February is here, the month of love! Hearts are everywhere. I was thinking about the issue of the “heart” according to the bible. Again, I’m in the process of unlearning everything the world has taught me about my “heart” (will and emotions) and my “mind” (knowledge and understanding) and trying to learn what God has to say about them.
You’ve heard it said “Trust YOUR heart . . . what is YOUR heart telling you to do . . . follow YOUR heart, etc”. But God’s Word would tell you . . .
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil. (Proverbs 3:5-7)
“For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.” (Matthew 15:19)
“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 17:9-10)
Do you see a pattern here? The world tells us that our hearts are completely reliable, that’s what should trust the most-ourselves! God’s Word would tell us not to trust our hearts, they are deceitful!
Once we put our faith in Christ and begin to walk with Him, our life becomes a process of sanctification (to make holy, be set apart, consecrate). The rest of our lives is learning to rely on our SELF LESS and rely on HIM MORE.
God wants us dependent on Him, not independent trying to fix of thing on our own! That’s why Jesus says “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3). Those that are blessed are the ones who humbly bow their heart to the LORD and say “Lord, my way is not right. I want to live according to Your way, help me to understand the path that you have set out before me.”
We think of sin as doing “bad things”. But as you begin to read about what God has to say about sin, you see that sin is just trying to do life on your own, dependence on self, on your own heart, rather than on God. So whether you live your life morally pure or your life is a disaster, if God is not involved, it’s all sin.
God isn’t about our lives being “perfect”, that’s religion-walk the straight and narrow, try your best, don’t fail, and you’ll gain eternal life, etc. Our Heavenly Father cares much more about an honest pursuit and dependence upon Him than “perfection”.
He tells us over and over stop trying to do this on your own! Stop trying to understand life according to your own heart and understanding. Seek me and my ways, and I will make your paths straight.
Again, I am unlearning as much about God as I am learning. I desire to know what is “good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:2) but I can’t know that unless I consult the Maker, His Word, and seek His plan for my life.
I am have been in the practice of going to the LORD and asking Him what He wants me “to learn” about this trial, experience, etc. I realize now, I also need to ask Him “LORD, what do you want me to unlearn? Can I encourage you to do the same? Remembering life is about trust not self-reliance; dependence, not independence; humility, not pride, process, not perfection.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” (Psalm 139:23-24)
“For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart." (1 Samuel 16:7)