“Just follow your heart!”
How often have we heard that said to us? How often do we say it to others?
I suppose that there is some truth to it. When our hearts are aligned with Christ’s, they will often lead us in the right direction.
The problem is, however, that so many times our hearts are not aligned with Christ’s. As a result, our hearts often end up leading us into bad decisions, trouble, and heartache.
That is why God told the Israelites,
“Speak to the Israelites and tell them that throughout their generations they are to make tassels for the corners of their garments, and put a blue cord on the tassel at each corner. These will serve as tassels for you to look at, so that you may remember all the Lord’s commands and obey them and not prostitute yourselves by following your own heart and your own eyes. This way you will remember and obey all my commands and be holy to your God. I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your God; I am the Lord your God.” (39-41)
Here God clearly tells the Israelites that by following their own hearts and eyes, they could quickly fall into prostituting themselves spiritually if they did not have God’s commands and ways at the center of their thinking. The tassels were merely a physical reminder of this.
The tassels were also a reminder of who their God was, and just why he deserved their loyalty: because he proved his love for them through his deliverance of them from Egypt. It wasn’t that God capriciously made up rules for them to follow. He truly was looking out for their good.
When we forget these things, and just “follow our hearts,” it leads to the defiant sins that provide the immediate background to this command.
So let us not merely “follow our hearts.” Let us follow the heart of the one who loved us and gave himself up for us on the cross. (Galatians 2:20)