Have you ever been given the advice to just follow your heart? Well, it's bad advice since it's completely misleading.
It's wrong to think that our heart can direct us in such a way that it actually gives us purpose. Media, books and sometimes even experts will tell you that your heart has a roadmap to success and true happiness. If it did, it'd be a terribly drawn one.
I admit that at one point, I found the idea of following the heart liberating and exciting. There's nothing wrong with having desires and passions. They can actually do us some good. But the thing about our desires and passions is that they are best lead by us, and not them leading us.
The Heart Needs to Be Guarded, Not Followed
Proverbs 4:23 (NIV) tells us this: "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it."
Solomon in His wisdom knew that the heart needed guarding. It's best kept on a leash and tamed, not given a leadership mantle in your life. It's ironic how it was ultimately his heart, which led him to marry many women, that lead to his downfall.
Our hearts are best guarded, weighed, measured and surrendered to God. They are not to be let loose freely to dream up whatever we want it to. There's a reason why God gave us a brain and a spirit to balance our hearts out.
The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things
Jeremiah 17:9 tells us more about why the heart is in no condition to lead: "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?"
The problem with our heart is that it is deceiving even itself. We'd like to think that our hearts are pure. But sin has stained it completely such that it cannot even begin to lead in a righteous and productive way.
Left to their hearts alone, people would end up pursuing their own selfish desires without taking into consideration the needs of others or God. The heart insists that our ways are always better, our opinions are always right and our desires must always come first.
Who Then Should Lead Us?
Our hearts are bad leaders. But where our hearts may fail, God's Spirit does not. It is then only proper that we be led always by the Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit is not only good for leading us in prayer, prophecy or tongues, but in everything we do on a day-to-day basis. The Bible likens Him to a counsellor—someone who can guide and advise us in any area of life.
And, moreover, as the Holy Spirit comes into us, He renews our heart and removes the sin that prevents the healing of our broken heart. Ezekiel 36:26 says, "And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh." Even the heart needs to be lead by the Spirit of God.
Our heart cannot lead us to purpose, satisfaction or freedom. Only God can do that. We are to fix our eyes on the One whose very heart wants to give us hope and a future. Jesus wants to lead us not just to life, but life eternal. Question is, will you follow Him?