Yesterday while I was driving, listening music, a beautiful and thought provoking song came on, by Jon Thurlow. I won’t type all the words now, but I really recommend listening to this song if you can. It’s called “Equality with God”. The first line says “Trust your heart, that’s what the world says, but I know my heart, and it is desperately wicked ” Wow. I was drawn in from that very first line. I listened to the words about how Jesus, in the garden of Gethsemane, prayed, ‘not my will but yours’. And it had me thinking for the rest of the day.
How many hundreds of times have you heard the statements “Just trust your heart”? Or “Follow your heart”? They’re statements of ‘faith’, of self belief, written into the script of films and TV programmes and quoted in self help books. Grannies and Mums, giving well-meaning career or marriage advice to adult children, might say, ‘What does your heart say, Son? Just follow your heart’.
The statement is packaged to sound so simple, sweet and freeing. It is, essentially, a belief that your heart is a sort of compass inside you, that will always direct you to your ‘true north’ if you just have the courage to follow it and to true happiness if you just have the courage to listen to it.
The “follow your heart” belief system isn’t found anywhere in the Bible. In fact, quite the opposite.
Our hearts were not designed to be followed, but led.
No one lies to us more than our own hearts. If your heart hasn’t lied to you already today, it will at some point through the day.
Your heart might have told you something nasty and hurtful about your appearance when you looked in the mirror this morning. ‘You’re getting old and life’s passing you by’. As you drove to work, did your heart tell you you’re never really going to get anywhere in that job. That other person will get that promotion because they are ‘worthier than you are’.
Or does your heart tell you God has forgotten about you? He loves you, but not quite as much as the next person.
Does your heart tell you never to forgive that person who hurt you, because if you let them back into your life, they might do it again?
See? Your heart is your own worst enemy, not some benevolent inner compass!
No matter how lovely, kind or compassionate any person’s heart may be, the fact is that our hearts can’t be trusted to lead us.
Our hearts were not designed to lead us but to be led. By God.
Jesus – A Heart Submitted To God
John 5:19 “So Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does.”
Philippians 2:5-8 “You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.”
Luke 22:42 “Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.”
Jesus showed us by example, what it means to live surrendered to the leadership of God. He was God in human form; if he had really wanted to, he could have called on all the power of Heaven and legions of angels to rescue him from the horrendous death he was about to suffer. Why didn’t he? Because his will was completely surrendered to the leadership of The Father.
We can trust God’s leadership!
But we need to trust Him with all of our hearts. Rather than focussing on my own heart, I need to focus my heart – on God.
Proverbs 3:1-2, 5-6: “My child, never forget the things I have taught you. Store my commands in your heart. If you do this, you will live many years, and your life will be satisfying.
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.”
John 16:13 “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.”
The Holy Spirit is our guide and ‘compass’. I’m so thankful that I don’t have to relyon myself, or on my own heart to lead and guide me. Who knows where I’d end up.
Jill McIlreavy 💜