I remember watching Saturday morning cartoons, and the themes would be something like “Believe in yourself” and “Follow your heart”. Cute idea, but bad advice for a Christian. Still, it’s how the world thinks, and it’s how kids growing up are told to think.
As I thought about this, the title of this post just popped into my head–the Deceiver. The devil’s the deceiver, right? We need to be aware that Satan uses tools to deceive us that are often a lot closer to home than we think.
“Follow your heart”. The phrase immediately brings to mind a verse, Jeremiah 17:9:
The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?
Think of it this way: Our heart is our flesh. It has sinful desires. It is deceitful.
You know when you’re about to make a bad decision, and there’s a little something inside you that says what you’re about to do is wrong? That’s the Holy Spirit, guiding you. In situations like these, however, your heart is quick to make an excuse. If you’re like me (and we’re all human), you’ve probably found yourself justifying something that you know is wrong. That’s your heart at work.
So, our heart is sinful, deceptive, of the flesh–what do we do about it? There’s nothing we can do, on our own.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. (Psalm 51:10)
And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. (Ezekiel 36:26)
God has the power to cleanse our hearts and to renew our spirit, but He won’t do it without your permission.
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. (Revelation 3:20)
We have to let Jesus in. This doesn’t just mean accepting the gift of salvation, though that’s a vital first step if you haven’t take it already. Some of us are Christians, and yet we’ve pushed Jesus into a corner of our heart. We don’t want Him to see what’s going on inside, but if we’re willing to change, He can and will renew us! Just open the door.
So. “Believe in yourself”. “Follow your heart”. I say believe that you have the ability to do anything–through Him who gives you strength (Phil. 4:13). And I say follow your heart. Just make sure that your heart is grounded in Godly principles, and that it is filled with the light of Christ. Make sure that your heart’s desire is to do the will of God!
Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. (Proverbs 4:23)
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. (Matthew 5:8)