Lies of the Devil (Part 1): God Wants You to Follow Your Heart

August 25, 2011 — 2 Comments

Lies of the devil. Those things that sound like they are from God, when in reality they will lead to your destruction. There are a lot of them, but over the next few weeks, I’ll be looking at four:

1. God wants you to follow your heart.
2. God has a perfect will for your life.
3. When you put your faith in God, your life will be easy.
4. Your faith is a private matter.

Let’s look at the first lie: God wants you to follow your heart. Another way you’ll hear this phrased is that God wants you to follow your passions.

Don’t believe it. Not even for a second.

First, we need to understand what the Bible means when it talks about the heart.

1. The heart never refers to simply the emotions. It is the center of one’s being.

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. (Proverbs 4:23, NIV)

2. The heart is where a person believes and exercises faith.

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. (Romans 10:9-10, NIV)

3. The heart contains the “hidden person” – the REAL person.

Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel—rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. (1 Peter 3:3-4, NKJV)

It is also important to note that historically, the church has shied away from the idea of telling people to “following your passions” or to be a “passionate believer” (which, by the way, is especially big among my artistic brethren). The reason for that is simple: we aren’t supposed to follow our passions (or our base emotions). Instead, we are to live according to God’s Word.

It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister. The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before. (1 Thes. 4:3-6, NIV)

The bottom line is this: The last thing the Devil wants you to do is to think about how you should act. He prefers that you follow your emotions.

As a pastor, I continue to watch people throw away their reputations, their careers, their marriages, and their families because they “followed their heart” (their emotions) rather than following God. Don’t become a statistic. Wake up to the fact that Satan desires to trap you. Before you decide to follow your heart, take a moment to reflect on where your actions will take you if you follow them to their logical conclusion. Think about what it will be like to tell your spouse that you’re having an affair. Imagine the look on your child’s face when you reveal to them that you won’t be in their life as much as you’ve been. Consider what it will feel like to tell your love one that you’ve lost your job due to an addictive behavior that started with looking at or doing something you knew better than to look at or do.

Think about the carnage of following your heart.

Then choose to follow God.

Question: What do you think about the concept of following your heart/passions being contrary to the Bible. Do you agree or disagree? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Pat Callahan

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I'm a picker. I'm a grinner. I'm a lover. And I'm a sinner. I make my music in the sun.

2 responses to Lies of the Devil (Part 1): God Wants You to Follow Your Heart

  1. Hi Pat,

    Good post! I think you are bringing a good balance to our whimsical desires versus having purpose and principles that check us. Our passions are important. They inform us. They lead us. But, they are not always correct. My fear is in people rejecting them all together out of fear, however. I think many follow bad passions because good ones are never allowed to be explored in healthy ways. So I very much agree with you, but with some caution to the few who go further than I know you are going with this.

    • Hey Rich…

      Great points. I would respond by saying this: whether good passion or bad passion, they all need to be checked against the counsel of Scripture. To wit – it is a very good thing to be "passionate" about the ministry one is involved in. However, that same passion can lead to all sorts of carnage in families from people who put the "good passion" of ministry over their responsibilities as spouses and parents.

      I would contend that we have allowed an unfortunate redefinition to occur for the word passion. Biblically there is never an instance where the word "passion" is used in a positive context.

      I think when believers refer to our "passions" or being "passionate" we have been subtly suckered into a way of thinking that will ultimately hurt us. Better to talk about emotions, if that is what we are referring to, or to dreams or goals or pursuits if that is what we mean.

      In my opinion, sloppy language can lead to sloppy thinking which will lead to sloppy behavior.

      I'd be interested in your thinking on this.

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