1 Samuel 14:7His armor-bearer responded, "Do what is in your heart. You choose. I'm right here with you whatever you decide."
Often throughout the scriptures, the heart is spoken of. We are told to love God with all our heart, not to have a stingy heart, to take God’s commands and statutes and follow them with our hearts, to serve God with joy and a cheerful heart, to obey God with all our hearts, and even to offer our hearts to the LORD.
We are also told that the heart can be evil and deceptive, arrogant, anxious, fearful, hardened and broken. But these are just a very few of the things the scriptures tell us about our hearts and the heart’s importance and role that it plays.
The heart is actually so very important, that it is mentioned in the scriptures of the Holman Christian Standard Bible 679 times.
When people say, “Follow your heart”, what do you think that they mean? Some that it’s following your emotions rather than what your mind says is logical. Others say that it’s a sense of right and wrong. And still others that it’s listening to your intuition, which is also commonly referred to as a “gut instinct”.
When exploring the heart in regards to Father’s wisdom which is imparted in the Word, the word intuition helps to share some insight as we explore what it means to follow our hearts, in that its definition is as follows:
1. direct perception of truth, fact, etc., independent of any reasoning process; immediate apprehension.
2. a fact, truth, etc., perceived in this way.
3. a keen and quick insight.
4. the quality or ability of having such direct perception or quick insight.
Do you remember when you were a kid, and perhaps you were standing in line at the grocery store, you look off to the right to where all the candy is displayed and think to yourself, “I think I’ll just take one of those and not pay for it.” Do you recall the feeling you felt in your heart when you decided, “No, that would be wrong.”? THAT was definition #1 of intuition. It was the direct perception of the truth that stealing is wrong. That was Father speaking to your heart and that was YOU listening to and following your heart.
As we grow older and things in our lives become much more complicated, remembering – or - learning how to listen to and follow your heart can be a difficult thing and something that definitely cannot be done without the direction and guidance of Father’s Holy Spirit. So how is it done? What steps do you need to take on your part?
In order to follow your heart, you have to listen and in order to listen, you have to WANT to hear. What I have found to be the easiest way to listen to my heart is this:
Stop. Don’t make any rash or impulsive decisions. Slow down.
Pray. Go to Father in prayer and share your thoughts and concerns and ask in Christ’s name that Father guide you.
Wait. Be patient! Prayers are always heard, and the answers always come at the appropriate time, however, this timing may not be yours, but Father’s timing which is always perfect.
Look. Keep your eyes OPEN for any signs that may be occurring around you that will help to point you in the right direction.
Listen. Through it all have the ears of your heart open and accepting of any answer you may receive, even if you don’t understand it at the time. If it feels “right”, follow it.
To summarize the above, with any decision, big or small, in order to hear Father’s voice within your heart simply take the time to pray on it and ask for Father’s guidance. Depending on how big or small, simple or complex the decision is, the answer may not come right away, so you will likely have to wait and look for any signs that help in guiding your decision. This takes patience, faith and trust that the answer will come. So continue to listen…and wait and you will hear Father’s voice within your heart.
Proverbs 2:1-3My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you,
2 listening closely to wisdom
and directing your heart to understanding;
3 furthermore, if you call out to insight
and lift your voice to understanding,