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Don’t Follow Your Heart

DontFollowYourHeart

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Someone has told you at some point to follow your heart.  Almost guaranteed.  And they may have been someone that wanted what was best for you and to see you grow.  But here’s the thing: that is the exact opposite of what we should do.  It is a lie that we have been told over and over again and begun to believe.

But here’s what Scripture says about the heart:

“This is what the LORD says: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the LORD… The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:5,9 NIV)

Now not everything that the Bible says about the heart is negative, there’s a lot about the heart that is actually positive, but those instances describe a heart which belongs to God, the Bible calls that a pure heart.

Whether you’re following God or not, don’t follow your heart.   If you are following God, you can look at it as following your heart but by doing so actually following His.  In this case, you’re still not following your own heart.  If you’re not following Jesus, your heart is going to lead you down destructive paths.


First of all:

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” (Proverbs 4:23 NIV).

Every action that you take will be a direct result of where your heart is at. But that doesn’t mean that you are to follow what your heart wants at all times.

I am a pretty independent person and have been since I was little.  So my plan for college was never to stay home and study online. I never thought that was going to happen.  But God had other plans.  A little over a year ago when I was figuring out what I was doing for school, I had to be willing to accept that His plans are better than what I had envisioned for myself.  But now that some things have changed, I’m feeling Him leading me to go to campus.  🙂

We have to be willing to wait for God’s timing, rather than doing them whenever we want.  Do I feel in some ways that I missed out because I wasn’t at school for my freshman and sophomore years of college? Yeah.  Do I realize that I wouldn’t be almost done with my sophomore year of college had I been on campus? Absolutely.  There are so many ways that God has shown me through the past few years that He is faithful and will never leave me (Deuteronomy 31:6) that it is indescribable.

Also, don’t forget that besides waiting sometimes the answer is just going to be no.  Sometimes you’ll wait and wait and wait thinking that His answer will turn into a yes, but the answer has been no all along and will remain no.

 “Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4 NIV).

When we place our focus first on God and not on the things of this world, He promises to give us the desires of our hearts. Look at the context of this verse. This passage of Scripture is all about trusting God with our lives, working for Him, and not becoming envious of what others have, among other things.

Here’s the thing: the Christian life isn’t about following random desires of the heart.  That will only lead to disaster when those desires come from a place of impurity remaining in our hearts.  The Christian life is about following God’s will in all things, no matter what our own hearts’ desire. 

Hey if you liked this post, go check out some others here:

Jesus Time

Waiting on God’s Timing

“Give Thanks to God”

 

 

 

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Christian Relationship Goals (Part 2)

ChristianRelationshipGoalsPart2_2Corinthians614

If you didn’t read Part 1 of this post from last week, go check that out and then come back here if you like to read things in order 😉

But just in case you didn’t read Part 1, last week I started writing about things we should look for in a future spouse.  And that post started getting really long, so I decided to cut it short and continue today. So hey there!

I’m just going to jump right in, the person that you’re thinking you’re going to spend the rest of you’re life with should have or be striving to have these qualities

#4: Encouraging 

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching (Hebrews 10:24-25 NIV).”

If you’re dating someone or you like someone and all they do is tear you down, you should probably say goodbye.  Now at the same time, think about if you’re tearing them down as well.  Don’t use that as an excuse to stay with them, because if you’re both extremely discouraging to one another, that’s not good and you know it.  However, you do need to be able to reflect on what you’re doing to be able to grow and learn from your mistakes.

 

#5: Fear of God 

Hebrews 10:25-26 addresses that we should all have a healthy fear of God and the fact that one day we all will stand before Him and be judged.   Someday we all must account for everything we have done, and if you have not trusted Jesus as your Lord and Savior to be the one to take your place on judgement day, my heart aches for you.

In the same way, if you are a Christian, your heart should ache for those who do not know Jesus.  Yet at the same time, you should not marry someone in an attempt to convert them.  That can only do more harm than good.

“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14 NIV)

ChristianRelationshipGoalsPart2_2Corinthians614

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:23 NIV).

