Morning Devotional: Don’t Follow Your Heart (Part I) Because…It is evil.

eye world 2

 

Intro: Many of us have heard the saying “follow your heart.” In the midst of indecision, this wimsical phrase is often chided to us with a smile from loved ones, friends, strangers, but most often is heard in cheesy Hallmark movies. It’s one of those American “pick-me-uper” cliches, and personally, it has never helped me. I find it anti-Gospel, and I feel that it’s a confusing jumble of words that masquerades itself as advice, but really doesn’t say anything clear to the decision-maker at all. The cliche assumes that my heart is a source that is capable of leading me. But what if my heart lead me to do something that was, in the end, bad? I titled this series, “Don’t Follow Your Heart.”

Part II: Don’t Follow Your Heart Because…It is evil. 
Now that we understand that we have an inclination to worship idols and in effect enslave ourselves to sin, let’s look deeper into why that is. How did we get from the seemingly harmless phrase “follow your heart” to the idea that our hearts lead us to prostitution?

We must, then, analyze the heart. What is the condition of our heart? Are we by nature good, but influenced by the evil around us to do evil things? Or are we by nature evil? In Jeremiah 17: 9, the prophet says, “The heart is more deceitful than anything else and mortally sick. Who can fathom it?” If this is true, then how does our heart get to this condition? In Romans 6:17-18, Paul says that we were slaves to sin because we obeyed our hearts. “By Yahweh’s grace, you, who were once slaves to sin, obeyed from your heart the pattern of teaching to which you were exposed; and after you had been set free from sin, you became enslaved to righteousness.”

So then, our hearts have a pattern of teaching embedded within—and the teaching that the heart contains (and follows) is what it is exposed to. How are we exposed to evil things? Let’s take a look at a body part that is so often referred to as the “windows” of receiving the world around us: the eyes. In 1 John 2:16 we are warned that there are things that cause us to lust with our eyes, and that that comes from the world. Have you heard of the popular Children’s church song entitled “O Be Careful, Little Eyes”?

O be careful little eyes what you see
O be careful little eyes what you see
There’s a Father up above
And He’s looking down in love
So, be careful little eyes what you see

O be careful little ears what you hear
O be careful little ears what you hear
There’s a Father up above And He’s looking down in love
So, be careful little ears what you hear

And it goes on with “be careful little feet where you go”, and so on and so forth. Those of us who were “born on the back pew” still know this song word-for-word. I remember this song rang through my mind a few times during my college years. Parents, it works!

The world is full of sin that is a set-up for enticing us. In Genesis, Kayin became jealous because of Yahweh’s favor toward Hevel’s sacrifice and not his own. Seeing his distraught heart, Yahweh spoke to Kayin before he even murdered his brother, saying, “Why are you angry? Why so downcast? If you are doing what is good, shouldn’t you hold your head high? And if you don’t do what is good, sin is crouching at the door – it wants you, but you can rule over it.” (Genesis 4:6-7).  In Matthew 5:29, Yahushua warns us that what we take in with our eyes has the ability to cause us to sin. He says, “If your right eye makes you sin, gouge it out and throw it away! Better that you should lose one part of you than have your whole body thrown into Gei-Hinnom.” This lines up with what he spoke literally a sentence before in the previous verse: “You have heard that our fathers were told, `Do not commit adultery. But I tell you that a man who even looks at a woman with the purpose of lusting after her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Yahushua was completing the law in regards to sexual adultery, and was warning us that the Father in heaven does not take lust likely; yes, He looks at actions but inspects the heart as well because He knows its content.

Despite its naturally evil state, a heart is capable of being transformed for those who convert to The Way. Even after David committed adultery with Bathsheba, he cried out, “Create in me a clean heart, YHWH; and renew in me a resolute spirit.”(Psalms 51:10). David says create in me a “Lev Tahor”; “lev” meaning the word the word heart and “tahor” meaning clean. Did you know that there is more than one word in the Hebrew language to express the idea of “creating”? In this verse in particular, David uses the word “bara”. “Bara” is a word used exclusively to depict creation that comes out of nothing or no other pre-existing matter; creation that is done exclusively by Elohim. The word “yatzar” was used to describe man’s “fashion” or “forming” of a thing, which has always come from some other pre-existing matter or resource. The Hebrews even had a word sanctified and set-apart specifically to distinguish Elohim’s creation, for He is the only one who can create out of nothing. David knew that the only way to change was to have a new heart, and that the only way to have a new heart was for Elohim to create a new one within Him.

Are you putting something or someone before YHWH? It will surely lead to your downfall. That is the purpose of an idol: to distract you from the living One and get you to trust in something else. Let’s examine our hearts against the Word. We have one Lover and we are to be devoted to Him.
By: Kendra Love

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