Tag Archives: heart

Should we follow our hearts?

©Photospin/Krillov

©Photospin/Krillov

I am an emotional creature by nature. I am driven by empathy. I feel things. Deeply. I can be as sensitive to the joys and pains of others as if they were my own. I would say that I make decisions more from my “heart” more than my “head.” So it caught me off guard one day when an acquaintance of mine expressed disgust over the fact that people mention following their hearts. She quoted Jeremiah 17:9 to support her belief that our hearts would only lead us astray.

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

I was familiar with the verse and it inspired me to ponder use of the word “heart” to convey the source of our feelings and love—but also to express the source of our worldly desires. Yet, in Ezekiel we learn that God gives us a new heart and a new spirit—a soft, open and teachable heart, enabling our spirit to do his will.

“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

It has taken many years to develop what I would consider good discernment. I believe that discernment is an ability to hear and comprehend the leading of the Holy Spirit—an ability that I consider a gift of my heart.

“And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” – Romans 5:5

“For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” – Romans 10:10

With our heart, not our mind, we believe. We have a choice. We decide what and who is in our hearts. We must guard our hearts and make certain they are centered on God and not our selfish desires. If we love God with all our hearts, there is nothing safer to follow. Our hearts will be moved by His Spirit.

“Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” – Proverbs 4:23

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” – Matthew 22:37

“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” – Luke 12:34

“The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” – Luke 6:45

When seeking God’s will, would you say you act based on your feelings or thoughts? Your head or your heart?


An Engraved Heart

hearts

© PhotoSpin.com

I stumbled upon this recently:

Judah’s sin is engraved with an iron tool, inscribed with a flint point, on the tablets of their heart. Jeremiah 17:1

The visual of sin being engraved on a heart is sobering. It is a powerful illustration of stubbornness in sin. I lived this way for the first few decades of my life. I wanted to control my life and do as I pleased. I thought I could do it all on my own power.

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. Ezekiel 36:26

The world tells us we can be masters of our own fate and captains of our soul—but when we follow our selfish desires, sin becomes our master. We are deceiving ourselves if we think we are in control of anything.

Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace. Romans 6:13-14

When we submit our lives to God, sin is no longer our master.

What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? Romans 6:15-16

While slavery to anything doesn’t sound appealing, it is that devotion to obedience that sets us free and results in a happy life. If we freely yield ourselves, we find a joy and peace no self-serving life could ever offer.

It is God who enables us, along with you, to stand firm for Christ. He has commissioned us, and he has identified us as his own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts as the first installment that guarantees everything he has promised us.  2 Corinthians 1:21-22 (NLT)

Who is your master? How does the world’s view of slavery and freedom differ from the Christian view? Have you been willing to break the bonds of slavery to sin and find joy in obedience?