One of the best lessons I have learned from the Bible......
DON'T FOLLOW YOUR HEART.
Yes, you read correctly.
Crazy, isn't it? We are taught at a very young age to.... "follow your heart." While I have no doubt that, that advice was well meant and at times can produce a positive result, many, many times, this advice will lead you astray.
Here is what God has to say about following your heart....
"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?" Jeremiah 17:9
Does this mean your heart is always going to lead you astray? No, there are times your heart will direct you correctly, however, I have found that is only when my heart is aligned with my Spirit. The Spirit that Christ has placed within my heart, to guide me each and ever day.
If I always followed what my heart wanted..... there could possibly be individuals with bodily harm done to them, I may be living on an isolated island far, far away, many of my personal relationships would more than likely be extremely damaged and I would probably be in debt beyond my eye balls!!
So, you see, the heart IS NOT your best guide. Our heart can be very selfish and really struggles with seeing beyond our temporary troubles and trials. My heart has been in some very dark places. I have struggled with depression, anxiety and feelings of hopelessness and desperation.
I have had to fight and dig my way out of these dark pits and claim what God has proclaimed is rightfully mine, when I have Him residing in my heart, and that is JOY!
Here is the thing, my JOY does not come from worldly gain or temporary pleasures anymore. Oh, it used to. But in the last few years of journeying through some extremely difficult life situations that left me feeling empty and numb, my JOY was redefined!
I can now find JOY even in my darkest moment. And you know what? So can you!
Here is the secret!
Don't live in your heart. Your heart will often mislead you with temporary emotions. LIVE IN YOUR SPIRIT!!!
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The Spirit of Christ will lead you away from you and your heart and put your focus on what brings true JOY.
I place Jesus first, above ALL else in my life. By doing so, He naturally takes the desire away to place myself first and to dwell in the dark places of my heart. Yes, I may still struggle with this, but by persevering and placing my trust in Him, he is faithful to place my focus on His goodness, His promises and His never failing mercy.
Next, He redirects my focus to the crux of Christianity..... serving OTHERS! Nothing, I mean NOTHING brings my heart more JOY than serving others for Christ. I will tell you, there are many times I don't want to and God has to basically catapult me in the direction of service He is desiring, but once I do this and place my focus on OTHERS needs, suddenly, my temporary troubles begin to lose their power over me. Seriously, it can be something as small as sending someone an encouraging email or text, or seeing an immediate need and filling it. My greatest JOY has come from the little every day things God has called me to do, that often we may look at, as pointless.
But... I promise you.... every good deed God calls you to..... serves a GREAT purpose. You may just not see it!
Lastly, He will place my focus on me (You). Making sure I am taking care of myself, doing good things for my body, mind and Spirit. He will provide my soul rest when I need it and He will place the right people in my path at just the right time to help ease my troubles.
So, bottom line, often, your heart will not naturally rest in JOY. You may have to LEAD your heart, kicking and screaming to JOY, by yanking it's focus off YOU and placing it in the proper order! I PROMISE!!! Once you put your focus on JESUS.... He will do the rest!!!!!
Today.... I can find JOY..... because in Christ.... I am a woman redeemed!!!
Peace and Blessings