I would like to tell every one that the heart is full of goodness and that you can always follow your heart! At one time in my life I no doubt believed this but as I grew older, I came to understand that the heart cannot be followed for man is inherently evil!
Even without scripture, I understood that men have evil hearts and if followed all the time, evil will prevail! Look at the current political system!
Traditions of Men
Several years ago as I listened to a minister give advise to a gentleman who was going through a divorce, the last words he told that person was, if you follow your heart, it will be ok!
Immediately, I interrupted the conversation.( Note here: I was not living a godly life and was not following Jesus at the time.) I said, you cannot follow your heart, it will cause you problems! The minister was instantly offended and challenged me in this and ask me where is the scripture for this accusation? Of course, me not reading my bible or following Jesus, I had no idea. I just know it was truth!
Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
Here was the scripture I so desperately needed to share with that gentleman. I left there regretting not knowing where that scripture could be found. I wish I could tell you this made me seek forgiveness and start following Jesus but it didn’t.
It just made me more resentful of the ministers in my area as most of them would back up the false statement and information this one had given out!
It was a traditional teaching in the local churches. Honey, just follow your heart!
A Mans Heart is Evil from his Youth!
Genesis 8:20-22 KJV
20 And Noah builded an altar unto the Lord; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.
21 And the Lord smelled a sweet savour; and the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.
22 While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.
Before the flood God spoke to Noah and instructed him to build the ark. He said that mens heats had become evil and that their thoughts were evil continually. In the scripture above, God says, “for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth”.
I believe it was Job who said, “Man that is born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble”. I know this is not necessarily related but it can be.
The heart of man causes him much trouble.
It was Saul’s heart that caused him to disobey Gods instructions from Samuel. When we follow our hears, we will be sure to find trouble!
The Psalmist David proclaimed, “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me”.
The wisdom of Solomon on the Heart
12 Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honour is humility.
Mans heart cannot be trusted and his heart is full of pride. Pride brings us to destruction. In this same book of Proverbs we find, “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.”
19 As in water face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man.
20 Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.
A mans words will reveal who he is. Learn to listen to what people say!
What is in your Heart?
Here we find Jesus addressing the religious leaders of his day!
24 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.
18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.
Mens words defile them because their hearts are evil!
19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:
Look at all the evil that resides in the heart of man!
The Conversion of the Heart
Surely by now we realize that the heart of man has to be converted!
35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.
So, how do we become this good man that brings forth good things? We must be born again! Just as Jesus told Nicodemus.
Except yer repent, ye shall all likewise perish! What does repenting consist of? For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: Godly sorrow causes a person to be sorrowful of their sinful ways and sorrowful that they have sinned against the God of creation.
It causes one to see his sins in the light of a holy God and be sorrowful for it confessing his sins and submitting to the higher authority of God! it causes one to confess that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God!
Establish your Heart
1 Thessalonians 3:13
13 To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.
1 Peter 3:14-15
15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
16 Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.
This goodness can only come form the spirit of God within us. Within ourselves, we can do no good! But with Christ, all things are possible!
Remember, A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things.
A discerner of our Hearts .
12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Here we find the scripture is the discerner of our hearts. It is these very scriptures that reveal our sin through the law ans show us a great need of a savior!
Who can know the hear of man? Only God, and if you sill search the scriptures prayerfully and listen, he will reveal it to you through his word!
Remember what Peter said above! "sanctify the Lord God in your hearts". This is the only thing that will change a wicked heart!