Don’t follow your heart, follow Christ

Proverbs 3:5-8 NLT
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take. Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil. Then you will have healing for your body and strength for your bones.

Proverbs 14:12-27 NLT
There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death. Laughter can conceal a heavy heart, but when the laughter ends, the grief remains. Backsliders get what they deserve; good people receive their reward.
Only simpletons believe everything they’re told! The prudent carefully consider their steps. The wise are cautious and avoid danger; fools plunge ahead with reckless confidence.
Short-tempered people do foolish things, and schemers are hated. Simpletons are clothed with foolishness, but the prudent are crowned with knowledge. Evil people will bow before good people; the wicked will bow at the gates of the godly.
The poor are despised even by their neighbors, while the rich have many “friends.” It is a sin to belittle one’s neighbor; blessed are those who help the poor. If you plan to do evil, you will be lost; if you plan to do good, you will receive unfailing love and faithfulness.
Work brings profit, but mere talk leads to poverty! Wealth is a crown for the wise; the effort of fools yields only foolishness. A truthful witness saves lives, but a false witness is a traitor.
Those who fear the Lord are secure; he will be a refuge for their children. Fear of the Lord is a life-giving fountain; it offers escape from the snares of death.

Proverbs 16:15-25 NLT
When the king smiles, there is life; his favor refreshes like a spring rain. How much better to get wisdom than gold, and good judgment than silver! The path of the virtuous leads away from evil; whoever follows that path is safe. Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall. Better to live humbly with the poor than to share plunder with the proud.
Those who listen to instruction will prosper; those who trust the lord will be joyful. The wise are known for their understanding, and pleasant words are persuasive. Discretion is a life-giving fountain to those who possess it, but discipline is wasted on fools. From a wise mind comes wise speech; the words of the wise are persuasive. Kind words are like honey— sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.
There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death.

Jeremiah 17:5-10 NLT
This is what the Lord says: “Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans, who rely on human strength and turn their hearts away from the lord . They are like stunted shrubs in the desert, with no hope for the future. They will live in the barren wilderness, in an uninhabited salty land.
“But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.
“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? But I, the Lord , search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.”

James 4:4-10 NLT
You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God. Do you think the Scriptures have no meaning? They say that God is passionate that the spirit he has placed within us should be faithful to him.  And he gives grace generously. As the Scriptures say, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up in honor.

Scripture does not tell us to trust in our heart. No, it tells us to trust in the Lord with all of our heart. It tells us to purify our hearts. It tells us that the hearts of men are deceitful and not to be trusted.

We are to trust in the Lord. We aren’t to trust in whatever we feel is right, we are supposed to trust in the Word of God as the divine instruction that we use to test all spirits and to guard our hearts.

But how many of us are shirking our guard duty? How many of us are more interested in the distractions and temptations of this world and enjoy forgetting our Lord and Savior? How many of us say to ourselves there is no rush to be a disciple unto others today, I’ll do that once I learn how to do it properly.

How many of us use the excuse that we are not equipped or prepared? And then we do nothing further today to prepare ourselves for the opportunities that will arise tomorrow.

Oh I am at times such a poor example of a Christ follower when I measure myself by the example of my Lord and Savior. It boggles my mind why He would show such grace and mercy to someone who is distracted and stumbles and whines and complains to Him about my own shortcomings.

But I’m not stumbling in the same ways that I once did,  because He is teaching me too walk. Still,  even if my ability to walk reaches a level where I am rarely stumbling – it is not piety that my Lord will recognize on the day of judgement. You see, it comes down to my heart – my reason and my motivation.

Am I living my life to bring Him honor and glory? Or am I trying to pridefully earn salvation or rewards or favor?

It really does matter,  the state of our heart. And doesn’t the true state of our heart show clearly in the midst of our battles – either uncovering the rooted darkness of pride, bitterness,  hatred, selfishness, dissention, envy, jealousy,  rebellion and all kinds of wickedness – or shining forth like branches overflowing with the fruits of love,  joy,  peace,  patience,  kindness,  faithfulness, long suffering, and goodness.

But many times don’t we overlook those weeds, telling ourselves that it is just a stumble, convincing ourselves that it isn’t a problem with our heart,  persuading ourselves to look past the darkness,  encouraging our own blindness,  walking further and further into the darkness,  telling ourselves that we aren’t lost,  but ever vigilant that we don’t need any guidance or directions, sure of ourselves believing that we need no discipline or correction.

You see,  our heart knows no end to its tricks. It knows how to throw the blinders over our eyes.

So let’s don’t trust our hearts.

Let’s trust God. Let’s understand the value in fearing the Lord, so we won’t be tempted into complacency.

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