"Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand." Matthew 4:17
"For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" Matthew 16:26

Following Your Heart

There is a very popular saying, “follow your heart”. Oftentimes it is used as advice when someone doesn’t know what to do. It sounds delightful and even brings a sense of warmth and comfort.  Besides, nothing’s more comfortable than doing what feels natural to us. It’s so common that you may even find yourself saying it. So it “sounds” good, but is it Biblical? Should we follow our hearts?  The LORD GOD through the Prophet Jeremiah had something astounding to say, which we can use as our foundational verse: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9 So this sets the stage and should have already answered the question, following your heart is absolutely not Biblical, neither is it the will of GOD. Would you want to follow something that is deceitful, desperately wicked, and cannot be known? Of course not. Usually “follow your heart” means – do what feels right. Do what feels natural to you. What they really mean is “follow your feelings.” The big problem with this again is what Jeremiah 17:9 says. And it doesn’t take a scientist to tell you that emotions and feelings can change from second to second, hundreds of times per day. The Word of GOD affirms, “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” James 1:8 “Even smells can provoke such strong emotional reactions in certain people, even if they are not aware of the reason why.” Emotions override logic, sound decision-making and proper judgment. When we feel strongly about something we can easily deceive ourselves into thinking it’s GOD’s will. So far it doesn’t sound like our emotions or heart are trustworthy sources to rely on. But there’s more. They can change so quickly! Feelings make us cry one hour and laugh the next. They behave better when circumstances are good, and they act up during periods of waiting and change. Listen to what the Bible says is contained in the heart of people: “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren.” James 1:14-16 “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man…” Matthew 15:18-20 The truth is, not all of our desires are good and pleasing to GOD. And even if the desire is good, we may not go about it the right away to get it. Did you know that the first commandment of the Satanist bible is “Do what thou wilt”? Do what you want, no matter what. No matter how it looks or who it hurts. You deserve it. Especially if “nobody” knows about it. The Popularity of Heart Following “Life is short, have an affair” is the motto of an official cheating website, with 100% members married.  It has 38 million worldwide subscribers! To give an idea, Canada has a population of 35 million, Greece 10 million. Subscribers consist of White house members, politicians, sadly even so-called Christians and Pastors. This doesn’t include regular online dating chat sites where somebody could possibly be unfaithful! People claim they “fall out of love” because they don’t “feel” happy or in love sometimes. People leave their husband or wife or many years and their children to pursue a few moments of pleasure with another person. They throw it all away resulting in years of regret, grief, consequences, big costs financially, and even suicide. “A moment of patience in a moment of anger saves you a hundred moments of regret” Someone in a fit of rage may physically assault someone and then spend years in prison away from their loved ones and everything they know. “Don’t do something permanently stupid just because you are temporarily upset.” Solomon asks, “Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?” Proverbs 20:9 The Holy Bible has a lot to say about the heart: “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.  So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” Romans 8:7-9 “The foolishness of man perverteth his way: and his heart fretteth against the LORD.” Proverbs 19:3 “Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honour is humility.” Proverbs 18:12 “A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself.” Proverbs 18:2 “People ignore GOD (including His direction and counsel) and then blame Him for the chaos and pain in their lives.” “Trust in Yourself” This saying goes along with many other New Age concepts and beliefs. Although not always easy to recognize, with some discernment you will see a pattern when you hear words such as “trust in yourself”, “believe in yourself”, or even “believe” and “have faith”. While some of these sound like they are taken from Bible verses, they are very dangerous and used completely out of context. If you remove the name of GOD or CHRIST from these sayings, they are worthless, New Age, and deceiving. ” The LORD shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things: Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail; our lips are our own: who is lord over us?” Proverbs 12:3-4 They say, “just focus on it, think about it or speak about it enough and it will happen”. No, the focus must always be on GOD and the rest will take care of itself (Matthew 6:33). See Psalms 112:7-8: ” …his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD, His heart is established and shall not be afraid…” The LORD JESUS CHRIST said: “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” John 15:5 The Scriptures Debunk “I am Strong” Mentality & Pride in Self “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41 “Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.” 