This Sanctuary Sunday Open Thread, with full respect to those who worship God on the Sabbath, is a place to reaffirm our worship of our Creator, our Father, our King Eternal.
It’s also a place to read, post, and discuss news that is worth knowing and sharing. Please post links to any news stories that you use as sources or quote from.
In the QTree, we’re a friendly and civil lot. We encourage free speech and the open exchange and civil discussion of different ideas. Topics aren’t constrained, and sound logic is highly encouraged, all built on a solid foundation of truth and established facts.
We have a policy of mutual respect, shown by civility. Civility encourages discussions, promotes objectivity and rational thought in discourse, and camaraderie in the participants – characteristics we strive toward in our Q Tree community.
Please show respect and consideration for our fellow QTreepers. Before hitting the “post” button, please proofread your post and make sure you’re addressing the issue only, and not trying to confront the poster. Keep to the topic – avoid “you” and “your”. Here in The Q Tree, personal attacks, name-calling, ridicule, insults, baiting, and other conduct for which a penalty flag would be thrown are VERBOTEN.
In The Q Tree, we’re compatriots, sitting around the campfire, roasting hot dogs, making s’mores, and discussing, agreeing, and disagreeing about whatever interests us. This board will remain a home for those who seek respectful conversations.
Please also consider the Guidelines for posting and discussion printed here: https://www.theqtree.com/2019/01/01/dear-maga-open-topic-20190101/
Follow My Heart?
Follow my Heart? Well, as any deep thinker knows, it’s impossible for me to follow my heart unless I know who I am. Let’s start there.
So, who am I? This question was bandied about by a number of people I came in contact with in the ‘60s and early ‘70s. Apparently, there is someone buried deep within me who is my true or authentic self and I must devote very serious consideration in finding out just who that is, otherwise, I’ll never be able to discover and navigate my way through real life.
“Who am I?” is a question still being pondered. From an article I’m not going to cite, I discovered that this absolutely required process of self-discovery is a process fraught with impediments. You see, our minds will make up stuff all on their own, and even the very desire for self-discovery can interfere with the self-discovery process. And, if that isn’t enough, who we are is so complex that the mind can’t conceive it.
So, are we doomed to founder on the rocks of life? Thankfully, no, we’re not. All we have to do is switch off our minds and experience the state of no mind to perceive reality as it really is . . . that’s the only way to know for sure . . . and then, to thine own self be true.
Well, now that that’s cleared up and we now know who we are . . . it’s merely a matter of following our hearts to experience the sublime satisfaction of living life to its fullest.
In spite of the obvious difficulties in knowing “who we are”, movies, novels, slogans, blogs, and memes continue to call for us to “follow your heart”. Related pieces of advice are “trust yourself,” “follow your instincts,” and “your heart will never lead you astray.”
The problem here is that not a bit of this advice is supported from God’s Word.
Rather than trust our hearts, we are to commit our hearts to God: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5–6). This passage gives an explicit command not to trust ourselves. And it gives the promise of guidance to those who choose to follow the Lord.
For anything to provide proper direction it must be based on objective truth. That is to say that whatever is consulted for guidance must reach a conclusion based on objective truth and not subjective, emotional inference.
The Bible teaches that man is to follow God. God declares, “Blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him” (Jeremiah 17:7). God has perfect knowledge of everything (1 John 3:20), a trait often called omniscience. God’s knowledge is not limited in any way. God is aware of all events that have ever transpired, are currently occurring, and will ever happen (Isaiah 46:9–10). God’s knowledge goes beyond mere events and extends to thoughts and intentions (John 2:25; Acts 1:24).
It is not all this knowledge, however, that makes God a perfectly reliable source of guidance. God is also aware of every possibility, every eventuality, every imaginable outcome of any series of events (Matthew 11:21). That ability, combined with God’s goodness, enables God to give the best possible direction for people to follow.
God says this about the unregenerate heart: “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). This passage makes clear two reasons why no one should bind himself to following his heart when making decisions. First, there is nothing more deceitful in all of creation than the heart of man because of his inherited sin nature. If we follow our heart, we follow an untrustworthy guide.
We are, in fact, blinded to our own heart’s deceitful nature. As the prophet asks, “Who can understand it?” When we rely on ourselves for wisdom, we end up unable to tell right from wrong. The hit song of 1977, “You Light Up My Life,” contains these unfortunate words: “It can’t be wrong / When it feels so right.” Determining right from wrong based on “feelings” is a dangerous (and unbiblical) way to live.
Second, Jeremiah 17:9 teaches that the heart is desperately sick. There is no way to fix the heart. Rather, man needs a new heart. That is why, when a person comes to faith in Christ, he is made a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). Jesus does not fix the heart; instead, He replaces it with a new one.
But that does not mean that we can rely on our hearts after we come to faith in Christ. Even as believers, we are encouraged to follow God’s will over our own desires. The Bible teaches that “the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want” (Galatians 5:17).
We have an omniscient, benevolent Lord who promises to give us wisdom (James 1:5); we have His inspired, inerrant Word written down for us (2 Timothy 3:16). Why would we turn our backs on God and His eternal promises in order to pursue the whimsical impulses of the heart?