I just read a Christian meme that read, “Do not follow your heart.” The meme was using Jeremiah 17:9 to justify this statement. I struggled with what was written because the Holy Spirit has been telling me to live by my heart and to encourage others to do the same. I know He is in me and my heart is my flesh, but what was going on? Well like any awesome teacher will do, the Holy Spirit let me to read not only that Jeremiah verse, but also the section to get a better understanding.
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit. The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? I the LORD search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.” Jeremiah 17:7-10 ESV
God made it clear here that He was never telling someone to ignore his or her heart and not to live by it. God is the only one who really understands a person’s heart and quite often, he exposes the sickness in our hearts by having us live through our hearts.
I got into an argument this week with someone I care about. The person felt I was attacking him. This made me turn back to God because I didn’t believe I had any intention of attacking the person, I was defending myself. God revealed my heart and I was not attacking the other person. I would like to learn with the Holy Spirit how to defend myself without it looking like I am attacking the other person. I can only do that by submitting to the Spirit and letting my heart come out so He can deal with the things that are off. If I try to defend myself in a quiet non-attacking way, I am doing it in my own strength and God has accomplished nothing in my heart. If I don’t let my true self come out from my heart, I am deceiving and not being truthful. There is something in my heart that God needs to deal with and if I don’t allow it to come out, I am never allowing Him to do the work.
If I attempted to live by denying my heart, I might be able to look good on the outside, but be completely corrupted on the inside. As God explained in 1Samuel 16:7, “For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” God is not looking for a bunch of Christians who look good, He is looking for people who are good from the inside out, and He is the only one who can make them good! Don’t by into the group mentality of looking good, but having a corrupt heart. Live and let God do the mighty work in you!