Should You Look “Within Your Heart” To Find the Answers??

We are in the middle of three-part series detailing, “Things we believe that are not really in the Bible.”

Week One: Does God Really Want Us to be Happy – Above All Else?

Week Two: Should You Look Within Your Heart to Find the Answers?

Week Three: Is the Safest Place to be REALLY in the Will of God?


I have one daughter and one son.

I grew up reading books, watching television, and enjoying fun movies with both of my kids.

My daughter had a particular fascination with movies that featured stylish, pretty, young actors. For example, we watched numerous movies and shows from Mary Kate and Ashley, Hannah Montana, and Lizzie McGuire.

Would you like to find God's will for your life? Get in on His plans? Should you look within your heart for the truth? Or, is there a better way? This article offers biblical truths and scriptures to help you to know how to proceed - how to make wise decisions for your life. Why not drop by for a moment of hope and practical wisdom?

Most of these shows were tame, family-friendly fare filled with lots of shopping, cute outfits, and cute boys.

However, there was a subtle message that ran through these movies that now occasionally runs through the heart and the words of my girl.

I can sum up this message best by sharing a movie line from one of those shows we watched:

“I wish I could tell you what to do, but I can’t.

All I can say is… follow your heart. 

It’ll tell you what is right.”

Lizzie McGuire” (2001)

“Follow your heart.”

We say this sometimes without even thinking about it.

It’s a common theme in today’s culture.

It may come out more like:

“You have to do what feels right for you. Do not let anyone influence you otherwise.”

(Elizabeth Berrien)

“Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” 

(Steve Jobs)

“You know the truth by the way it feels.” 

(bdclifeinstyle.com)

“Sometimes you just have to stop thinking so much and just go where your heart takes you.”

(Love My Dress)

“Your vision will become clear when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.”  

  (Carl Jung)

All of this sounds so good.

So culturally correct.

So hip and current.

So relevant.

But, is all of this really true and good?

Do we really want to look to our own hearts for all of the answers?

Will our hearts show us the way to go?

Could I answer by sharing a few words from the Bible about our hearts?

Jeremiah 17:9“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?” (NLT)

In The Message, Jeremiah 17:9 reads, The heart is hopelessly dark and deceitful, a puzzle that no one can figure out.

In Matthew 15:18, Jesus said, For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.”

In Proverbs 28:26, we are told, “He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but whoever walks wisely will be delivered.”

Would you like to find God's will for your life? Get in on His plans? Should you look within your heart for the truth? Or, is there a better way? This article offers biblical truths and scriptures to help you to know how to proceed - how to make wise decisions for your life. Why not drop by for a moment of hope and practical wisdom?

So, do we really want to trust our hearts if:

  • Our hearts are incredibly deceitful?
  • Our hearts are desperately wicked?
  • They are where so much ugly comes from?
  • Following them makes us foolish and unwise?

Consider further the words about following your heart from a few wise folks:

“How horrifically dangerous is it to follow our feelings, desires, and emotions?

Those things change all the time.

They can change with a phone call, a word of criticism or a traffic jam.

If we truly followed them, we’d be all over the map with our decisions.”  

 (Shane Pruitt, Relevant Magazine)


“If we make our hearts gods and ask them to lead us, they will lead us to narcissistic misery and ultimately damnation.

They cannot save us, because what’s wrong with our hearts is the heart of our problem.”

(Jon Bloom, Desiring God)


“The truth is, we can’t follow our hearts fully. It’s dangerous.

Any definition of success that starts with, revolves around, and ends with ourselves is doomed to disappoint.”

(Alex Cain, Christianity.com)


So, if it’s dangerous to follow our own hearts, what are we to do instead?

How can we make decisions that are wise and not narcissistic?

I’d like to suggest a four-part plan that you and I can follow to find God’s best for our lives:

First, Seek His Will in All You Do.

Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”

trust-in-the-lord-with-all-your-heart-do-not-depend-on-your-own-understanding-seek-his-will-in-all-you-do-and-he-will-show-you-which-path-to-take

Go to the Lord with your choices, decisions, dilemmas, and issues.

Spend time in prayer asking Him what to do next. Open the Bible. Read it, get to know it, study it, and use it.

Don't look into your heart for life's answers; look to the One who created your heart. Click To Tweet

Second, Ask God to Speak to You.

