For the month of May, we’ll take a brief look at 31 wise sayings from Proverbs 11, that’s one proverb a day…
The desire of the righteous turns out well, but the hope of the wicked leads to wrath.Proverbs 11:23, Christian Standard Bible
Don’t follow your heart! Sometimes this is the “Christian” advice that we hear. After all, as Jeremiah 17:9 warns us: The heart is deceitful and wicked. But the Bible also says something else about the follower of Jesus: We have new hearts (Ezekiel 36:26).
This is part of regeneration, or the new birth that we have by faith in Jesus and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Spiritually speaking, God takes away the heart that was dead and hardened by sin and gives us new hearts that live and beat and long for him.
Mirroring this proverb, Psalm 37:4 says: “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.”
If, as disciples of Jesus, we have new hearts that now delight in God, then we should follow our hearts. We should affectionately long for God and desire deep fellowship with Jesus through the Spirit.
Certainly, the old heart of sin still tries to make an appearance. Part of sanctification is learning to abandon those old desires. Therefore, we must check our hearts constantly by God’s word as the Spirit works to shape us to delight more and more in Jesus. But when our great delight is God, we follow our hearts straight to joy in him.