2 Peter 3:17 “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” 1 Corinthians 10:12 It’s a sin not to enquire of the LORD and do whatever you want as we see the example of King Saul: “And enquired not of the LORD: therefore he slew him, and turned the kingdom unto David the son of Jesse.” 1 Chronicles 10:14 “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5 “He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.” Proverbs 28:26 The Heart Can Be… PROUD – Proverbs 28:25 FOOLISH – Proverbs 22:15 BOASTFUL – Psalms 10:3 MISCHIEVOUS – Psalms 28:3 FROWARD – Psalms 101:4 (Distorted, false, crooked, perverse/perverted) HARDENED – Hebrews 4:7 SET ON GOOD OR EVIL Colossians 3:2 TROUBLED – John 14:1   Scripture however tells us not to LET IT be troubled. Don’t let it be afraid of shifting your trust from yourself to CHRIST! Like letting go of the steering wheel. “Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.” Psalms 27:14 Going deeper into the matters of the heart, we see even more alarming truths from the Word of GOD. In his letter to the Christians, Paul writes: “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.” Hebrews 3:12 Jeremiah 17:5 says, “Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.” The Most Fearful Thought Under the right circumstances, our flesh is capable of any sin. Our greatest fear should be that we are unholy before the Holy GOD! “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” Hebrews 10:31 Remember, GOD sees our heart (Proverbs 21:2) and tries our heart (Thessalonians 2:4). The Right Way The Holy Bible not only warns about the “wrong” way, but also gives the solution. It says that we should lead our hearts. Proverbs 23:19 says,Hear thou, my son, and be wise, and guide thine heart in the way.” Apostle Paul adds:  “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” Galatians 5:16-25 “For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify (KILL, PUT TO DEATH, BECOME AS DEAD) the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” Romans 8:13-14 “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” James 4:8 What SHOULD Be In Our Hearts – The Fear of the LORD “And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them: And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me.” Jeremiah 32:29-40 Christians first received power after the Holy Ghost come upon them (Acts 1:8) not only to preach the Word, but also to live a holy life; not giving in to every temptation, lust, thought, emotion, feeling, etc. WHAT We Should Trust In – The Word of GOD “Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.” Mark 13:31 “The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.” Psalms 12:6 “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12 The Word of the LORD gives us wisdom to discern from right and wrong, and to keep our thoughts/attitudes in control. It will also quickly reveal anything unclean in our heart, bring godly conviction, and get us back on track. King Davis expresses it beautifully, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” Psalms 119:11 Also don’t listen to your disappointed heart, giving up on the LORD’s promises and waiting on Him. His Word is for sure, if we continue in Him. WHO We Should Trust In – The Unmovable, Unchanging The Scriptures assure us that the LORD is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8), with Him there is no variableness or shadow of turning (James 1:17), and cannot be tempted with evil (James 1:13). Cling to CHRIST Philippians 4:7 gives us a wonderful promise of comfort and hope, it writes, “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Our Pastor told the congregation a great piece of advice saying, “You must leave in order to cleave”. Dump the trash and filth from your life, anything that hinders, entangles or occupies too much (with the exception of GOD-given blessings such as children, family, etc), and cleave unto the LORD. To cleave means to stick, join, adhere, follow close/follow hard, glue. It’s the same word used in Genesis 2:24 (husband shall cleave to his wife and be one flesh), a wonderful representation of our relationship with the LORD. Romans 12:9 exhorts us to “Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.” Do the Will of GOD, Not Yours! The LORD JESUS CHRIST “And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.” Luke 11:2 Concluding, it is a trustworthy saying, “Not only ‘Thy will be done’, but also ‘my will NOT be done’”. – Pastor Sophocles Christodoulou All scriptures taken from the Authorized King James Bible (KJB). Capitalization/underlining emphasis by writer.
APOSTOLIC CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST