Emotional Connection VS Emotionalism

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The Shema has truth yet for you and me.
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart (Deut 6:4-6).
Jesus quotes this in Matthew 22:37, in Mark 12:29-30, and in Luke 10:27, indicating this is still the first part of the Greatest Commandment.
Do we understand the connection that God is longing for with you and me? He is not satisfied if our worship and relationship with Him is mostly from our head and not coming from our deepest part of being – our soul. He desires an emotional connection with you and me, which is not unlike a husband who deeply desires an emotional connection with his wife.
A basic understanding of our emotional being could be defined as:

1. God feels.
God is an emotional God. Jesus cried and felt anger while here. God feels joy, sorrow, and hatred toward sin. The Bible records His frustration with His people. We are emotional beings because we are made in God’s image. This allows us to connect to him emotionally.

2. Our feelings are God’s gift to us.
Emotions make us human. It is our emotional ability that allows you and me to love, to be faithful and loyal, and to be kind and giving. Our emotions need to be controlled, and hopefully we learned that early on as a child. But even the negative ones have a purpose in our life.

3. The two ditches on our road.
Emotionalism is living as if the only thing that matters in life is how I feel — not what I know to be truth or what is right or wrong. This view says everything in life revolves around my emotions, and those emotions dictate my actions. On the other hand, stoicism says feelings are not to be considered, and the only things that really matter in the end are my will and the ability to think and reason.
God gave us our emotions for a purpose, and He wants us to worship him with all our heart, mind, and strength. All the way down to the bottom of our soul that we might have abundant life in Him. (John 10:10).
We can learn from Bible characters like David who exemplify the abundant life: David wrote, Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever (Psa 73:25,26).
We can learn from Mary: when she stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, then wiping them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment (Luke 7:38).
The abundant life involves an emotional connection with God the Father, and Jesus, through His Spirit. If those emotions are not connected to the head, and a believer only knows God intellectually, we may be more like Simon than Mary. Simon no more understood Mary's soul connection with her Lord than Judas understood Martha's sister Mary washing Jesus’ feet with expensive perfume (Matt 26:9). God will patiently work with any of His children to establish that emotional connection.
Jesus’ mother, Mary, also had a heart connection with God. The Bible says, But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. There can still be a deep heart connection with Jesus quietly, with or without tears.
It is dangerous to only have a head knowledge of God but no connection to the soul and not understand what it means to be a sinner saved by grace. That position could be understood as "cold truth." Healing in Jesus brings our emotions and intellect together to make up the abundant life.
Our North American culture and our Mennonite culture lean us towards the stoic end of the spectrum. We get good at stuffing our emotions because they are often considered too dangerous to really be openly in touch with. Jesus wants our heart, along with our will - our heart of flesh. A good connection with Him is not dependent on outside circumstances. Peace is based on a spiritual and emotional connection with our Lord, not only on “good” church life.
I pray that we may all have a personal relationship with God and Jesus, through His Spirit not only intellectually and spiritually but also emotionally, one that touches our hearts. When we have that connection, no one can take it from us, not the government, not distress, not immaturity in those around us. It is very personal and absolutely imperative to our Christian vitality. Without it, we do not live the abundant life.
How do we get this intimate emotional connection with Jesus? We need a spiritual mentor, an intercessor, someone like Jesus who prayed for us. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. (John 17: 20,21) It may take a mentor who is there already to help us work through the sin and stumbling blocks in our life for us to cross the bar from the stormy ocean to the peaceful harbor. Someone like Paul had when God sent him Ananias.
The Holy Spirit loves to use other Christians to help us when we are in need, especially when we are desperate enough to accept it. Once we have attained that soul oneness with Jesus and God the Father, we must be there to help others to that place as well.
Eternity will reveal the results of our emotional connection and spiritual connection with our Lord and Savior. It is a oneness that no one can take away. Not a Simon. Not a Judas. Neither any circumstance. It inspires those around us to attain that same connection.
Praise the Lord! He is Good!
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. (John 10:10).