The Life-Giving Power of God's Emotions

(Unsplash/Jacob Meyer)

Have you ever thought about what you look like to God? Do you know what He sees, thinks and feels when He looks at you?

Before jumping to conclusions that something must be negative, stop for a moment and consider.

The Bible says that God made us (Gen. 1:27), loves us (John 15:9), sent His Son to die for us (John 3:16) and has good purposes for our lives (Eph. 2:10). He did these things willingly, because He wants us to be with Him forever (John 17:24).

Yes, "all have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23), but we are not defined by our failings.

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In Christ, we have become new creations (2 Cor. 5:17). We are no longer subject to wrath, but to salvation (1 Thess. 5:9).

This changes not only our standing with God, but our ability to know Him, think like Him and experience His emotions—which can quite literally change our lives.

Grounded in the Word
The Bible is an emotional book. It's not a textbook or list of rules, but a passionate love story of a God who is pursuing His children.

The Lord didn't just save us because He had to; He did it because He wanted to—and He still wants us today! Let this sink into your heart for a moment. God wants you and loves you just as much as on the day you said yes to Him through Jesus. He doesn't change. His love is constant.

Breaking the Cycle of Performance
Many believers wrestle with the lie that God will love us more if we perform better: "If I do more good, God will love me more, but if I sin, God will love me less."

This isn't the testimony of Scripture, however.

Case in point: King David.

David's Example
King David did a lot of good, yet he allowed the lust in his heart to result in adultery, accessory to murder, and disobedience to God. Still he was called a man "after (God's) own heart" (Acts 13:22).

On paper, David's sins were less than Saul's, the king he replaced, but there was a key difference—their reaction to sin.

"Saul was sad that he got caught for his sin; David was sad that he offended God," explains Mike Bickle, director of International House of Prayer.

God Looks at the Heart
It all came down to the heart. David hated his sin and repented—confessed and turned back to God—as soon as he was confronted. No matter how many times he fell, he got up and ran back to the Lord with all his strength.

This pleased God more than Saul, who made excuses and tried to hide his sin, even when he was confronted.

David knew God's love was steadfast—steady and unchanging—which caused him to run back to Him time and time again. David was never content in his sin because he knew that God's love was "better than life" (Ps. 63:3).

The Power of Attraction
This love spurred David's love and affection. Although he stumbled, he knew his fulfillment was found in the Lord, and that he would find peace and acceptance by returning to Him.

David acknowledged his faults, and even wrote songs about them (see Ps. 51), so that others could encounter God's goodness—which is better and stronger than the pleasures of sin.

It can be the same for us. Instead of living in denial or keeping God at a distance, we can come to the one who made us, loves us and already knows all about our weakness and stumbling.

God is so good and kind that He doesn't leave us there, but picks us out of the pit of our helplessness, saves us, and gives us a new life and power to overcome sin.

And, like a good Father, He's committed to helping us walk out the journey in victory (Song 8:5), as long as we keep coming back to Him, like David did.

If you're feeling alone in the struggle with sin, or are unsure how God thinks and feels about you, consider a study of David's life. What the Lord did for him, He's willing to do for all believers who walk in repentance.

For further study on David's life, we recommend, After God's Own Heart by Mike Bickle. Learn about King David's relationship with God as the model for how to live a radical lifestyle of confidence before God, while acknowledging our profound weakness. (Also available in Korean, Spanish and Russian).

A Detroit native who was raised in Vermont and Connecticut, Adam Wittenberg  worked as a newspaper journalist until 2012, when he moved to Kansas City to complete the Intro to IHOPKC internship. Afterwards, he earned a four-year certificate in House of Prayer Leadership from IHOPU and is now on full-time staff in the Marketing department at IHOPKC. Adam is also active in evangelism and has a vision to reach people everywhere with the good news of Jesus Christ.

This article originally appeared at


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