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Delivered By
Dr William A. Stack - Pastor
Delivered On
July 19, 2014 at 10:45 AM
Central Passage
Jer 17:9, Prov 23:19
Answers to Life's Toughest Questions

The Heart of the Matter
Dr. William A. Stack - Pastor, Salem Full Gospel Church
Many are familiar with the phrases "follow your heart",  "do what your heart tells you to do", "give what your heart tells you to give",  "go where your heart tells you to go", "marry who your heart tells you to marry", or other similar phrase.  Today, this even includes gender identity - that you should identify with whatever/whomever your heart tells you.  We have been conditioned in our society today, to think that if we really want to make the right decisions, we must listen to our heart.  Today we will see that this is one of the most dangerous presuppositions we can make, and that God's Word to the believer is just the opposite of this widely followed admonition.  
Jer 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
The bloody footprints (deceitful); is often the culprit in serious mis-steps and bad decisions. crooked, polluted, fraudulent, insidious - "proceeding in a gradual, subtle way, but with harmful effects".  "Desperately wicked" - incurable, can lead to death.
But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever. (2 Corinthians 9:6-9 KJV)
To bring forward; to purpose, to choose for ones self.
Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited. Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit. The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. (Jeremiah 17:5-10 KJV)
This all begs the question - if we get in trouble following our heart, what are we to do with it?  It is not surprising to us that God's wisdom on this issue is directly the opposite of mans conventions.  While man says "follow your heart", The Lord says "guide your heart".
Pro 23:19 Hear thou, my son, and be wise, and guide thine heart in the way.
Guide :
’āšar: A verb meaning to go straight, to go on, to advance forward, to be called blessed, or to be made happy. Of blessing or happiness, this verb is primarily used causatively: to call one blessed (Psa 72:17); to pronounce happiness (Gen 30:13); to be made happy or blessed (Pro 3:18). Used figuratively, it means to follow a straight path in understanding (Pro 9:6) or in one's heart (Pro 23:19). When it is used intensively, it means going straight or advancing (Pro 4:14).