circles there is an icy formalism that is without a sign of fervor or feeling; doubt and death dominate the situation. On the other extreme the pendulum has swung completely over to sensation, sentiment, and unfortunately been led into a system of living by special manifestations and feelings…. Between the extremes of no fire and wild fire there is a golden balance.” P. 21

“While the Christian life is emphatically a life of faith, it is not altogether without feelings and manifestations. These, however, must be kept in their place, and we must understand that they furnish no ground whatever as a basis of our acceptance or favour or fellowship with God. Many fervent Christians have been so poorly instructed on this essential matter of living by faith that they seem unable and unwilling to make a complete surrender and consecration unless God first gives them some joyous feelings, some specific manifestation, or some inward or outward sign. They feel that some such manifestation is necessary before they can believe that they are fully consecrated and filled with the Spirit. Such souls would reverse the Scripture, ‘He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself,’ to read, ‘He that hath the witness in himself believeth.’ As a result, such person suffer many mental and emotional reactions, and their lives exhibit a miserable ‘alternation of elevations and depressions—of joyful and of the terrific—of rapture and of wretchedness’ (Upham).” P. 21

“Those who insist on living a life of specific feelings and manifestations, great and small, need to realize that they are cherishing and keeping alive a selfish principle. They are like spoiled children who must have a stick of candy when they are in a bad humour. All unconsciously they are dictating terms to God—laying down conditions, which God must meet, before they will believe Him. In thus feeding and keeping alive the life of nature, they are refusing the way of the Cross, which is essentially the way of self-renunciation and faith…. Poor foolish souls! Were they saved by their feelings or by Christ?” p. 22

“Dare we now turn back in unbelief and deny that the just shall live by faith? Is the whole Christian life not a life of faith? Surely we walk by faith, not by sight. By faith we stand. We are kept by the power of God through faith. We are to fight the good fight of faith and finally, through faith and patience inherit the promises. How sweeping is the phrase that ‘without faith it is impossible to please Him.’ The demand for signs, therefore, is everywhere spoken of in the Bible as a proof of unbelief [Note 1 Cor. 14:22,22: “In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear Me, saith the Lord. Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.”] Should we not then as believers ‘receive the promise of the Spirit through faith’ (Gal. 3:14)?”

Taken from Crowded to Christ, pp. 21,22

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