During our town’s community days this year, my son was given a big red heart on a stick. It was for an advertisement of the medical group that had recently built a hospital in our little town. A few weeks later, shortly after eating lunch, my son grabbed the heart and began playing with it. I gave him the five-minute warning to get ready for quiet time. Knowing that “quiet time really meant nap time, he tried to argue with me, telling me he didn’t want nap time. I reminded him, as I had done other days when there had been a resistance, that he needed quiet time every day to give his body some time to rest and recharge. I then reiterated, though a little sterner this time, that he had five more minutes to play.
I thought the issue was settled as I watched him walk over to his toddler-sized rocking chair and take a seat. He sat for a few moments in silence, looking down at the floor. Then, still looking down at the floor, not wanting to make eye contact with me, he slowly raised the heart on a stick and said, “My heart says no nap today.” I laughed and said, “Sorry, son. Your heart is misleading you in this case.”
While the interaction with my son was funny and full of toddler adorableness, it stuck with me and left me meditating on how much my own heart misleads me. Sometimes, my heart steers me towards things that may not seem all that bad; things that I feel would make me happy. My heart wants the life of comfort, the bigger house, the newer car, a secure and financially rewarding job. My heart tells me I deserve all these things. Those things are not bad in and of themselves, but you see, my heart tends to make these things idols, putting them above God in my life, sometimes without me even realizing it.
My heart also stirs towards revenge and retaliation when I am hurt or wronged, even when is it my own husband (or should I say, especially when it is him or someone close to me), toward someone who has caused me pain. Really, in most cases, at the center of my heart is selfishness and self-focus. It definitely isn’t always God-focused.
Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is more deceitful than anything else, and incurable – who can understand it?” Matthew 15:19 says, “For from the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, sexual immoralities, thefts false testimonies, slander.”
Thankfully, though, there is hope. In Ezekiel 36:26-27, God gives the promise “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. I will place my Spirit within you and cause you to follow my statutes and carefully observe my ordinances.”
As I press more and more in to God, building my relationship with Him by reading His Word, walking in obedience, and repenting when I miss the mark, He gives me a new heart, one that has His Spirit. With this new heart, my focus starts becoming less and less about me and becomes more and more about Him.
#Dontfollowyourheart #heartisdeceitful #newheart #heartofflesh