Jeremiah 33:3 “Pray [Call] to me, and I will answer you. I will tell you important secrets [great and hidden things] you have never heard [known] before.”

Invite God to teach you, lead you, and show you what to do. Ask Him to reveal His will to you very plainly and very clearly.

How do you do this?

Third, Be Open & Aware. Listen!

God still speaks in our day and in our lives.

He speaks primarily through His Word. And, you don’t have to go on a hunt, for Him to speak through the Bible. Just read your next devotion, your next Bible reading, or your next chapter.

God can speak through any Bible text to get a message to you. He can “highlight” a word of instruction anywhere in scripture to speak to you.

He also speaks through sermons, podcasts, radio devotions, and Christian songs. Our God is able to use the words of a sermon or a song to lead us and to give us insights.

Further, the Lord can use godly friends and mentors to give us wisdom. Time spent with those who love Him and love us can often open up some great ideas about how to proceed.

There’s nothing mystical about all of this. God can use anything and anyone any time He wishes to speak to His children. He is God.

Our job is to be open and aware, looking and listening for Him to speak into our lives.

How do we make sense of it all?

Fourth, Put It All Together on Paper.

To enhance this process and to make it easier to follow, why not put all of this onto one sheet of paper?

Years ago, our friend Bob Sorrell showed us a wonderful technique for clearly finding God’s leading in your life.

He suggested that you write a very specific question at the top of a page.

For example, you might ask:

  • Lord, do You want me to take this job?
  • Do You want me to go back to school?
  • Is this the right person for me to marry?
  • Should I retire this year?
  • Should I get involved with this ministry?
  • How much money would You like me to give to this project?
  • What type of car should we buy?
  • Where should my child go to college?

Then, you fill in the page with everything God gives you over the next weeks or months.

As you read a great verse that pertains, you write it down. When your pastor mentions something in a sermon that pertains, you jot this down.

As things begin to happen around you, make notes. When friends make helpful comments, write this down.

Eventually, you will get to an answer – a solution. You will know what to do.

To assist you in using this process, I’ve created a printable. Just right click, save, and print it out.

Would you like to find God's will for your life? Get in on His plans? Should you look within your heart for the truth? Or, is there a better way? This article offers biblical truths and scriptures to help you to know how to proceed - how to make wise decisions for your life. Why not drop by for a moment of hope and practical wisdom?

James 1:5 “If any of you needs wisdom, to know what you should do, you should ask God, and he will give it to you. God is generous to everyone and doesn’t find fault with them.”

To illustrate this whole process, let me share a final story.

Years ago, our family was trying to make a big decision that would impact all of us. I contacted one of my wise mentors for advice and to ask her to pray.

In reply, she sent me the most interesting word picture of what it is like to follow God’s plans for our lives.

She suggested that I think of following God’s will much like walking through a dark night with only a small flashlight to light the path. God usually doesn’t lead using large spotlights or huge flashlight. Instead, He leads us with a very small flashlight.

To follow Him, we have to stay close to Him so that we can clearly see the next step to take. Usually, He will only open up one step at a time. We won’t be able to look down the path or a few steps ahead.

Rather, we will press in close to Him, follow the light, and only take that step that is directly in front of us.

Are you looking for direction today? Seeking the next step for your life?

Don’t look into your heart!

Instead:

  1. Seek God’s will in all you are doing.
  2. Ask God to Speak to You.
  3. Be Open & Aware. Listen!
  4. Put It All Together on Paper.
In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:6 Click To Tweet

Related Articles:

http://www.relevantmagazine.com/god/why-following-your-heart-really-bad-idea

http://www.christianity.com/christian-life/spiritual-growth/seven-habits-of-truly-effective-living-11610543.html?p=0

http://www.countrymessenger.com/focus-on-faith-don-t-follow-your-heart/article_9c1f2759-2558-52d2-b78a-5add6eb13efc.html

http://www.lifeway.com/Article/sermon-guard-your-heart-part-1-proverbs-4


Were you encouraged today?

Would you share this article with a friend, co-worker, or family member?

Maybe you can send it to a friend or family member?

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© Melanie Redd and Ministry of Hope, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner are strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Melanie Redd and Ministry of Hope with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.



About helloredds@gmail.com

Blessed wife of Randy for over 25 years, mom to two great college students, blogger, women's ministry coach, speaker and author who is amazed by God's grace-

14 thoughts on “Should You Look “Within Your Heart” To Find the Answers??

