Note with me this text from the book of Genesis,
- “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5 – NASB)
And how about this text from Jeremiah,
- “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9 – NASB)
And then there are these words of our Lord from Mark’s gospel,
- “That which proceeds out the man, that is what defiles the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornication, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man.” (Mark 7:20-23 – NASB)
I heard an old tune the other day, one from the past, one of those old croon-tunes, when music was a lot different than what we hear in this day and age. Amongst its words it said, “don’t think with your mind just feel with your heart.” In other words, don’t think things out but rather just let your heart be your guide. Similar words are found in an old Neil Diamond song, noting how we should exclude thinking with our minds and just follow the dictates of our hearts. Good advice?
It is very common for us to hear people say, “Just follow your heart!” And this message not only comes from the lips of people but one can find all sorts of greeting cards and hanging signs that give this same advice: “Just follow your heart.” If one is given to movies the same phrase is repeated over and over again in scripts leaning toward an actor or actress sincerely saying to another: “Just follow your heart.” Good advice?
Well, don’t believe it for a minute!
In fact, better advice comes from God’s Word regarding the “heart” of man. Know that when God looked upon early mankind He found their hearts far from Him and full of “wickedness,” with “every intent of the thoughts of his heart . . . only evil continually.” As Jeremiah spoke for God to the people of Israel he warned them about the “heart,” that it was so very “deceitful” and “desperately sick.” As Jesus spoke to the religious leaders and the crowds He confirmed the state of man’s “heart,” that “out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts,” and went on to list specific “evil(s)” that flows from the “heart” of man.
Brethren, man needs a new “heart.” He needs a circumcised “heart.” Note what the apostle Paul said of the Jews in chapter two of Romans, that even though they might have been circumcised in the flesh they needed much more.
- “. . . circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter” (Romans 2:29 – NASB)
Every human being has a “heart” that is “deceitful,” it is “evil,” it is “desperately sick.” And from this “heart,” from the very seat of our thinking and emotions, comes “wickedness.” The “heart” is not to be trusted as a guide for what we do, what we think, what we say. Everyone needs a new “heart,” one that is circumcised “by the Spirit” of God. Until this “circumcision” takes place it is folly to think a man or woman can follow the dictates of their “heart.”
If someone tells you, “Just follow your heart” . . . . don’t believe it for a minute!
Have a good day . . . and as you walk don’t follow the dictates of your heart but follow those that are of the Word of God, hiding God’s Word in your heart that you might not sin against Him (Psalm 119:11).
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