Thursday, June 4, 2015

Don't Follow Your Heart

If you are anything like me, then you might cringe when you hear people say phrases such as:

"Just follow your heart."
"You can trust your heart."
"Do whatever makes you happy."
"God would want you to do whatever makes you happy."

Phrases similar to these can be the worst advice ever given to someone. Seriously.

Are such phrases ever used in the Bible?! If the advice we are offering someone isn't even scriptural, then it probably isn't very good advice to be giving. And it's even worse to receive and apply such advice to our life.

The closest verses (I can think of) that could maybe be taken out of context to give such advice would be:

Psalm 144:15 which says,
"Happy are the people who are in such a state; Happy are the people whose God is the Lord!"

Psalm 37:4 which says,
"Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart."

And Ecclesiastes 11:9 (New Living) which says,
"Young people, it’s wonderful to be young! Enjoy every minute of it. Do everything you want to do; take it all in. But remember that you must give an account to God for everything you do."

Happy (blessed) are the people whose God is the Lord. Jesus must be our Lord for us to be truly happy and blessed. And making Jesus our Lord isn't a one time decision. Every single day I make the decision whether He is the Lord of my life or not.

Delight yourself (be happy and merry) in Him... and then He will give you the desires of your heart. We aren't supposed to chase after happiness and fulfillment outside of Jesus. It doesn't work. It can't work. God created us so we can only be happy and feel fulfilled when we are connected to Him. That's why we see all kinds of celebrities who have achieved fame and fortune and they are still empty inside.

Enjoy every minute of being young and do whatever you want. YOLO! BUT, you will need to explain to God why you chose to do everything you did. There will be a consequence to living such a lifestyle, and it won't be worth it. Sin has pleasure, but only for a season. It won't last. (Hebrews 11:25)

If we are following Jesus and delighted, happy, blessed, and merry in Him... then the desires of our heart will most likely be honorable and holy. If we aren't following Jesus and we don't find happiness or delight in Him... then we probably shouldn't be trusting our heart.

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Should pedophiles 'follow their heart?' How about drug addicts, should they do 'whatever makes them happy?' Hitler followed his heart and was super happy to exterminate millions of people...

Get my point?

It can be extremely dangerous to follow or trust our heart and do whatever makes us happy. Those things can lead to destruction. (Proverbs 14:12)

We all know people who have "followed their heart" or who have done "what makes them happy" and that decision has wrecked their lives and/or other people's lives. That (most likely) wasn't God's leading.

Pretty sure God didn't tell us to abuse someone, or lie, or commit adultery, or steal, or do drugs, or murder someone, etc. In fact, I think there is quite a bit of stuff in the Bible concerning those issues... The Holy Spirit will NEVER lead us to do something that doesn't line up with the Bible. Never. God isn't schizophrenic. His Word and His Spirit will ALWAYS agree and confirm one another.

In the book Forgotten God Francis Chan writes,
"The Holy Spirit will not- cannot- lead you into sin. If the Holy Spirit is in you, as a believer, then when you sin you are not listening to the Spirit's leading."

Anything and everything we do should be done within the confines of the Bible. Our hearts don't have the final authority. Culture doesn't have the final authority. Our government doesn't even have the final authority. The Bible is the final authority in Christians' lives... or at least it's supposed to be.

The Word of God helps us from going off track. It helps us from getting weird. It helps us stay within certain boundaries.

Many times we can't trust our heart. We are told to protect and guard our heart! (Proverbs 4:23) If we haven't protected our heart, then following our heart is probably going to be a bad idea.

We are to follow Jesus. His Word is to be a lamp unto our feet and light unto our path. (Psalm 119:105) We are instructed to be led by the Holy Spirit, not by our heart. (Romans 8:14)

So "following our heart" and "doing what makes us happy" might not be the best route to take. Following Jesus and making Him happy is the best route to take and the best decision we can ever make.

Proverbs 28:26 says,
"He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, But whoever walks wisely will be delivered."

We are a fool if we choose to trust in our heart and follow what it wants us to do. Or we can go with the foolproof plan and decide to follow Jesus.

Hindsight is always 20/20, but God's foresight is always 20/20. He knows the end from the beginning... because He is the End and the Beginning. (Revelation 1:8, 22:13)

So stop trusting yourself and your heart and start trusting God. Follow Jesus and choose to never follow your heart again. (Proverbs 3:5-7) It's much safer that way.


If you find that you trust yourself more than God in certain areas, then ask Him why.
Ask Him to help you address those areas and correct the error in your life.
Ask God if there are any areas in your life that make you happy that shouldn't.
Last but not least, ask God how you can be content and happy in and through Him.

The time is now, shake the earth!
- Joel

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