B: Do you remember when Steve Young finally won the Super Bowl as the starting quarterback? He described it as “the greatest feeling.” And I’ve heard people describe the high they get on a drug like heroin or morphine as being perhaps unmatchable in its pleasurableness.
I’ve never won the Super Bowl, and probably never will; and I have no intention of ever being on heroin or morphine, especially since they’re such addictive substances, which is probably largely due to the fact that they apparently give such a desirable high. But I would still venture to say that the feelings that people have when they experience these things, or any other feelings, are not as great as feeling the Spirit.
First of all, what’s my reasoning behind this claim? I could say that I have experienced the feeling of the Spirit, and testify that it is a wonderful feeling, but from that alone I cannot claim that it is the “greatest” feeling, since I haven’t felt all other possible feelings. But God created us and our senses, as well as all the feeling “receptors” we have, and knows how to feel what we feel, since He knows all things there are to know. He knows the pleasures that we experience. Would it not be reasonable to suppose that, as He knows all pleasures, He would know which one is the greatest one, and abide in that pleasure? And furthermore, since when we feel the Spirit, we feel a portion of God Himself, would it not make sense to suppose that we are feeling His pleasure when we feel His Spirit? If this is the case, then we are feeling the greatest feeling available when we have the Spirit.
A: So what is His pleasure?
B: I couldn’t tell you for certain, but I know that when I feel His Spirit, I may feel a variety of things, all of them “good,” in the sense that God is good – that is, they help me want to be and do good. Sometimes the feeling helps me see others as though they were literally God’s children, which helps me in loving and doing good things for them. Other times feeling the Spirit helps me believe that I will be successful in my good endeavors, as I persist through difficulty and trust that God will help me through. These feelings have often been called “warm and fuzzy;” but I should clarify that just because you may feel “warm and fuzzy,” doesn’t mean you must necessarily be feeling the Spirit, or vice versa. Other descriptions of feeling the Spirit include “peaceful” and “encouraging.”
A: Why all these different feelings? Is God constantly going through mood swings?
B: I doubt it; I think it differs depending on how strongly I feel the Spirit myself. Sometimes I notice something so subtle it’s easy to question whether it came from God at all, but I see that it testifies of His existence, and with many more confirmations from the Spirit afterward, I come to know that it was from Him. Other times the feelings are so powerful and overwhelming that I’m reduced to tears. The actual strength of the feeling depends both on me and God. It depends on how much we – that is, God and I – come together at the moment. And since He is perfect, and will never change in His perfection, then any lack of unity that we have is my fault, not His.
It’s my opinion that I’ve only scratched the surface of God’s pleasure through His Spirit. I believe that in the next life, when we (hopefully) return to God’s presence, we’ll be blown away by the immense pleasure it is to be immersed in it. The experience will be so wonderful that we’ll never want to leave Him again.