We’ve all heard the saying, “Where your treasure is there, your heart will also be.” That is true. But let’s think deeper: What rules your heart? What can rule a human heart? Can cultures, other humans, or things rule us? Absolutely. We worship idols, images, other humans, and ideals. In fact, like it or not, we are so easily swayed. We see this tendency in those who have not surrendered to the One true God more easily than we do in those of us who proclaim to be His, but please know we are all prey to being ruled by something other than God.
And we have a few contenders vying for control over us. First, and most obvious, the enemy. Satan means to turn our hearts into his palace. He roams around, seeking whom he may devour. (1Peter 5:8)
His goal is to turn us from God and become the ruler of our hearts. From the beginning of man, he has attempted to put a wedge between us, deceive us, and distract us from our Lord and Savior. In the Garden, he appeared to us in the form of a snake, a part of nature. We love nature. We connect with it. We usually don’t have our guard up with it. In this connection with God’s creation, the enemy struck us first. He intentionally caused us to doubt God’s word, “Did God really say…”. And the guard was down. We began to shift our attention from Creator to His creation. And an opportunity for another to rule our hearts was born.
Another contender is even closer to home than satan disguised as nature. Self. Flesh. Us. It’s been said, “We are our own worse enemy.” That is also true. Since the Fall, we don’t like to be ruled. We don’t like not being the boss. We don’t like surrendering control. And Humanism is born. It still lives vibrantly today. Sadly, even in our churches. “Pull yourself up by your bootstraps” could be the battle call of some well-meaning Christians. But it’s not truth. It’s not biblical. And it’s not what works. There is One worthy of sitting on the throne of all human hearts. The Lord Jesus Christ, Savior of the world. The only hope of all mankind. Yet even a heart with the best intentions of remaining under the rule of Christ is subject to the temptation to replace Christ with another. Someone. Something. And idea. And before we know it, Christ has been dethroned from His rightful place as ruler of our hearts, and something else is elevated. Self loves to take center stage. Give flesh the spotlight, and it will bathe in the glow of self-reliance. A famous quote I love to recite to my adult children is, “You think you can do these things, Nemo, but you can’t.” Okay, so I am totally taking this out of context, but hear me out. Flesh tells us we can do anything we want. And the World chimes in loudly with the “You do You, Boo.” mentality. And we Christians even chime in with, "You’re stronger than you know.” “You’re a warrior.” I’m stepping on toes here, I understand.
Again, that’s not biblical. “Apart from Me, you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)And with man it is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26) Who is the Boss in these verses? Man? Flesh? No sir. (Sorry, but it’s true.) We are not capable, not qualified, to rule our own hearts. But that does not mean we aren’t trying to. The truth is we were made to worship. And so we do. So, here’s my question; What is ruling your heart? Something definitely is. Whether it is the enemy, your own flesh, or some other god or idol. We worship. We bow. We surrender to something.
There is hope in this fact. We serve a God who knows us. He created us. He made us to worship. And then He invited us to worship Him. To surrender to Him. To let Him be our Lord.
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts…” Colossians 3:15
So here’s the truth. And here’s the invitation. Take a minute to slow your mind and spirit down, ask the hard question and allow Abba Father to dethrone what is not capable of ruling, whatever it is, and be the Lord, ruling your heart today. Then, rest in His worthiness to be the Lord of your life.