#6: Humble 

To be a Christian and prideful is a complete oxymoron.  Pride is putting your trust in what you can do on your own and Christianity is putting your trust in Christ alone.  How opposite are those two things? As followers of Christ we should be modestly aware of our own abilities and strengths and focused more on Christ.

Humility is an attractive quality.  Arrogance is a not.  

But because pride has been encouraged so much in our culture, I think we have skewed the true definition of humility.  Humility is a choice; an action that we take.  Jesus was humble because He chose to be humble not because He was forced to be.

Take two different people working in two different positions: CEO and intern.  Does their position make determine whether they are prideful or humble? No.  The CEO could be the humble one and the intern could be the most prideful person you ever meet in your life.

We must choose to walk a life of humility, and we should look for a future spouse who does the same.  Why? First and foremost, Jesus lived humbly and we are to follow His example.  Second, we are told directly to be completely humble.

#7: Gentle 

I think this one speaks for itself, but to enter a relationship or potentially marriage with someone who is not gentle is dangerous.  This goes for in the way they speak as well as the way they act.  Not only for yourself, here, but if you plan on having children in the future.  (You have to think about the way this person speaks and acts around other people!)

#8: Patient 

Patience, people! How do they handle little things?  Or the big things? What is their response—is it to trust in the one who holds their future or is to just fold up under the pressure?

#9: Gracious 

Are they forgiving? Do they get over an argument quickly or do they hold on to stupid little things?

#10: Your Goals Align

Also a no-brainer.  If he/she wants to move to the other side of the country and your roots are planted right where you’re at, I think you may have a problem.  At the same time, that’s something that can be figured out.   You just have to figure out what is worth compromising on for you and what is not.  Things that I wouldn’t recommend compromising on–

  • Faith: “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14 NIV)  Without being judgmental, if there is no evidence of any of these qualities developing in their lives, you might have to ask yourself if they are really following Christ.
  • Career Goals  (Don’t be willing to settle for someone that wants you to put aside what God has called you to do for them.)
  • Family & Kids (If they prioritize their family on a significantly different level than you do, how is that going to play out long-term? Also, you need to know if you’re on the same page about wanting kids and when.

Liked this post? Go check out these ones:

Christian Relationship Goals (Part 1)

To My 15 Year Old Self

How We Should Use Social Media

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Christian Relationship Goals (Part 1)

ChristianRelationshipGoals_GraceUnbroken

This girl with (essentially) no relationship experience has decided that she’s going to start writing about Christian relationships as part of this blog.  Partly because, why not?  Partly because I think if the topic is avoided then Christian girls and guys are going to just pick the first person that comes along and think they were made for each other.  (Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that can’t happen but it generally doesn’t, sorry.)

So in case you haven’t been paying attention, which I’m sure you have, our culture (and I’m not just going to blame the media, it’s everywhere) likes to portray relationships as disposable.  And I’m not even necessarily talking just about romantic relationships; the general disregard for one another that people have in friendships, family relationships and romantic relationships never ceases to amaze me.

Culture says it’s okay to just up and leave when you’re simply done with a relationship, culture says it’s okay to be prideful and boast about your relationship. (#RelationshipGoals) Culture says that it’s okay to be mean-spirited.  That’s what culture does, but here’s what Scripture says:

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13 NIV).

 

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching (Hebrews 10:24-25 NIV).”

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:23 NIV).

I think one of the biggest things we need to do for each other as Christians is to encourage one another to grow.  And that doesn’t necessarily just mean spiritually.  Growth in every healthy area of our lives demonstrates growth in our faith when our faith is the most important area of our lives.

So let’s look back over those verses together, one at a time and lay out some ground work for what we should really be looking for in a Christian relationship.

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13).

#1: Love

I think this is kind of a no-brainer, but if you don’t love the person you’re with and believe that you could have a future with them (aka you want the same things)—ditch them. Now, that might seem like I’m going back on what I just said and also seem a little harsh, but I’m talking about a dating relationship here, not marriage.  So you’re still in the place where you’re figuring out how you feel about this person and if you have a future together.  Now if it’s like week one of dating and you don’t absolutely love them I’m not saying to break up with them, but if you’re a few years into dating someone and you really don’t know yet if you could have a future with them or not you might have an issue.

