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--When to Follow Them, & How to Confirm Them!
       Maria #152 DO 2749 10/91

       1. When people read some of the things that we've said recently about not relying on our feelings, they may wonder about what Dad told me in "Teaching Great Masters" about my feelings! In that talk he said, "You have a woman's intuition, sixth sense, psychic sensitivity! You are an authority in the Spirit! And if you don't feel like it's right, then it's not right! If you feel like it's right, then it's right, because you have the Spirit of God & His sensitivity.

       2. "You have the power of God that He has given you from me, because of me, & because of your relationship with me, & because of the need that you have to carry on after me. Don't ever neglect it or ever despise it, don't ever minimise it, don't ever belittle it, amen? It's good to know that whatever you think is right is right, no matter what they say...(Maria: Even if I just feel it?) Yes, even if you just feel it, no matter whether you understand or not! Your feeling of the Spirit is more important." (ML #996:14,42.)

       3. Although I firmly believe that emotional highs & feelings of happiness, ecstasy & delight are not something that we should demand from the Lord, or something that we should use as an indicator of whether or not we're close to Jesus, this is not to say that the Lord never uses our feelings to try to speak to us or get through to us. In fact, we know that the Lord does sometimes use the different feelings that He gives us, to check us about things or as an indicator of how He may be leading.--Or even sometimes just to get our attention.

       4. In the case of that "Teaching Great Masters" talk, about how my feelings were right about things, the Lord & Dad were talking not so much about emotional surges & highs & elated feelings. The thing that the Lord was encouraging me about was the feeling of conviction or assurance that He often puts in my heart to show me if something is right or wrong.--He wasn't merely talking about my emotions or personal preferences etc.

       5. It's like Dad talked about a long time ago in the old "Seven Ways to Know God's Will" Class: "The witness of the Spirit, or burdens some people call it.--It's kind of like a feeling; I don't like to go by feelings, but they may be one of the indications (of the Will of God). If it's the Spirit of God, you'll have an inner conviction--the witness of the Spirit! In your heart you feel you just have faith. You'll just know that's the Will of God! You have conviction that that's what you are supposed to do!--That still small Voice in your heart--maybe not out loud, not an audible, visible sign of some kind, but that still small Voice in your heart!--That inner conviction!"

       6. So sometimes God gives us feelings that things are right, He puts in our heart a conviction or a feeling that something is the right thing or the right direction to go. Now, of course, we don't let ourselves be led just by these feelings. We always go to the Word to make sure that our feelings are right. However, the Lord does sometimes use feelings to jerk us up & to direct us. But we don't go only on our feelings, we always have to confirm them with the Word.

       7. I think sometimes the Lord gets us to look at our feelings in order to get us to look at the Word. The Word is the Fact, it's our bedrock, it's our foundation, it's the thing that we definitely have to go by. But sometimes we don't have as much motivation to look at the Word until we feel something in our hearts, or in our emotions. And that's what the Lord sometimes uses to stop us & get us to see what He's trying to show us, & then, of course, we look to the Word for confirmation of it. So in that sense, we do go a bit by our feelings sometimes, they are what the Lord uses to help jerk us up or show us something.


       8. Although Dad told me in the "Teaching Great Masters" talk that whether I understand it or not, I should accept & go by the feelings that the Lord gives me, I want to make it clear that after the Lord gives me an impression or feeling that something is either right or wrong, He almost always then gives me the understanding of it as well. I may have a measure of understanding that comes along with the initial feeling, but afterwards I almost always get a fuller understanding of exactly why the Lord is leading a certain way.

       9. It reminds me of what Saint Augustine said in that famous quote of his: "Understanding is the reward of faith. Therefore seek not to understand that thou mayest believe, but believe that thou mayest understand." The Lord likes for our faith to come first, & then our understanding follows. When the Lord gives me an impression, burden or feeling about something, I have to have faith that He is speaking to me or showing me His Will by those feelings, even if I don't always fully understand it. But then the understanding usually comes later.

       10. Quite often I'll feel that a certain method or idea or proposal is generally the right way to go about doing something, but I won't yet have all the facts to back it up, facts that could be confirmations. But often as I discuss it with someone & counsel about it & pray about it, I get more & more convinced that my original feeling, even though it came when I had only a very minimal amount of information, was right. Then as I pray & counsel with others about it more, it usually becomes clearer & clearer, & more & more obvious that the way I originally felt about it was the right way after all.


       11. Back in 1984 we addressed this same issue in the Letter, "Our Questions & Maria's Answers" (ML #1797, Vol.15): "(Maria: My feelings are always right if I've prayed about a situation & I really want the answer, then the Lord gives me the right feeling. But it's not that all my feelings are always right! Dad didn't say all my feelings are right. What if I'm jealous? I can't say that my jealous feeling is necessarily right! What if I feel grumpy & complaining about something? You know that's not the right feeling!

       12. "(But in the operation of my work & ministry, with the Words & Dad & the Family, I can have the faith to follow my leadings or feelings. See, that's why you have to take things in their context & you have to see what things really mean.) (Dad: Amen!)

       13. "(Maria: Dad also has many checks & feelings in the Spirit, burdens or leadings. The Lord often leads people by their feelings. But don't forget to make sure your thoughts & feelings are always confirmed by the Word.) (Dad: Amen!)"--And confirmed by good strong Godly counsellors too!--"That in the mouth of two or three witnesses, every word shall be established!"--Mat.18:16.


