From Our Own Hearts, or His?

“’Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel, who are prophesying, and say to those who prophesy from their own hearts: “Hear the word of the Lord!” Thus says the Lord God, Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing!  Your prophets have been like jackals among ruins, O Israel. You have not gone up into the breaches, or built up a wall for the house of Israel, that it might stand in battle in the day of the Lord. They have seen false visions and lying divinations. They say, “Declares the Lord,” when the Lord has not sent them, and yet they expect him to fulfill their word. Have you not seen a false vision and uttered a lying divination, whenever you have said, “Declares the Lord,” although I have not spoken?’

“Therefore thus says the Lord God: ‘Because you have uttered falsehood and seen lying visions, therefore behold, I am against you, declares the Lord God.  My hand will be against the prophets who see false visions and who give lying divinations. They shall not be in the council of my people, nor be enrolled in the register of the house of Israel, nor shall they enter the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord God. Precisely because they have misled my people, saying, “Peace,” when there is no peace… And I will break down the wall that you have smeared with whitewash, and bring it down to the ground, so that its foundation will be laid bare. When it falls, you shall perish in the midst of it, and you shall know that I am the Lord.” Ezekiel 13:2-10a,14

The prophet Ezekiel speaks words many would rather avoid or shun. After all, truth often convicts, and requires a change of direction or behavior or way of thinking. How insidiously we slide into embracing false lovers who whisper words we want to hear. (2 Timothy 4:3-4)

But God is gracious to warn us against messages that seem more palatable at present but actually, or eventually, bring shame and destruction. False teaching flows from those who speak from their own hearts, and follow their own spirit, not the Lord’s. It disheartens the righteous falsely, and encourages the wicked instead of warning them, to God’s consternation. (Ezekiel 13:22)

So whose wisdom do we trust, and tell? Whose message do we follow, and promote? When we research options, or need to make a decision for the future, whom do we consult? Do we turn to our own heart for guidance, and follow our feelings for answers? Or do we turn to the Holy Spirit who gives personal insight, and discernment over who else carries His truth and understanding. What steps can we take to be more careful in what we espouse and pass along? Are we diligently asking for divine wisdom, and boldly heeding it? (James 1:5-6)

“Blessed is the man
    who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
    nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and on his law he meditates day and night.” Psalm 1:1-2

Lord, help me listen to and know Your words, and heed You always. Permeate my mind, heart and spirit that I believe and follow You, my Source of truth. Bring falsehood to light, and to naught, for the sake of Your honor and Name.

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