Well with a 3 hour lock down at the Grove due to a suspected robber roaming the campus, I had some time to finish a blog and FINALLY post it! I apologize for my long period of absence. Getting ready to move back into school kept me busy, as did some longer shifts at work. It’s good to be back. As school picks up I can’t promise consistent blog postings but I’ll do my best to share some thoughts throughout the year. As for now, enjoy this week’s ramblings:
Follow your heart.
In the words of Fat Amy “Mmmm better not.”
“Follow your heart” has become a poor excuse for good and actually useful advice in our world. Our culture tells us that when our minds are confused we should base our decisions on what we feel makes sense. Forget about God and the Bible. The world has corrupted the biblical definition of wisdom and replaced it with instructions to base our future actions, decisions, and over-all comfort on what our heart tells us. I mean, I guess it’s not really that shocking that a non-Christian would hold to this view. Why wouldn’t they? Without the Holy Spirit sitting on the throne of an individual’s life they have little to base their life around, other than what “feels” right. With that said, my challenge is for those of you who call yourself born-again: stop following your heart and follow the truth of God.
Let’s back track a bit. When dealing with a long-term trial or struggle it is easy to enter into times of feeling that God is absent or has forgotten about your pain. I’m the first to admit I get caught in this trap. For me, it is especially easy to enter this mindset during the school year when I’m not in the midst of doctors visits and vocal therapy and have little time and energy to devote to my voice. I start feeling that God has put me aside. He has moved on. He is done with me. He has taken a break. He is not concerned with my ongoing pain. Here’s the big point: these are all lies based off of mere human emotion and a desire to follow the heart rather than the truth of God’s word.
A few weeks ago the sermon at church was about this same idea and included Jeremiah 17:9 which says, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” Yo duh, people. (If you are a girl or know a girl, you should be nodding your head saying “amen”) The way we feel is typically not a legitimate basis for truth. Here’s an example: You are having a bad day. You slept through your alarm, showed up late to class. Studied the wrong material for your quiz, tripped up the stairs, dropped your tray at lunch, and found out your computer has crashed.You conclude your day by saying, “The world is against me.” You know this statement is false, but you feel like this statement is true. Do you see what I’m getting at? When we allow ourselves to listen to our hearts, we start to entertain and believe thoughts that reject truth and in most cases, God’s truth.
The only way to counteract this problem is to be aware of what is a lie and what is truth found in the bible. These are some common ones I deal with.
1. Emotion and lie: I am scared and cannot feel God’s presence.
Truth: “So do not fear, for I am with you…” Isaiah 41:10
” …he will never leave your or forsake you.” Deut 31:6
2. Emotion and lie: I am stressed and feeling overwhelmed. How am I suppose to handle it all?
Truth: “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
3. Emotion and lie: I’m tired of my struggle. It must not be worth it.
Truth: “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12
4. Emotion and lie: My pain continues. I feel like God has forgotten me and does not care.
Truth: “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10
5. Emotion and lie: Rather than tithe, I will save my money because I fear God will not provide.
Truth: “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19
God desires us to follow and pursue truth and sometimes that will mean rejecting the emotions of the heart .
Something I am guilty of is not memorizing scripture. I know a good few verses from Sunday school as a kid but I often neglect to make memorizing scripture a priority. It’s something I would like to change. I think we ignore the importance of knowing scripture without having the bible in front of us. Along with the grace and strength of the Holy Spirit, the Bible makes very the power of scripture in defending ourselves against lies. Look at Matthew 4:11. Jesus defended himself against every scheme and lie of the devil with scripture.
Believe me. I get that proclaiming truth doesn’t mean that our emotions automatically change. It’s a process. I like to say, “fake it ’til you make it”. That seems like a horrible thing to write but for me I sometimes have to keep telling myself truth until I really am confident in it. For example, if I’m dealing with fear, I know that Isaiah 41:10 (above) is true but yet my fear does not instantly leave. It’s something I have to keep reminding myself of daily and sometimes even hourly.
In the spirit of challenging friends to dump ice on their heads, I give you a new challenge: emotions can be deceiving and change hour to hour, so instead seek truth from a God who is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.
Seek truth from the one who created it.