Just follow your heart. Are you in love? Follow your heart. Deciding on a job? Follow your heart. Moral decisions? Follow your heart. But, what if your heart is wrong? What if your heart isn’t even trustworthy? Of course Jeremiah 17:9 warns us that the heart is deceitful and wicked, but that’s not all. Romans 1:24 says that God, in his wrath, will give people up to the lusts of their hearts.
The reality of God’s wrath, in other words, is often God’s lack of intervention. The saddest state in which a human being may find himself is the place of God’s utter disregard. You’ve decided that you will follow you. Your greatest idol is not made of wood or precious metal, the idol in your life is your own comfort and desires. Your idol is your own heart and your own mind, you have put you on the throne of your life and you will satisfy you regardless of what anyone else may say. You are following your heart.
And God has given you exactly that which you want. Of course no one wants God’s wrath, but few people want God’s rules either. Like the parent that finally throws in the towel God says, “fine, I’ll give you what you want,” and in that moment you have become what you worshiped, a deity of sorts, a god who makes his or her own rules, and God is perfectly justified in giving you exactly what you want.
You want to live as an adulterer, God says OK. You desire to live in a constant state of covetousness and God allows it. You want your homosexual lifestyle and you want the blessing of the church, guess what, God gives it to you and gives the church what it wants as well, the ability to live without his rules (and his blessing). And here’s the scary part, God gives it all to you. He gives you your malice, murder, strife, deceit. You are trusting your heart and you have found happiness and satisfaction in your own godless life, but you are not living under God’s blessing, you are living under God’s wrath.
The kingdom of God is the people of God in the place of God under the rule and the blessing of God. If you find yourself living outside of God’s rules and believe yourself to be experiencing God’s blessings, beware, you may be living in the kingdom of you. The kingdom that finds its blessings in having everything your heart desires while living under the rule of your own heart. But know, this kingdom is not God’s kingdom. In God’s kingdom there is only one king (and you aren’t it) and his blessing is given only to those living under his rule. You do not get to live by your rules and then live under God’s blessing.
It’s a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God. It’s an even worse thing to fall into his hands and not even be aware. Your eyes are blinded by the success, satisfaction, or earthly fulfillment, but blind eyes do not see the gravity of your sin and the wrath of God. What a terror to find satisfaction and fulfillment in the desires of your heart on earth and to find that in eternity you have not satisfied the desires of God’s heart.
Awake, O sinner. Your sins will find you out. God’s word is the mirror for your heart. What does God’s word show you about the desires in your heart, are they yours or God’s? God will grant you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4), but only the desires of God’s heart will grant you salvation.