Don’t Follow Your Heart

And the Lord says: “Because they have forsaken my law that I set before them, and have not obeyed my voice or walked in accord with it, but have stubbornly followed their own hearts…

–Jeremiah 9:13-14

How many times has somebody told you to simply follow your heart? That probably isn’t the best advice you can get. In Jeremiah’s day, the Lord indicted the people for following their own hearts. Why? Jeremiah explained later in his writings that “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick (Jeremiah 17:9).”

Your heart isn’t a wise counselor. It will lead you astray. The heart suffers from the effects of the sin disease. It has a limited basis of knowledge. Don’t trust it.

Through Jeremiah, the Lord provided the alternative for following your heart. It is to follow the law or the voice of God. Since God’s wisdom knows no bounds, he is the one to whom we should turn for wisdom.

It is true that in conversion, God gives us a new heart. As we walk with the Lord, he continues to speak to us. We worship him and love him with our hearts. Eventually our hearts may desire godly things. But it should always be questioned as to whether or not it is in line with the ways of the Lord.

To simply follow your heart is to live like there is no God. It puts our desires at the top of the pecking order. It makes an idol out of ourselves. Instead we are to honor God as the primary director of our steps. Hopefully our heart falls in line. Then and only then will we find ourselves being filled with joy at walking with the Lord in his ways.