Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Is "following your heart" trustworthy??

"...then hear from heaven your dwelling place and forgive and render to each whose heart you know, according to all his ways, for you, you only, know the hearts of the children of mankind," -2 Chronicles 6:30

Ever get confused about "trusting your heart"? I can think of several occasions where "following my heart" seemed to lead to a right decision ...and to little surprise, because "I just knew"! Lots of outside factors, too, likely constituted this confidence. On the other hand, I can think of at least as many instances where following that same heart, will, gut instinct ...was just flat wrong! It makes me doubt, and second-guess many times. What do I trust? How does one know "the right thing". Is "conscience", or "heart" a trustworthy guide? God, Himself, gave us this intangible we call "heart" ...or conscience. His words even indicate that it can be untrustworthy (Jeremiah 17:9).

So, what is the plumb-line for truth and right-ness? And just how much should I, or should I NOT, trust my own judgment? Here's the "really" good news. God "knows" your heart already! He knows the good intentions, and He knows the evil intentions ...and both are present! Yet God doesn't hold this error against us ...at least not without a way out!

If you read 2 Chronicles 6 you'll get a picture of King Solomon, son of former King David, and him pouring his "heart" out to God. Recognize some significant things.....

  1. He built a temple for the Lord
  2. He recognized that no earthly dwelling could contain Him!
  3. Solomon's heart, in this instance, was in the right place

Solomon's love for the Lord was key. The temple, though impressive and honorable to the Lord, would have been mere stone and mortar (...well, a few other valuables...) were it not for a heart that desired to please God.

Your heart, and mine, are no different. Fallible, untrustworthy, and inconsistent. Yet ...it's a heart that God knows, even more than we know ourselves. We are to chase righteousness, and in everything we do! But when we make a "wrong" decision ....it is unnecessary, in fact... fruitless, to beat ourselves up. God knows that heart, and know it will make mistakes. He can use that same heart for His glory.

What's the key? The guide we trust! Remember the question posed above... "What do I trust? How does one know "the right thing".? If our own conscience is the leading, or only, guide ...things will end catastrophically. We're just too inconsistent (Jeremiah 17:9). If we trust His will, His way, His words ....then we can be confident that the end is not catastrophic! He doesn't promise a perfectly smooth road as we seek that. That's completely "beside the real point". But there is a "right way" and a "wrong way". His way is righteous. His way... is right. Place your trust in Jesus, as revealed in the Scriptures. Trust that those Scriptures are not only a guide, but God's very words intended for us to read, obey, believe, and trust. I won't promise a smooth life ....but His word promises something even greater.