The heart is the emotional core that beats within us. It is like a spring of water within, revealing the image of who we are to others. No wonder it will be the primary attack of Satan. He loves using our emotions against us. We must protect our heart above all else, otherwise we will find ourselves spiralling down a path of lies and emotional turmoil!
The Bible – Not Our Emotions
I have always worn my heart on my sleeve. I am not afraid to show my emotional side. It’s a part of my personality, for which I am very grateful to God. However as a result I have realised that I must pay particular attention to guarding my heart. If we allow ourselves to get caught up in our emotions, we very quickly start to walk a path polarised by feelings and not primarily on truth. This is extremely dangerous! We must never use our emotions as our primary guide, otherwise we will be led astray, and the pain associated with that can be excruciating! Whilst emotions help us to discern what is going on within our hearts and contribute to many blessing in our lives, our primary guide in our lives is God’s truth in the Bible. We are not Christians based on what we feel, but based on what we believe – our faith in Christ. We must never base our decisions and convictions on whether “it feels so right”. Something may “feel so right” but when weighed up against God’s Word is clearly very wrong! I’m not saying we shouldn’t enjoy the positive emotions, but rather enjoy them through a biblical filter.
One prime example of our emotions leading us astray can be significant relationships in our lives. Whether we allow anger and unforgiveness to fester, or fear of developing intimacy and trust or allowing our lustful and “lovey dovey” feelings to draw us to clearly inappropriate partners, emotions can be very misleading and a powerful weapon for Satan to use against even very sincere and God-focussed Christians. He will usually target us where we are at our most vulnerable, so we need to guard ourselves from situations where we know certain seductive emotions may, and if we are honest with ourselves, usually will lead us astray.
Guard Your Mind with God’s Truth
Our emotions are also affected by our minds. One way of protecting our hearts from unhelpful and alluring emotions is to guard our minds with God’s truth so that we can filter out the emotions that are leading us astray. By taking captive our thoughts and making them obedient to Christ (2 Cor 10:5), we protect ourselves from being overrun with lustful, idolatrous and impure thoughts. If we feed those thoughts then our hearts will fuel them and we will find it all the more difficult to turn away. In the heat of battle we must always remember that our faith in Christ will enable us to stand up against the attacks of the enemy on our heart (Eph 6:16).
What decisions are we making based on our emotions alone, and not on God’s truth? Are we doing something or being with someone because it feels good, even though it compromises the truth and path God has directed us to? If so than we must ask ourselves the tough question – am I living for God or myself? We can’t do both. I have realised the hard way that emotions can lead us astray, and I would not wish the associated pain on anyone! It’s no one’s fault but our own. It’s not the environment that shapes us, but rather how we respond to it. We must take responsibility and use what God has taught us to wade through each day, discerning what He would have us do, and not allow circumstances, or emotions alone to dictate us! Our emotions are God’s gift to us to enjoy Him and the good things He has for us. Let’s make sure we don’t allow them to lead us astray, hindering us from those blessings.
23 Keep your heart with all vigilance,
for from it flow the springs of life.