The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick;
who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9 ESV)
Welcome to St Clement’s! Our hearts are amazing organs that literally mean we are alive. With every heart-beat they pump our blood around our bodies so that we stay alive. But as we painfully know, our hearts get sick, stop functioning as they should, and eventually stop working all together. Doctors and modern medicine can wonderfully help, but they cannot keep us alive forever.
Just as our hearts physically get sick, the prophet Jeremiah writes in the verse above that spiritually the heart is desperately sick and the greatest source of deceit. My heart, as a kind of spiritual central processing unit, deceives me with lies so often. It says I’ll get joy or satisfaction or delight in things other than God. It even says I’ll get joy or satisfaction or delight in sin! So often I follow my heart, rather than follow my Saviour, as we’ve been learning to do in Luke’s gospel. Our hearts are indeed deceitful and desperately sick, so what can we do?
Rather than follow our heart, we need to ‘direct our heart’ as Jon Bloom helpfully puts it in a recent book he’s written called ‘Don’t Follow Your Heart’. He says this:
‘Your biggest problems in life are heart problems. And they often occur because you begin to follow your heart’s direction rather than direct your heart. So this book is to help you “be wise, and direct your heart in the way” (Prov. 23:19).’
Over thirty-one short and easy to read chapters this book is like a spiritual doctor’s appointment or a spiritual car service. Your heart will be tuned and directed by God as you meditate and apply God’s word to your heart, so that more and more you might take up your cross daily and follow Jesus, rather than follow your heart.
I heartily recommend it, pun intended!
p.s. You can download ‘Don’t follow your heart’ for free on the Desiring God website.
and then select ‘Download’. To buy the actual book it seems you’ll need to get it from an internet bookseller.