Just before these words, the prophet Jeremiah shared the very different outcome for those who trusted in themselves rather than God. They were cursed and would be like stunted shrubs in the desert with no hope for the future.
Those who chose to believe in and trust the Lord, making Him their hope and confidence would be different. They were blessed and would become like beautiful verdant trees by the river, lush and fruitful.
Further on, Jeremiah says that the human heart is the most deceitful of all things and desperately wicked. We see that in scripture and we see it around us.
God provides a way of safe passage to Him, yet we humans think we know better, that the other way looks better, the other paths more compelling. Our hearts tell us to go the different way than God says.
This is why I cringe when I hear of someone told to “follow your heart.” Please don’t, Believer. Your heart lies to you. Your heart is inherently wicked without the Holy Spirit.
Your heart wants what it wants and most often, what it wants on its own is anti-God.
We all have a choice to make: to be dry, brittle, and bitter with no hope for the future OR to be lush, verdant, and fruitful with an amazing future.
If we choose to follow our hearts and choose ourselves, we will have the first. If we choose the Truth and follow God, we will have the second. Seems simple, right?
Yet what the heart wants—the pleasing of self—is so tempting, so delightful, so much fun!
Right now is the time to settle in your mind what your choice will be today and tomorrow and next week and forever. Who will sit on the throne of your life, you or God? Choose blessing or curse. God allows you the option. Choose well.
Some extra thoughts from today’s video:
I do cringe when somebody says, “Follow your heart!” That verse comes back to me from Jeremiah 17. The human heart is above all things deceitful. And I think if I’m to follow my heart, but it’s deceitful, then all that’s gonna do is lead me into trouble and turmoil and conflict, and I really don’t want to go there. The thing is, we think that if we go with God, that there will be no trouble or turmoil or conflict, but the truth is, it will be there. The difference is when we go there with God, He is with us. He has promised He would walk through all of that with us. And while that doesn’t sound like a whole lot, I can tell you that it is a whole lot! I’ve walked through two cancer diagnoses, without the fear, without the anxiety, because I knew that God was right there with me in the middle of it. Yes, hearing those words “you have cancer” is a big punch. But then when you realize that you’re choosing to go with God regardless, then you know that He’s right there with you. He has already blessed you. And He will continue to bless you.
You have this hope and this confidence that just lives in you and you can’t explain it. When we choose to let our heart without the Holy Spirit make those decisions, we end up often quite alone, quite dismayed, quite fearful, and just lost. Lost like a stunted shrub in the desert: no water, no life, no joy.
I’d much rather be there with that tree by the river. How about you? So let’s make that choice today. Let’s Choose, am I gonna go with God or am I gonna follow my heart? And then let me tell you, 15 minutes from now, you can make that choice again and then 15 minutes after that and all throughout the day. The temptations will come. The desires will rise We’ll say “I really want to do this, my heart is leading me to go here.” I promise you that when you feel that your heart is saying go here, if you’ll stop just a minute and ask God if that’s what you’re supposed to do, He will tell you. He will let you know. This would be a great prayer, “Lord remove from me any desires that are not pleasing to you.” so that then our hearts follow Him more.
It’s not easy to make these choices because our heart wants what it wants and we want it now, and sometimes we have to choose contrary to our heart, and that hurts. It’s not natural. It’s not, but you can do it. You can make the choice always, every single time, to follow God. I know you can, because He said you can do this. He told you to do it, so you’re capable. I believe in you. I believe you can make these choices day in and day out moment by moment. Better than me believing in you, better than you believing in you, God Himself believes in you and He is for you. He’s cheering you on. He’s paving the way. He is for you. He fights your battles for you if you let Him.
Coffee, Bible, Journal.
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