“What the heart loves, the will chooses, and the mind justifies.” What has your will chosen that your mind is justifying? And what does it tell you about your heart?
Deuteronomy 13 & 14:
Fortune tellers, palm readers, and other false prophets
Chapter 13, verses 1-4 talk about the false prophet who predicts something and it comes to pass. So many people assume that such a person must be from God, even though he or she says and does things that contradict biblical truth. But verse 3 says, “you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the LORD your God is testing you to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.”
There are still people out there today, claiming they can predict the future or they can tell you if your husband is cheating or give you a message from a deceased family member. They may even claim to believe in God, and perhaps they do. James 2.19 says, “… Even the demons believe—and tremble!” And in Matthew 8 when Jesus met two demon possessed men, the demons cried out, “What have we to do with You, Jesus, You Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?”
You can believe in God and not be of God. We are told to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them” (Eph. 5.11). A command we should, also, consider in other areas of life like our reading, movies and TV habits.
God is still testing our hearts today. Do you love truth and trust that God will reveal to you anything you need to know, or do you seek to know things that only God truly knows, fully understands, and will reveal as He sees fit to do so?
God’s sovereign care & protection of His children
Verses 23-24, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the LORD upholds him with His hand.”
God is a little like a parent with a toddler. The parent watches over and encourages the child to take the next step, sometimes lets him fall, and is always ready to lift him back up. Too little help would be unloving and dangerous, but too much interference would hinder him from becoming a healthy adult.
But unlike us, our Perfect Heavenly Father, also guarantees our future, “[we] shall not be utterly cast down.” The Apostle Paul said it this way, “being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1.6).
Foolish know-it-alls & the teachable wise
Verse 15, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who heeds counsel is wise.”
Are you teachable? Do you listen to godly counsel? Or do you first make up your own mind and then look for justification to believe or do what you desire? Do you lift passages of Scripture out of their proper context and use them to validate what you want to believe.
Mike Wilkerson in his book Redemption says, “What the heart loves, the will chooses, and the mind justifies.”
Think about that statement for a minute. Is there some area of sin or compromise that your will has chosen and you’ve been justifying to yourself and others? If so, what does it say about what’s going on in your heart?
Some of the things we justify:
Living with someone to whom we’re not married.
We might justify it by saying:
“After all, the Bible was written a long time ago …”
“A marriage license is just a piece of paper.”
“We’re married in God’s eyes.”
“We plan to get married later.”
Refusing to forgive:
“But they haven’t changed.”
“What they did was just too bad.”
“I’m not ready to forgive.”
“They’ll just do it again.”
Not being a part of a good Bible teaching church:
“This is the church I’ve always attended.”
“My mom would get upset.”
“I can worship God anywhere; I don’t need to go to church.”
If there is something sinful you’re justifying, go to the Lord, ask for His forgiveness and grace and for His help to forsake that thing and go His way.
Joseph, Mary & us
It’s interesting how many times Joseph and Mary were surprised at what was happening around them. Even though each of them had a divine visitation before the birth of Jesus, they “marveled at those things which were spoken of Him” (v. 33).
Is there a dream or a promise that you have allowed to become dim? You might want to write those things out in a journal or prayer notebook. Find 2 or 3 passages of Scripture relating to those promises. Consider memorizing key verses and meditating on His truths and promises.