Thursday, September 1, 2016

To Follow Your Heart or Not

This verse talks about the spiritual depravity of the heart which indicates the desperate need for God! The heart includes our emotions (feelings, desires) and thoughts (attitudes, motives, reasoning, decision-making), which in turn determine our actions. Because of our sinful nature, our heart is deceitful and wicked. Who can comprehend how bad the heart really is? None of us can; only God can!

"The human heart is full of hostility against God. 
The human heart is the very nursery of sin.
The human heart is the storehouse where all
the weapons of unrighteousness lie.
The human heart is a lesser Hell.
'For from within, out of a person's heart--come
 evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder,
 adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful
 desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness.
 All these vile things come from within; they
 are what defile you.' Mark 7:21-23
" (Thomas Watson)

Our heart is naturally self-centered, self-serving, corrupted, and polluted. Our deceitful heart deceives us into taking sin lightly. Our deceitful heart loves to minimize the seriousness of our own sin ("not a big deal" or "nobody got hurt") while magnifying other people's sins. The deceitful heart chooses an easy way out (but a wrong way), excuses, personal gain, self-indulgence, instant gratification, vanity, and hypocrisy. The deceitful heart twists God's truths to satisfy and justify its own desires. 

Now ponder this...God knows our deceitful, sick, & ugly heart yet He still loves us and wants to have a relationship with us! Moreover, He gives us His redeemed children a new heart! "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow My decrees and be careful to keep My laws." (Ezekiel 36:26-27) Therefore, our new heart should look nothing like an unregenerated heart (pictured below).

"Just follow your heart" is a common, popular advice nowadays, but unwise and sometimes quite dangerous. The heart that is deceitful is certainly not reliable. It misleads many on the wrong paths. Think of how many divorces, adulteries, murders, atrocities...have taken place as a result of following one's heart! We must always consult God's Word and we only follow our heart when our heart follows God's heart. This requires retaining an intimate relationship with God, growing more mature spiritually through prayer and God's Word, and cultivating a heart that is sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit . "Our wisdom in daily decisions is dependent on our relationship with God and having a right relationship with God." (David Platt) We must constantly guard our hearts and examine our motives. "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." (Proverbs 4:23) In addition, don't rely on your feelings. Walk by faith and walk in obedience, no matter how you feel. Do what is right because it's the right thing to do, regardless of how you feel. 

Prayer: Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me! Please make me a woman after Your own heart. Help me take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. Please give me Your wisdom and discernment to know when my motive is wrong. In Jesus' Name, I pray. Amen.

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