The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? Jeremiah 17:9 (NIV)
When we think of the heart, we think of love and romance and flowers and chocolate. But the heart is deceitful, Jeremiah said. The heart is the seat of our will and emotions. Our heart pleads with the soul to respond out of its anger or delusion or contempt or jealousy or greed.
Our deceitful heart can cause of to put ourselves back in the center of the universe, where our feelings rule our decisions. Our self-will can take over. We can start thinking, “I’ll handle this one, God. You don’t need to get involved here.”
Our deceitful heart can become weak or pliable and complacent. Suddenly we find ourselves moving in a wrong direction in life because something or someone persuaded us to believe it was, or they were, more important than our obedience to God.
” ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’ ” Jeremiah 29:11
Suddenly we discover that we have fallen out of fellowship with God. We may have stopped feeding on His Word. Our prayer life may suffer uncomfortable lapses.
We discover that we have put the heart before the course. The course God has set for us. The course that is the best, healthiest, most wonderful, most blessed course we could follow.
The good news is correcting our course is simple. One prayer. One repentance. One confession. One, “Father, I put my heart before Your course.”
Just that fast you can get back on course. The right course. The course Almighty, Holy God has set for you.
There is a flip side to putting your heart before the course. Once you do, and realize what you’ve done, it becomes easier the next time to recognize when your heart is growing deceitful again. And it will be easier to stay on course and turn your heart towards God and His course for your life.