It’s a common theme. It seems to pop up in all sorts of places.
Just follow your heart.
It sounds good, doesn’t it?
We follow our feelings. We go where we want to go, empowerment as our tool. We get, gather, or accomplish. It’s the decision deemed right for the time, and life is hunky-dory, right?
But what if our heart leads us astray? What if there are hidden motives tucked deep within, leading us down a dark alleyway of spiritual danger instead?
The Bible has much to say about the heart. There are three verses, however, that cause me to stop and consider the danger lingering when we allow the heart to lead. These three verses cause me to urge my children not to follow their heart.
Every man’s way is right in his own eyes,
But the Lord weighs and examines the hearts [of people and their motives].
Prov. 21:2 AMP
We may “feel” our motives are right, but are they? After all, it’s often easy to quip a word of sassiness in retaliation for the hurtful ones dumped on us. It seems effortless to slide into sexual sin when those “feel goods” start rolling. And, a tango with envy seems almost natural when we’ve worked hard, only to see another receive our trophy.
But are the motives behind those actions godly?
Let’s face it – the human view is rather small compared to God’s. After all, we weren’t the one to create human bodies made simply from dust. We didn’t connect its parts to work in such eloquent rhythm. God did.
Consider that folks run, walk, and sit on a turning globe, often completing tasks while upside down! The intricate working of gravity is beyond the human reach but within our Father’s. He knows upside-down people and gravity well.
And then there’s the blossom of a beautiful tulip. Its beauty and fragrance come from an unseen, rather ugly, rounded bulb in the ground. It’s hard to fathom how the unassuming mass grows to become a bold, color-filled bouquet of beautiful posies. However, it’s not difficult to comprehend for God. He is familiar with the tulip. He knows its way well.
Likewise, our God knows well the motives of our heart. We might not truly understand the situation at hand, but God does. He knows us intricately. Every nook and cranny is laid bare before His eyes, and that’s good – very good.
Solid steps are ours to take when we follow God, leaving the heart to Him alone.
The heart is deceitful above all things
and beyond cure.
Who can understand it?
Jeremiah 17:9 NIV
Deceit has an uncomfortable, underhanded ring to it, doesn’t it? Why would we want to follow something that isn’t what we perceive, something that leads us to a different destination than originally planned? A deceitful heart is nothing solid to follow, but God’s plans are.
Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it.
Proverbs 4:23 NIV
We’re not called to follow the heart. We’re called to guard it. After all, every single thing we do flows straight from the motives contained within it. Now that’s life-impacting!
Danger often lurks in following the heart’s way, pain and unnecessary trials, too. But when we gather and trust God at His word, guarding our heart and leaving its motives to Him, we find ourselves on the right and good route.
So I’ll not urge my children to follow their heart. No, that’s too dangerous. I’ll encourage them to guard their heart well, trusting and following a faithful God instead.
Image Credit: Unsplash.com.
Kristi Woods is a writer and speaker passionate about seeing women walk deeper with God. She clicks her words of encouragement at http://www.KristiWoods.net regularly and is published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Dreams and Premonitions as well as on Proverbs 31 Encouragement for Today and on various blogs. Kristi, her retired-from-the-military husband, and their three children survived a nomadic, military lifestyle and have now set roots in Oklahoma. Connect with Kristi here: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.