Oh My Heart!

My kids were watching TV and I heard the all familiar phrase “Follow Your Heart”. I’ve heard other phrases along the same line, “You be who you want to be” or “Believe in your dreams”. All these phrases emphasize on the power of your heart and your thoughts. While I’m all for positive thoughts and mindset, I still cannot see the value of the phrase “Follow Your Heart”. Your Heart! The same heart that often goes into negative spirals from time to time. The same heart that can become puffed up and proud. The same heart that stores up anger and bitterness and fear.

The heart is deceitful above all things
    and beyond cure.
    Who can understand it? – Jeremiah 17:9

That’s what God says about our hearts in the Bible. Our hearts can deceive us quickly. Think about it… a murderer thinks in his heart that it’s good to kill somebody and he follows his heart to take life. A person getting drunk thinks it’s good to get drunk and loose his mind and loses control over his actions. The heart is extremely deceptive. To our faulty heart, the good can look bad and the bad can look perfectly good. What then is the solution?

The same passage talks about it. The passage compares what it is like to trust in our hearts and what it is like to trust the One who fully knows our heart.

Cursed is the one who trusts in man,
    who draws strength from mere flesh…
That person will be like a bush in the wastelands;….But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
    whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
    that sends out its roots by the stream.

The Bible is clear. It stands in stark contrast to the  “Follow Your Heart” phrase. The one who created us tells us that our hearts cannot be trusted because our emotions are almost always unpredictable. However, there’s someone who is trustworthy. He cares for us enough to die for us. He desires the best for us and is willing to lead us if we would let Him. Let the Spirit of God lead you, not your heart.

Some practical ways to walk in step with God and allow His Spirit to lead you.

– Read the Bible, as often as you can. There is no magic formula here. Just pick up the Bible and read. The Words are meant to speak the truth and bring transformation to our hearts and minds. For me personally, it is one of the primary ways that God speaks to me. There are other ways that He can speak too but without the Bible, we will never be able to tell the voice of truth apart from other voices. Apply the words in scripture to your day to day circumstances.

– Talk to God. That’s prayer! Ask for His help in understanding what’s best for you. Be consistent in asking and don’t give up till your soul is satisfied. God will lead but sometimes His leading is simply for us to wait. In a culture where everything is quick and easy, prayer feels counterintuitive but they those wait have a profit that cannot be matched with anything else.

– If you are a parent, this is critical – teach your children to follow God’s voice instead of following their own hearts. Teach them to read the Bible and to have a conversation with God. Whether they learn anything else in life or not, this one thing is absolutely critical and I cannot emphasize this enough.