Saturday, June 6, 2015

Follow Your Heart?

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? Jeremiah 17:9

I have often wondered about the human counsel: "just follow your heart." And yet the Bible tells us that our hearts are deceitfully wicked. The older I get, the truer I see this statement is, just looking at my own human inclinations without the Spirit of God to keep me in check.

I used to think I knew what I wanted. It boiled down to "if only" statements. "If only" I had this, I would be happy. "If only" my situation were different here, then I would be happy. If I "followed my heart" in those situations, I would have fallen into the ditch a long time ago. You see, within my heart, and within every human heart there is restless longing that only a relationship with God through Jesus Christ can fill. When I turn to Him, I have the peace that only He can give me, in a world that has gone stark raving mad.

I must bring my plans to Him, and trust Him that He knows what is best for me, instead of what I think is best for me. Sometimes His plans include things that are painful, but if I trust that He always is loving me and has my best interest in mind, I can get through the situation. Some of these rough things happen on a daily basis, but when I get to the other side, it will all have been worth it if I allow God to use them to refine my faith. He keeps on showing me that I must decrease while He must increase, as John the Baptist said in John 3:30. To my flesh, that sounds horrendous, because my flesh wants to hold onto my life with everything in me. But if I do hang onto my life at all costs, it only serves to make me and everyone around me miserable. It will not last, either, (for everything on this earth except human beings and the Word of God) will perish.

Luke 21:33 "Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away."

And so I run to His Word, for there I find my comfort when I cannot find it anywhere else. For I know I am just like the Psalmist, made from the dust.

Psalm 119:25 "My soul clings to the dust; Revive me according to Your word."

There really is nowhere else to go. Oh, but the comfort from the Word of God is sweet, like nothing else on earth. And in my time of need, and in the hour of need of all the persecuted believers all over this planet going through trials so much worse than mine, there is ultimate comfort from this promise:

Psalm 147:3
"He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds."

and this one...

Isaiah 42:3
"A bruised reed He will not break,
And smoking flax He will not quench;
He will bring forth justice for truth."

So, no, I may not be able to follow my own heart, but instead entrust it daily to the one who knows me better than I know myself. He knows every thought before I even think it, so why should I even try to hide anything from Him? (Psalm 139: 1-3) This day, I don't want to follow the dictates of my own heart, but instead I want to make this verse my prayer instead:

Proverbs 3: 5-6

​"Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
​​And lean not on your own understanding;
6 ​​In all your ways acknowledge Him,
​​And He shall direct your paths." (emphasis mine)

If I do, it will only be by His grace. So help me dear Lord, please help me, to believe your precious promises today.


  1. That is such good and comforting counsel!

  2. Astrid,
    Counsel learned in the trenches as you well know.
    Love you!