#2: Willingness to Sacrifice

This one kind of speaks for itself in that as Christians we should be willing to sacrifice for others in general, so when it comes to a romantic relationship this is no different.

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching (Hebrews 10:24-25 NIV).”

#3: Church Attendance –Meeting Together

I’m going to say something that you might not like, but you need to understand it. You’re not going to find a perfect church.  That’s because in the walls of a church you’re going to find a lot of broken, hurting people that are there because they need Jesus’ love and forgiveness just as much as you do.  We have to come to a point where we have a healthy view of the church as both the body and the bride of Christ, and for the purposes of this post the metaphor of the bride is most helpful. Jesus loves His bride, just as every girl hopes that her future husband will love her.  And if you’re a girl, wouldn’t you hope that your future groom would defend you if someone said they didn’t like  you?  What about if you’re a guy, imagine someone coming to you on your wedding day and saying they hated your bride. Seriously, what would you do? Jesus’ love for His bride is deep and He would not tolerate hatred or even distaste towards her.  So go to church… 😉

Check back next week for Part 2! Until then, check out these other posts!

Waiting on God’s Timing

Come to Me.

One Nation Under God

 

 

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What is Holiness?

This is a sponsored post that contains affiliate links. 

Hey guys, I’ve missed you!  So I’m back to blogging, but not going to be on social media still, so you can always contact me on here or on Facebook Messenger because I am still logged into that.

Anywho, I was just reading about God’s holiness in one of my theology books and wanted to talk about how we view holiness, because I think a lot of the time we get it wrong (or maybe it’s just me!)

I think we have a tendency to think that God’s holiness is something that it’s not—almost in a way that we think God is demanding the same level of perfection of us as He is perfect.  But what holiness really is is God setting the standard for righteousness for us of how He wants us to live.  Our gracious God, however, understands that we are going to fall.

Have you ever looked at an Old Testament law and thought, but why? If you haven’t thought that, you haven’t read the law books. (Just kidding.) He always has a reason for why He wants us to live in a particular way, even when it came to laws like this:

“‘Keep my decrees. ‘Do not mate different kinds of animals.’ ‘Do not plant your field with two kinds of seed.’ ‘Do not wear clothing woven with two kinds of material'” (Leviticus 19:19 NIV).

Is something like this infringing on free will or is it something that God put in place to protect those whom He loved? When the nation of Israel followed God’s commands, they were the healthiest nation in the world.  I don’t believe in coincidence ;).


So holiness isn’t God trying to make us work and work and work to achieve a goal we’ll never reach—that’d be cruel and God is not a cruel god.  However, as our Father who desires to protect us, He also has the authority to set standards for our lives.  It is 100% up to us whether or not we choose to obey those standards, but if we disobey the standards that our heavenly Father has set for us, we are also choosing to deal with the consequences of doing so.  

However, we can choose to walk in obedience.  Jesus makes it pretty simple:

“If you love me, keep my commands” (John 14:15 NIV).

IfYouLoveMeKeepMyCommands_John1415

Can it get any simpler than that? If you truly love Jesus you will do as He instructs you to.  It’s pretty clear if we look at the example of the biblical writers that we’re going to mess up because we’re humans and we have free will.  However, we should be actively pursuing God’s will for our lives rather than doing whatever our flesh desires.

I have some big news that I’m going to be announcing pretty soon, so keep an eye out for that!

In the mean time, feel free to comment or check out another post! Here are a few of mine and your favorite posts:

Watch Out for Ticks

Jesus Time

That Email! (That’s a hint about my news, by the way.)

 

Did you notice the Bible in the picture? It’s a Zondervan NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible and it’s awesome! You can get one for yourself or for someone else and personalize it at the link below from Family Christian Stores.

Personalize your gift by adding the finishing touch!>