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Daily Encounter: A Week-day Devotional by Richard (Dick) Innes of ACTS International.

Monday, August 13, 2018


If It Feels Good

"There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death."1

In considerable thinking today among college students and others, so-called truth is based much too often on one's personal experience and how one feels about it.

As Mark Early wrote in Breakpoint, "Take, for example, the argument for sexual experimentation. It goes like this: 'In order to make wise choices about sex, you have to experience it.' This isn't just a 'line' a guy might use with a girl; it's a false theory of knowledge. It says that personal experience is the only way to know anything, and the test of experience is, of course, how you feel."2

Some also reason that because they can't see, experience, or feel God, he therefore doesn't exist.

In other words I make my experience and how I feel the final voice of authority on what is true and what is false, which of course is a way to justify what I want and choose to believe and do.

Certain drugs are addictive. That is true regardless of what I think or feel about them. If I experiment with these drugs to seek to prove my point, I can no longer think clearly or rationally. Furthermore, is fornication, adultery, abortion, homosexual behavior, gay marriage or any other actions that God condemns right or wrong based on my experience and feelings? No. These actions are wrong because God's Word says they are. And God says they are wrong because they are ultimately harmful to those who indulge in them.

To make my experience and feelings the test of truth is to raise myself above God, implying that I know better than he knows. Rather egotistical to put it mildly, and ultimately self-destructive to put it realistically.

God's Word is the final voice of authority and the standard by which we measure all truths. If a behavior is in harmony with God's Word, we know that it is right.3 If it is out of harmony with God's Word, we know that it is wrong and harmful. We also need to remember that "there is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death." It is much, much wiser to go God's way than my own.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you for the principles for healthy living you have given to us in your Word, the Holy Bible that, if we follow, will lead to eternal life. And that, if we reject and go our own way, will lead to eternal death. Thank you for this warning, and thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Proverbs 14:12 (NIV).
2. Breakpoint, 8-15-2005, http://www.breakpoint.org/bp-home.
3. See Psalm 19:8.

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