Following Your Heart

by Sara DuVall

A thousand choices in the life—
A thousand voices in the strife—
“Follow your heart,” the world would say,
But deceit is its well-known way,
For feelings fade and wants will wane,
But only God’s truth stays the same.1
Once desire is fully sated
It becomes a thing most hated2
When it cannot satisfy
And you’ve been tricked by Satan’s lie.2
It is a mirage in the sand.
It is a vapor in the hand.
Doing what’s right in your own eyes
Is your demise in a disguise.3
The heart’s deceptive above all4
Ever since Adam and Eve’s fall.
Your mind is darkened, thoughts are dimmed
Since our first forbearers had sinned.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart.
Self-understanding isn’t smart.
Acknowledge Him in all your ways
And He will guide you all your days.5
Deny yourself, take up your cross6
For heavenly gain from worldly loss.7
The Bread of Life can fill your soul8
Where earth’s junk food never makes whole.
The Living Water quenches thirst.9
Carnal cups are drunkenness, cursed.10
The Great Comforter gives you peace11
When your heart’s confusion won’t cease.
His peace is passed understanding,12
Beyond chaos the world will bring.
His Word’s a lamp unto your feet.
He is the Light along your street.13
He offers you eternal joy.
The sirens’ song seeks to destroy.14
Go through the straits that lead ahead.
Steer to the side-crags and you’re dead.
If you’re enticed by your desires
They lead to sin and to hell’s fires.15
Delight in the Lord from the start.
He’ll give the desires of your heart.16
God’s judgments are worth more than jewels,17
But His wisdom’s folly to fools.18
The thing worth more than worldly wealth
Is fear of God and God Himself.19

  1. Matthew 24:35, Isaiah 40:8
  2. 2 Samuel 13:1-19, especially vs. 15
  3. Genesis 3:13
  4. Judges 21:25
  5. Jeremiah 17:9
  6. Proverbs 3:5
  7. Matthew 16:24, Mark 8:34, Luke 9:23
  8. Matthew 10:39, 16:25; Mark 8:35; Luke 9:24, 17:33; John 12:25
  9. John 6:51
  10. John 4:10, 4:13-14
  11. Isaiah 51:17
  12. Holy Spirit
  13. Philippians 4:7
  14. Psalm 119:105-106
  15. In Greek mythology, the sirens had beautiful enticing voices that lured sailors to their death. They lived on rocky crags on islands, and their home was covered with the bones of their victims, their flesh still rotting from them. Their song, if heard, was irresistible. In Homer’s Odyssey, they had to throw themselves into the sea and drown because Homer was able to resist their singing.
  16. James 1:14-15
  17. Psalms 37:3-5
  18. Psalm 19:7-11
  19. 1 Corinthians 1:18
  20. Proverbs 1:7

My footnotes mark Bible verses that inspired my own poetic verses. They are provided for you to study the Bible yourself concerning what it says, if you choose.

I don’t think I can count the number of times I hear, “Follow your heart,” in movies, especially movies targeting my children. It sounds nice, if people inherently had good hearts, but we don’t. We have sinful hearts. So if we listen to our hearts, then we listen to sin. It may feel good to follow your heart, but sin also feels good. I don’t know if I can describe how happy my two-year-old is as she runs away giggling with a cookie she knows she shouldn’t have yet. No one taught her that. She’s listening to her own inner desires. Maybe you want to hold on to a relationship that you know is wrong. Maybe you are depending on a substance when you know you shouldn’t. Maybe you’re looking at things you know don’t please God. Or maybe your desires are more subtle. As much as you enjoy it, it may just be wrong. The degree of your desire doesn’t shift the moral scale.

I really can’t think how much more antithetical “Listen to your heart” can be to the Bible. John 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” James 1:15 says that when we follow our desire, it “gives birth to sin, and sin when it has fully grown brings forth death.” The only thing we can trust is the Word of God. He has spoken truth through the veil to us who are blinded by our sin. He has shown His light into the darkness of the world. We can either listen or refuse, but our choice does not alter reality. If you are tempted to do something that directly contradicts the Word of God, then it’s just wrong. It doesn’t matter how badly you want it. A thief wants to steal but his desire for what is not lawfully his does not negate the fact that stealing is illegal. Sometimes my children want things only when they know they shouldn’t have them.

Now when you are a believer, God promises you the Holy Spirit, Who comes to live inside you. We listen to the Holy Spirit inside us, and He leads us the right way, but He is different than our own voice. Are you letting the Holy Spirit lead your life or are you letting your own desires? Who’s making your decisions? I know the difference between my own voice and the Holy Spirit’s voice. Now He doesn’t speak to everyone exactly the same obviously, because no one has the exact same relationship with Him inasmuch as two different people can have the exact same relationship with a mutual friend. There was a time I would not listen, and He removed His warnings from me, because I had made my decision. Please to not grieve the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30; Isaiah 63:10)! The Holy Spirit will never lead you to do anything contrary to what the Bible teaches.

You know, there are about three other ideas I have been wanting to write about, and try as I may, I just can’t right now, but I began writing this so easily this week, and I had no idea what I was writing until I got into it. I just felt led to pick up the pencil and write, even while my two girls ran around me. Maybe it was because I was thinking about that false message in the shows we’ve watched, or maybe it’s because Pentecost Sunday is coming up and God wants us to be mindful of who we are listening to, and to make effort to listen to Him.

Today, I pray that you may be Spirit-led instead of self-led. When you follow, He will take you beautiful places, better than anything you could want for yourself (1 Corinthians 2:9). God bless you today.

Reference

The Bible. English Standard Version, Crossway, 2001.

Homer. Odyssey. Trans. by Robert Fagles. Boyle County Schools. https://www.boyle.kyschools.us/UserFiles/88/The%20Odyssey.pdf. Accessed 20 May 2021.

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