I was a brute beast before you. Psalm 73:22 (NIV)
The point about the brute beast is that animals act on impulse. One of the great gifts God has given to men and women is the gift of reason, logic, reflection, and analysis. This is not given to the animals. The animals act on impulse.
Asaph says, “That’s what I was doing!” When my heart was grieved, I was being pushed around by the impulses of bitterness, unbelief, and despair! No wonder my feet almost slipped!
We are living in a culture where people love the idea of acting on impulse: “If it feels good—do it!” If you listen to radio or television shows where people call in with their problems, you will hear one theme over and over again—“Listen to your heart. Follow your heart.”
The assumption behind this advice seems to be that your heart is a reliable indicator of what is right. The problem with this is that it completely ignores the doctrine of sin.
The problem with following one’s heart is that there are too many impulses within the heart that would lead us into sin if we followed them—impulses to pride, greed, self-justification, and a whole lot of other things, too.
Following your heart is a dangerous business. The impulses of the heart will always be mixed, even in godly men and women. Sometimes your instincts will be enlightened by the Holy Spirit, and sometimes your instincts will be guided by the flesh. That is why we have to submit the impulses of our hearts to the Word of God, and when we do, we find that we need to fight our impulses as much as follow them.
Are you fighting your impulses or simply following them? Can you think of one example of each from this last week?