You can follow your heart

I talk to so many people who are waiting on a burning bush experience before they move forward with an idea or dream. With the best intentions, they want to make sure what they are doing is God’s “will” for their life. They keep waiting for some sign…maybe a writing in the sky…a letter from God…or certainly some definite “sign” that this is God’s plan for them.

I also know pastors who are afraid to let people “follow their heart”. Anytime I post about following a dream some well-meaning person challenges me that following the heart is dangerous.

Can you trust your heart apart from Christ? You better not. Could we misunderstand God’s will? Absolutely. Could we move in a wrong direction? Of course. But, telling people not to follow their heart?

I’m not sure that’s the right approach.

God didn’t make us a robot.

If your heart is closely following Christ…

If your desire is to please Him…

If you aren’t being convicted otherwise…

You don’t have to sit on the sidelines and let the world pass you by.

God is creative, and He’s made you creative as a part of His image.

I’d rather tell people to get their heart close enough to hear Christ…then go!

  • Check your heart
  • Continue to check your heart
  • Check your motivation
  • Continue to check your motivation

If it’s not sinful…if the Bible doesn’t specifically address your issue…if you don’t have any sense God is telling you otherwise…if what you are doing is good and honorable…if it is helpful to others, or…if it is in line with the direction and experience you’ve had in life…

Give God all the glory…

But quit sitting on the sidelines and follow your heart.

Have you been waiting for a “sign”?

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23 thoughts on “You can follow your heart

  1. Excellent post. Until we start living our whys, we will always be in search mode. God's will isn't hiding from us; we just need to be close enough to Him to hear His voice.

  2. It is important that we follow our hearts in our lives. At the same time, it is also equally important to ensure that what we follow centers around God's will for our lives.

    Bible repeatedly underlines the same —
    — Proverbs 16:3 "Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed."
    — Psalm 37:5-6 "Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun."
    — Jeremiah 11:20 "But, O LORD Almighty, you who judge righteously and test the heart and mind, let me see your vengeance upon them, for to you I have committed my cause."

  3. For a long time I waited… Then I started filling my mind with good encouragement that showed me it wasn't actually biblical. That we could get up and do something without seeing writing in the sky or a big booming voice.

  4. Pastor Ron,
    It has something to do with a post by Joyce Meyer saying 'You don’t need skill to serve God, you just need a good heart.' From the sound of it, I believe she was talking to new believers challenging to be part of the ministry. But the lack of skill is dangerous. For me, the post is actually imbalance and should be enlighten with God's word.

  5. This reminds me of Acts 16. I remember reading this and being struck by the fact that even Paul didn't exactly always know where to go on his missionary journeys, so he followed his heart and God told him when he was going the wrong way. But if he hadn't followed his heart, he would have never known:

    Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to.
    Acts 6:6-8

  6. Ron,

    Thanks so much for this post. It is so freeing to my heart. Reading guys like you, Henry Cloud, and John Eldredge has helped me start to pry my heart away from "obligation" – living a life that other people want for you, living a life that you are expected to live, etc. I think it comes down to your own personal wiring. The given is, of course, you are walking deeply with God and there is no one or nothing other before Him. After that, I think there is freedom to be who God created you to be. A good question to ask is: what do I need to be the best me I can be?

    Beyond the given, it could mean… I need to be around nature, I need to have 2 days off a week instead of 1, I need time to be creative, and a whole list of other potential things. I think making choices like that is following your heart – if your motivations are correct and your relationship with God is present in all you do, then why not follow your heart?

    And, I agree with you… I've been strongly "encouraged" so many times to do things out of obligation, duty, take one for the team, think of others above yourself – all good things at certain times, but when you are expected to live a life that depletes you for other people's priorities, it is not a good thing.

    For the last year, I've been considering making some big changes in my life to get my full heart back…. and, it's been the most exciting year of possibilities… now, I'm just waiting on God to provide the way…

    …because when I'm most fully alive, I can shine the brightest for God, and serve Him better.

  7. Sometimes I think too much! Over thinking things has a tendency to keep me from following after my heart. It seems to me that God does stir up my heart passions as I fully face HIM and as I am called to HIM 1st. You can’t come in contact with the heart of God and not be stirred by the things He is passionate about. God is constantly stirring my heart and leading me and I need to follow after that, but sometimes I let my mind “over think” the direction of my heart and this does slow me down and exhaust me! For me I think my best course is to pray for the mind of Christ, because my heart wants to follow after God, but my mind truly needs to be renewed!
    Twitter: kmac4him

  8. For me, I'm kind of living in both worlds; both waiting for a sign and following my heart. I can clearly see in Ephesians 5 my duties, responsibilities and position as a husband. So, even though my wife doesn't respond as she should, I just faithfully and quietly act in that manner. However, since she doesn't respond as she should, I am also waiting for a sign that I really am doing the right thing, that I am following His will in this area of my life. I can so clearly see in so many other areas His hand at work. But when it comes to my marriage, I feel somewhat alone and lost. I can see what I am supposed to do, but if I am clearly seeing that, why does nothing change? Every day makes me feel stupid and foolish for acting in that way, yet His word calls me to those actions and responses. Praying for some real progress in her heart and the marriage.

  9. A fantastic blog to start our day!! Yes, Yes, Yes….follow the heart. Any gut-wrenching decisions in the past, the ultimate answer was within my heart and I knew it…I just didn't always follow that 'sign' and NOW understand that is God's response, and always if I asked him or not. He is awesome.

    Thanks Ron for a great Friday blog. : )

  10. Yes. My husband and I have counseled several people who are waiting for a sign that what they want to do is okay. When in many cases the "signs" – support of godly people, open doors, the fact that their idea is in line with biblical principles – are already there.