Can Your Instincts Be Trusted?
For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. – 1 John 3:20-22
Last night my son was playing the drums for our youth service. He is naturally gifted musically, so he picked up on the drums quickly a few years ago; however, he is still honing his skills and is not yet fully confident, particularly when a song demands specific dynamics and unique rhythms.
During the pre-service rehearsal I walked up to him and said: “Trust your instincts.” Then I watched as he mentally struggled through the inward awkwardness of knowing how the song SHOULD sound, while feeling as though he couldn’t pull it off.
Later, during the service, I watched and listened as my son “threw caution to the wind” and trusted his instincts. The song was powerful, and it boosted his confidence in Himself and in the Lord.
I have found that, as a man of God, I can often trust my instincts. I have been walking with the Lord for nearly my entire life. I am far from perfect – very far indeed; but my heart has never been far from God. Therefore, I have learned that I can often trust my instincts and be confident. (By the way, confidence does not come naturally to me, so I have really had to learn this from the Lord.)
On the other hand, there are times when I cannot trust my instincts at all. When my soul becomes swayed by circumstances, or is being deceived by the enemy, I cannot always trust what my mind thinks, what my emotions feel, and what my will desires.
The Apostle John was a pastor of pastors – and elder statesman of the faith, whose influence was far-reaching and whose love for others was deeply sincere. The primary theme of his writings centers on the love of God being received by, and expressed through the body of Christ (the Church).
John spoke often of the heart.
The heart, according to the Old Testament Prophet, Jeremiah, is “deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.” Yet, we also know that, through Jesus Christ, our mind, will, and emotions are being renewed day by day. The fact is, sometimes you can trust your heart, and sometimes you can’t.
John revealed a key to understanding this principle. He said (in essence) when we are walking in righteousness, refusing to sin, we have greater confidence. That confidence allows our faith to grow and stand strong to believe for big things!
But, when we succumb to temptation and choose to sin, we lack confidence and our faith begins to waver. In fact, our heart begins to condemn us. We feel unworthy. we stop praying. We choose not to go to church. We slip into the background – not because we don’t love God, but because we are under the weight of condemnation.
Friend – if that is the case in your life right now, let me share with you the truth that will set you free:
For is our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.
One of the subtleties of sin is that it destroys you from the inside out. It takes away your confidence. Jesus knows all about your stuff. In fact, that is precisely why He came to earth – to live the life that you couldn’t live, in order to give you hope that you didn’t have.
Jesus has already forgiven you. The question is, have you received His forgiveness?
Pray this prayer with me:
Father, You know everything about me, including my sin. Today I confess my sin to You, knowing that You have already forgiven me. Right now I receive Your love, Your acceptance, and Your forgiveness. Lord Jesus, heal my heart; strengthen my faith; help me to walk in freedom and confidence with You everyday. Fill me to overflowing with Your Spirit. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Learn how to “walk in the Spirit” everyday, so that you will not “walk in the flesh.” Your confidence in the Lord will grow, your prayer life will be powerful and effective, and your times with the Lord will be marked by worship and joy.
Satan wants you to live alone in shame; Jesus wants you to live in fellowship and in freedom.