  1. I love your message here! We can subtly get sucked into the idea that our heart will lead us where we need to be. I love your tweet about looking to the one who created our heart for the answers. Thank you for sharing such wonderful truth!

  2. Love this, Melanie! I believe one of the reasons we want to follow our hearts is because we’re a little afraid God will lead us somewhere we don’t want to go. That whole pick up your cross and follow me message. The problem is we sacrifice His best for us when we go it on our own. And of course, peace is hard to find then, too! Blessings and thanks for this!!

    1. Thank you, Deb!
      You bless me with your kind words.
      And, I think you are so right – we get nervous when we start thinking about picking up our cross and following Him wholeheartedly!

  3. Such a great message, Melanie! Society does lead us to believe that just because we want something or are drawn to it with our feelings (heart), we should follow it.

    I also want to add that when we are closely following Jesus and His Word, we can often sense when something is not right. Our mold experience is an example. After moving into this home almost 2 years ago, I couldn’t feel peace here. It never felt like “home”. I tried to write it off as simply an effect of all the construction and repairs we had to do, plus just the exhaustion from moving. But it was more. Then we began getting sick. I was beginning to feel as though the enemy was attacking us. After so many doctors and not really good answers, I began sensing something was wrong with the house and to keep looking. Well, eventually, mold was found. A lot of it. It was unseen to the eyes and growing behind the drywall because of a flood that was undisclosed at the time of purchase. Even during inspection, one room the mold guys thought would be a waste of money to test turned out to be the worst room in the whole house! He had tried to talk me out of doing the air test in there, but I said I cannot get past this sense in my spirit that this room needs to be checked. I told him I felt God was insisting I check it. He was beyond shocked when it came back with ridiculously high numbers and his faith nudged 🙂 Sometimes I think in the busyness of life, we dismiss when God impresses something upon us in more of a supernatural kind of way. But, in the same breath, those impressions can only be trusted when we are firmly entrenched in the Word of God and walking closely with Him. Otherwise it could simply be your inaccurate “feelings” or “heart” you are listening to!

    Goodness! Sorry for the long post! I just had to share my story since it is still so fresh in my mind!!!

    Hugs,
    Lori

    1. Share away, Lori!
      What a good word and a great example of how God can use our lack of peace to lead us. I didn’t mention that one in the article, but peace (or the lack of it) can also be great indicators that we are following God’s leading!
      I’m so glad you followed through on your unease and found that mold. Praying that your whole family will heal and feel much better sooner.
      Sure am blessed by you~
      Melanie

  4. Oh Melanie, this is so good! Wow! I have missed visiting with you and being encouraged by your words. I’m really looking forward to reading the rest of the series. GOD bless you, Beautiful! 🙂

  5. I know what you mean, Melanie, because a heart that does not have the Holy Spirit dwelling in it can really lead us astray. But for those of us who have the Spirit of God within us, I think sometimes those heart desires are put there by God. The Holy Spirit can give us discernment as to whether those things we desire are right or are just selfish. And, of course, any desire that is contrary to God’s word would be totally wrong.

    Your advice to pray about it and seek God’s will is the best thing we can do. And I don’t mean to contradict what you said, because I know those movies and shows that tell you to believe in yourself or look inside yourself are not coming from a belief in God. I just wanted to point out that with the Holy Spirit, not all of our heart’s desires will be bad.

    Many blessings to you!

    1. Hey Gayl,
      Thanks so much for stopping by to leave a comment today.
      nd, yes, the Holy Spirit is so important in discerning God’s best for our lives. I think I hear exactly what you are saying. And, I so agree – prayer is so crucial too.
      It’s always good to hear from you!
      Hope you have a blessed day~
      Melanie

  6. YES, I hate that phrase, ‘Listen to your heart,’ and when I do listen to what my heart says my heart does deceive me. Seeking God’s truth is the only way to know the way we should go, and I’m really thankful for you sharing this wisdom. Thank you sister. <3 I'm so thankful I found you via the Moments of Hope Link Up.

    1. Hey Emily,
      Thanks so much for stopping by to leave a kind word today!
      You are so right that our hearts can really deceive us. We have to be careful, don’t we?
      It’s great to connect with you through Moments of Hope.
      I hope you have a wonderful day~
      Melanie

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