“We all eat lies, when our hearts are hungry.”
Read this quote today and had to take a step back. What a powerful statement. People don’t just wake up one day and decide to believe the lies. That’s not how it works. In the scrambled airwaves of our minds, truth and lies often sound the same. For this reason, Jeremiah says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?”
Understand that in these times, the heart is not what we consider the heart today. In our Western world, the heart is the seat of emotions. We love someone with all of our hearts, right?
In Eastern cultures, the heart is NOT the seat of our emotions, the bowels are. Lovely huh? (Just don’t tell you’re significant other that you love them with all of your bowels.) The heart is in reference to the human will, our minds, our intellect. That’s why Solomon said, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…” John would write things like, “…bowels of compassion…” It makes sense, honestly. When you feel love, fear, anxiety, and even stress; you often feel those emotions in your belly, not your heart.
With that understanding, Jeremiah says we can’t trust what we feel, and we can’t trust what we think.
Within our minds is the battle between Me, Myself, and LIES. If left to my own devices I will have no choice but to believe the lies. What I think and what I feel is deceitful. How many times have we said things like, “Why did I do that? Why did I think that was a good idea?” Or, after following the elusive feelings of our heart, how often do we sit amidst the wreckage of life and ask, “How did I get here?” It’s simple. You’re listening to the wrong voice.
How do I determine the truth amidst the lies? Easy. Fall in love with God’s word.
Too often people make decisions based on (1) how they FEEL, and (2) how they THINK God feels. Feelings and Thoughts. Hmmm… I think Jeremiah was on to something!
Soon, people are justifying destructive behavior because it feels OK… and before too long somehow God is also OK with it even though it contradicts His word.
In 2 Kings 4, there is a famine in the land. The young prophets are hungry. So a zealous young man goes into the fields to find something to eat. As he’s searching for lentils, he stumbles into some wild vines with some beautiful looking wild gourds. I can only imagine how much these gourds looked like they were a gift from God! I wasn’t looking for these gourds! God put them here! He knew just what I NEEDED! They were beautiful! They looked delicious! Surely, these gourds will add some spice to the blandness of the lentil soup!
So, he ground up the gourds and mixed it with the lentils. No one would know what he did! But this soup, will be MUCH BETTER now. As the men began to eat, they knew something was wrong. “There’s death in the pot!” They cried!
Turns out, it wasn’t from God. But a hungry person will eat anything. I guess my mom was right all along, “when you get hungry enough, you’ll eat it.”
Our adversary uses that same logic.
So he distracts us, discourages us, and tries to defeat us. He isolates us, and imprisons us in our own thoughts. He makes us feel alone, hopeless, empty, and in NEED of something else. So what do we do when our hearts are hungry? We go looking for wild gourds… and in our hunger, we eat the lies. Because it never fails… no matter your background, your upbringing, or your church affiliation. When you are hungry enough, you’ll eat it.
There was a remedy. Elisha ordered them to put pure flour in the pot. It was a symbol of God’s word… and it is a reminder that even when we consume the lies… and death is wrapping it’s fingers around my future… His word can still bring me LIFE! Even after I’ve consumed the lies, if I can get back to a place of connection to His word, I can be restored to LIFE again.
If you find yourself hungry, don’t look for something to satisfy you. Go back to the basics. The simple truth is this; until God is all you need, nothing will ever satisfy you.