In the past few months, I’ve embarked on a reinvention process that has seen me question everything I’ve ever believed including the very foundations of my faith.
I found that most of our beliefs are rooted in years of indoctrination rather than a process of personal discovery.
Most of us don’t take time to do the critical thinking required to reach a point of personal conviction and well-rounded perspective about our beliefs. We simply settle for what we have absorbed from our parents, religious leaders, peer groups and other societal influences.
Yet, it’s the rebels and troublemakers who have the courage to question fundamental beliefs or break out of society’s norms that end up pushing the frontiers of knowledge, pioneering positive change and becoming leading lights for the rest of the society.Are your beliefs founded on indoctrination or a process of personal discovery? Click To Tweet
I’m reminded of this as I contemplate the various reactions that greeted my Facebook post where I said “Follow your heart. Even if you end up in the pit, you would have at least satisfied your curiosity.”
I appreciate the respondents and I know them well enough to affirm that they are truth seekers whose comments are born out of a genuine desire to understand my position and ensure that I was not falling into error.
However, I imagine that many others would have simply glossed over their incomplete comprehension of this insight, thus discarding it without enquiring further. Such people are always learning new things, yet they are never able to understand the truth (See 2Timothy 3:5-7).
It’s this kind of mindset that keeps people bound with a myopic world view which does not allow them to see beyond the spectrum of their personal philosophy or religious doctrines. I know this because I’ve been there. I had to consciously exercise my mind to break free.
If you mount the pulpit of a typical evangelical church to preach a message about following your heart, I can almost guarantee that you will be stopped in your tracks or at best, your message will meet with mental rejection. This is because most people would consider it strange doctrine.
They have been taught that following one’s heart is the exact opposite of following the voice of God – or the leading of the Holy Spirit. Consequently, they erroneously believe that following one’s heart could actually mean going against the will of God.
To them, the true sign of spirituality is being able to silence one’s heart so that one can hear what God is saying. But is that really the case?
Maybe I should have started by defining “heart” but that would at best be an imperfect attempt, like trying to define electricity. The goal of definition is understanding; and there are more ways than one to arrive at understanding. I’ll go by the way of questions and illustrations.
Please don’t just gloss over these questions. Make a definite attempt to answer them:
1. When the woman with the issue of blood thought within herself and took action on what she thought, would you say the Holy Spirit spoke to her or she simply followed her heart? (Matthew 9:21)
2. When Rahab decided to hide the spies in spite of the grave danger it might bring on her and her family, what would you say that she did if not that she followed her heart? (Joshua 2)
3. When the lepers at the gate of Samaria thought about risking death in the city instead of facing starvation in hiding, would you say they heard the voice of God or they followed their heart? (2Kings 7:3-9)
4. How was Jesus able to perform his very first miracle, saving an apparently distressed host from imminent embarrassment? Did Mary hear the voice of God telling her to acquaint Jesus with the situation or did she simply follow her heart? (John 2)Trust God with all your HEART... God communicates with our heart, not with our mental faculties. Click To Tweet
Your heart is the centre of your being (Proverbs 4:23). It is that core which proceeds from and is intimately connected with the Father of spirits. Some call it conscience, others call it spirit. Unlike the mind, the heart does not work with FACTS, it thrives on TRUTH. Its stock in trade is INTUITION and REVELATION KNOWLEDGE, as opposed to INFORMATION and DEDUCTIVE REASONING.
Why do you think the Bible instructs us to Trust in the Lord with all your HEART and lean not on your own UNDERSTANDING? It’s because God communicates with our heart, not with our mental faculties.
As we follow our heart, we will find that we’re following the voice of God. Is this always true? For the regenerated man, the answer to this is a certain “Yes!” because God has made your heart His home. The voice of your heart thus becomes the voice of God.
There is a way that seems right to a man’s understanding; yet its end is the way of death. But the man who patiently listens and reverently follows his heart will not perish. Even if he stumbles, he will not fall. And if he falls, he will rise again.
There’s a lot more to be said about training the heart and keeping a tender conscience in relation to our ability to receive divine direction but that’s not the purpose of this post. If you need to explore that further, please talk to your pastor or post your question in the comments.