Sunday, April 6, 2014

Don't listen….to your heart

"Listen to your heart."
This might be the absolute worst advice ever given.
Sure, it sounds like a lovely romantic notion. Just look inside of yourself…. Chase your own star…. Listen to the small voice inside of you….
I just want to scream, "no!" Don't do any of that! That is horrible, terrible, twisted, faulty advice!
I know that the world is going to tell you that your heart knows the way, that your heart won't lead you wrong. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but actually your heart will lead you in a million wrong directions and cannot be trusted. All of the heart felt, intuition based advice that sounds mystical and sentimental is completely off base, dead wrong, faulty and dangerous.
If you are doubting my advice, just look at Eve in the Garden of Eden. She went wrong the moment she followed her heart. In her head she knew right from wrong. She even told the serpent what God had commanded in Genesis 3:3, "You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die." The knowledge was right there in her mind but she didn't listen to it. She followed her heart. 
The serpent told her that she would gain all of God's knowledge if she could eat from that one tree. He appealed to her fleshly desires and not her knowledge of true obedience. So she ate from that particular tree and the rest is history. Heart triumphed over head and sin entered into the whole human race.
And now I'm supposed to believe that by listening to my heart I will end up in the right direction, making the right decisions? I don't think so.
The actions and direction of my life should not be ordered by the longings of my heart but by the commands and directive of God. In Proverbs 23:26 the scripture teaches, "give me your heart and let your eyes keep to my ways."
Clearly this isn't feel-good, romanticism. The Bible doesn't promote that kind of living. The Bible gives clear instruction on how to make decisions and go through life. There are definite rights and absolute wrongs. Listening to the heart makes everything look like a sea of grey, it doesn't show the stark clear difference between God's commands and human disobedience. The heart wants to say that whatever it wants is best, end of story. But one look at the Bible and that theory is kaput.
By following my heart I am led down paths of destruction and confusion. I am led straight into sin disguised as desire. The heart blinds my eyes from seeing truth and drags me into disobedience. If I am relying on my heart to direct my life then I am in for a roller coaster ride of deep lows, false highs and devastating sin.
The heart is only good when it is completely surrendered to Christ. If my heart is nothing more than an instrument of my own flesh and a mouth piece for my own desires then it is tainted and impure. The best posture for my heart, the only worthwhile position for my heart, is one of praise and adoration to God. When my heart becomes my guide I am deceived. But when my heart is committed to obedient praise and worship it is pure, bringing glory God.
God doesn't desire a people who are all running around chasing their hearts. He wants people chasing Him, giving their hearts over to His care, trusting that He is the only trustworthy and flawless guide. I don't want to be run by my heart and I don't want to be running after my own heart.
I want to follow the commands of God, surrendering all of my heart and desires at His feet, following Christ alone. He is the defender of my heart, the One worthy of all my praise and adoration. By laying my heart and my life down at His feet I am under the care of the perfect guide who will guide me in paths of righteousness.

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