Once again, John is typing this post at my dictation. I’m getting better, and even sat at the computer for 15 minutes last night. However, I am still looking for a morning PCA who can help me build up my back muscles. Consequently, I am not able to include Scripture verses or links to citations at this time. Thank you for your patience and prayer as I recover from my back injury.
By now, many of you know about Jory Micah’s tweet declaring that she follows her heart over and above following Scripture. Although her honesty is a bit shocking, the idea of following one’s heart is hardly novel. I guess people in all generations have trusted their own feelings and intuitions over and above trusting God’s Word.
That’s a shame.
Proverbs 3:5-6 warns us against leaning on our own understanding instead of trusting the Lord with all our heart. The prophet Jeremiah said that the human heart is deceitful and sick. Jesus said that all manner of evil comes from the human heart. How terrifying to think that a supposed Christian leader like Jory Micah would choose to trust her own emotions and insights as having greater authority than the Bible!
Now is not the time to follow our hearts. As persecution grows more imminent, Christians cannot afford to put their personal experience in higher position than the Word of God. Now, more than ever, Christians must know what God’s Word says, and we must resolve to follow it in obedience. Yielding to our own feelings and desires cannot be an option.
Think about it: when the pressure grows, our hearts will very rarely tell us to hold tight to God’s commands. A little compromise here or there wouldn’t hurt, we tell ourselves. We can satisfy the culture as long as we know that we love Christ — or so we think. We persuade ourselves that “a pinch of incense to Caesar” really won’t make that a much of a difference as long as we remain faithful to the Lord for the most part.
Christians in the First and Second Centuries would probably be appalled by such rationalizations. So many of them died violent deaths because they literally refused to pay the pinch of incense to Caesar. Roman officials even told them they could make the symbolic gesture without abandoning their Christian beliefs, but they knew that even the gesture betrayed the Lord. Their hearts may have told them that it was just a little bit of incense, but their devotion to the apostles’ teachings had more authority over them than their hearts.
The 16th Century Reformers often risked their lives rather than compromise with the religious systems of their day. And in the 17th Century, John Bunyan chose to remain in prison rather than obey the edict that he not preach in a Protestant church. So many Bible translators in these two centuries suffered imprisonment and sometimes execution simply for making Scripture available to the masses.
Obviously, church history shows us that standing for Christ doesn’t always allow us to follow our hearts. Do you think John Bunyan enjoyed being separated from his wife, children and his congregation? Might his heart have told him to comply with the civil authorities so that he could obtain his freedom?
We all think of James Coates who sits in a Canadian prison cell for the high crime of obeying Scripture’s mandate to have his church gather each Sunday. All he has to do is sign a paper promising that he won’t go near the church building. That little signature could allow him to walk out of prison and be united with his wife and two sons. How easy is that? I’m sure his heart often tells him to make that itty bitty compromise in order to enjoy the comforts of home and family.
But James Coates chooses not to follow his heart.
Jory Micah is wrong to advocate following her heart over obedience to the Word of God. She breaks with centuries of Christians who had the courage to deny themselves, take up their crosses and follow Jesus. Unlike her, we must be women who resolutely follow our Lord no matter how much our hearts tempt us to seek our own comfort.Follow my blog with Bloglovin