       14. One reason that I have to go by my feelings a lot of the time is because I don't get big revelations & I don't get verses quickened to me very often, I don't get visions & prophecies.--But I have to make many important decisions that affect our Family worldwide. So what do I go on? Of course, I have all the principles of the Word that I have absorbed, & that have become a part of me for many years now. But how do I know which specific principle from that vast amount of Word is to be applied & used when making a decision about a particular situation?

       15. When it comes to specifics, my memory often fails me. I can hardly remember many of the Letters & their contents, & I haven't memorised nor retained a vast amount of Scriptures, as many in our Family have. Sometimes it seems to me that I can remember hardly any specifics!--And this is one of the main reasons why I often have to go on the feelings, burdens & convictions that the Lord gives me.--At least initially.

       16. Therefore, I have to pray desperately that my thoughts & my feelings are the Lord's thoughts & feelings, & that He'll lead me in the right direction! I know He'll lead me if I really am desperate & I depend on Him, but I've got to be careful that I really am desperate & dependent. Because the Lord frequently uses these feelings & impressions of right & wrong to lead me in my decision making, I have to pray desperately that my feelings are the right ones!--And that my thoughts are right!

       17. But just because I don't remember specific Scriptures & I don't remember exact quotes from the Letters (nor do I think, in many cases, that I could even give you a summary of what many Letters say), that doesn't mean that the principles from them aren't always there in the back of my mind, even though they're not put into words. Actually, I think that's how the Lord leads my feelings. I know all these things, I've grown up with them for the last 20 years. I'm with Dad constantly, I've heard all the Letters as they were given, I've seen firsthand how the Lord has led us to make decisions, & I've seen the good fruit of those decisions. It's all there! It may not be in words, but it's all there. My goodness, if it's not there, then what good is all that training I've had? The Lord wouldn't have had me with Dad all these years if He wasn't going to use that.

       18. I could bemoan & bewail the fact that I remember so little, & I do often feel handicapped by that. When I give talks I wish that I could give more Scriptures & illustrations that support what I'm saying. Or I wish I could give more stories from our past history, about things that Dad has done, & that I could remember anecdotes from the Thots book etc. But unfortunately, I generally don't remember those things, so I can't always support my point with all of that kind of documented material.

       19. But that doesn't mean that the Lord isn't leading me. I wish I could give more confirmations like that for the sake of others, because I know how important those things are to others. And I like to have confirming Scripture, I like to think of these things & remember these things. It would encourage me to get more Scriptures & stories & think of past experiences we've had & decisions that have been made that support what I'm doing. I don't personally feel the need for that so much, but I think it would be helpful to others. (But thank God my editors supplement the Scriptures I give in my original talks with more verses, which appear in the printed Letters!)

       20. All of my years in training with Dad are always there in my subconscious, & because I am very desperate about the decisions that I have to make, I'm sure that my feelings are not just my own personal feelings, but they are based on a firm foundation of the Word.--They are the Lord's leadings, His "still small voice." They are based on the Word & on past experience, even though I can't always put it into words & I can't remember specifics. The principles are there, they're a part of me, & the Lord brings those out in my decisions.

       21. But because it's all a little vague & hard for me to put into words sometimes, & to support everything with confirmations, I just have to trust the Lord that I'm not contradicting anything that Dad has already said. When I open my mouth, I just have to have the faith & confidence that we're not going to have any contradiction, because I don't generally remember the specifics of what Dad said before. That's why it's always so encouraging for me when our editors pull out a number of Dad's quotes & Bible verses that support what I've said when they're working on a talk that I've given. That definitely shows that it's the Lord & that I'm on the right track when I see that Dad has said the same thing quite often before, even though I didn't consciously remember it, PTL!


       22. Of course, this is not a license for all of our leaders & people to start thinking that they should now be led by their "feelings"! If they had all had the blessing & honour that I've had to be at Dad's side for the past 20 years, it might be different. And even though I have had this training, this heritage, I still have to be very cautious & prayerful about the decisions I make, always seeking confirmation of my feelings through the Word, counsel with my teamworkers, & often, counsel with Dad.


       23. When someone read me some of those quotes from "Teaching Great Masters" a while ago, although I found them very beautiful & really encouraging, I not only took it as an encouragement, but also as a reminder to me of how important it is that I stay very desperate with the Lord about all decisions. When I remember what the Lord said about my feelings being correct, I always make sure to balance that out with a condition on that, which though it may have been unspoken there, is very important.--The condition is that my feelings will be right if I stay in tune with the Lord & if I ask Him to give me the right feelings.

       24. In other words, I can't just go on my feelings alone. I can get off the track as much as anybody if I don't stay close to the Lord & in tune with Him. "Teaching Great Masters" is a very beautiful Letter & it's always encouraging to hear that, but at the same time it's a caution for me too, it really puts the fear of God into me. It's good for me to hear it, to be reminded that while, yes, my feelings are usually right, I can only be certain that they're right if they are the Lord's feelings, & as I stay close to Him & in tune with Him.--As is the case with all of us! Amen? Are you staying close to the Lord? GBY! ILY!

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