The Final Word
Last week I was in my kitchen as I heard my 8-year-old daughter clanging out something on my electric guitar. It was music to my ears as she sang her heart out. As I tuned in I heard, “Trust in your heart and your sun shines forever and ever.”
When she stopped for a second I asked her, “What song is that?”
She answered, “It’s from Cinderella.”
(Now, I don’t know if you’ve seen the recent Cinderella release, but, in my opinion, it was pretty good. Which is great news for a dad of three girls whose world is filled with princess movies!)
I quickly grabbed the opportunity to help my daughter think about the lyrics of this song and its message by asking her if she thought it was good to trust in your heart. Her answer was amazing. She said, “Yes. Because Jesus lives in my heart!”
Woooooohooooooo! A win! Something my wife and I have been saying actually got through! This felt like a real miracle and maybe I should have just walked away and enjoyed it, but I kept going. I began digging to see if she understood if our hearts are trustworthy if Jesus is not leading them. I don’t know if she fully tracked with the whole conversation, but somewhere in there I mentioned the verse Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?”
"Whoa!" You might say. "Slow down! That’s a pretty strong thing to say to a kid who’s just singing a cute song!”
Yeah, it is. But there is a message in our society today that is getting a lot of play right now: Trust your heart! It will lead you to happiness and fulfillment.
I don’t know what your experiences are, but I have learned that, when I trust my heart, it never leads me into happiness and fulfillment. It leads me right into trouble. My heart leads me into trusting myself and thinking I am able to do really great things on my own. My heart will seek pleasure even if it means hurting people I love to get it. On its own, my heart will lead me to ignore the needs of people around me and always think about what I want. I have learned that to trust in my heart is dangerous business for me and everyone close to me.
A really long time ago, just about everyone in Israel followed their hearts right into exile, despite many years of warnings from the Lord through people like the prophet Jeremiah. After nearly seventy years of captivity and pain, all hope seemed lost for them. Nevertheless, one man, Daniel, picked up the Bible, and on its pages found forgotten dreams, and he believed the faint whispers of his fathers the Prophets. Rejecting the reality of his current circumstances and bad luck, he kneeled and asked the God of a destitute and barren city and temple to show all the kingdoms of the earth just who it is that will always have the final word.
Come to Living Streams this Sunday, as Daniel chapter 9 reminds us that, regardless of our circumstances, for those who trust in God, our best days are ahead.