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Listen to your heart, but be careful.

Listen to your heart, but be careful.

MARCH 19, 2024

/ Programs / Key Life / Listen to your heart, but be careful.

Steve Brown:
Listen to your heart, but be careful. Let’s talk about it, on Key Life.

Matthew Porter:
This is Key Life with our host, author, and seminary professor, Steve Brown. He’s nobody’s guru. He’s just one beggar telling other beggars where he found bread. If you’re hungry for God, the real God behind all the lies. You’ve come to the right place.

Steve Brown:
Thank you Matthew. We’re studying Proverbs, and yesterday we looked at Proverbs 26:17.

He who passes by and meddles in a quarrel not his own, is like one who takes a dog by the ears.

In other words, that’s a good way to get bitten. And I thought I’d said everything about that, but I was reminded of something a friend of mine wrote a number of years ago. His name is Richard Altork. And he used to send these pearls of wisdom out to his friends. And some of them were so good, all of them were good, but some of them were incredible. Richard was a missionary and a pastor. And if you’ve done both of those things and haven’t learned anything from it, you’re just a dummy. And Richard learned a lot from both. But anyway, this is what he wrote.

Choose your battles wisely. There will be many times when you see something wrong or when you disagree with someone. You will often want to say something or do something about it. Some things will seem so wrong or so unfair that you will want to shout it from the rooftops. But don’t fight every battle that comes along. If you do fight them all, there are three different things that will happen. You will wear yourself out with all the battles. You will get discouraged with the number of battles you lose because you can’t win them all, or even a majority of them if you fight them all. And, people will stop listening to you because they don’t like to fight battles all the time. Especially when they hear of your losses, and they don’t like to lose. So, take time, carefully and wisely, to choose which battles in which you will get involved, and which battles to let go for now. As many of them will come around again later.

Choose your battles carefully, this will require patience, and it will require making a wise choice. And speaking of wise choices, let’s move to Proverbs 28:26 and listen to what the writer says.

He who trusts his own heart is a fool, but whoever walks wisely will be delivered.

You remember when Barry Goldwater was running for president and the slogan of his campaign was, in your heart, you know he’s right. And his political adversaries made another slogan, in your heart, you know he’s right, but in your head, you know he’s nuts. Well, that’s kind of what the writer of Proverbs is saying. He’s saying you’ve got to be careful because your heart has all kinds of emotions Involved in it because your heart sometimes has to do with what you want and desire and not what is and what is possible. And so, think through things. Now, that doesn’t mean you should never trust your heart because the heart does have its reasons about which the brain has no idea. There’s some things that God has put in my heart. And when God has put them in my heart, it really is Him. For instance, I never considered myself an evangelist, or that I had the gift of being an evangelist. I one time said to a large congregation, there are millions of people who are lost and I don’t care. And, I said, I don’t even know their names, I don’t know anything about them. Somebody came up to me, in fact, more than one in that large congregation and said, Steve, I’m going to pray for you because somebody in your position who doesn’t have a burden for the lost is not good. And so, they began to pray for me, and God listened to their prayer. And God fixed my heart. I stay awake sometimes at night, thinking about friends who don’t know him. I have on this broadcast paused in the middle of the teaching and said, if you don’t know him, Let me tell you how you can know Him. I have found myself really concerned about the world and those outside. And so, sometimes the heart God fixes, and in our hearts we know the truth. In our hearts we are given passion, in our hearts we are drawn, but don’t ever walk that road without your head. That’s one of the reasons that Satan says, do it now, because he knows your heart wants to do it now, and why you have to be careful. That’s how you can tell the difference in what comes from God and what comes from the dark side. When it comes from God, God says, think about it. Think about it for a while, balance things out, think about outcomes, understand the direction that you’re going and where that’s going to lead. And then, and only then, follow your heart. Let me go to Proverbs 31: 4 through 7. This is kind of interesting. If you’re a teetotaler, and I am, I don’t drink, you’re going to have a little bit of trouble with this. But I didn’t say it. That’s what Grady Wilson used to say in my church when he would preach there. He’d say something really controversial. And he’d say, I didn’t say it, God said it, I wouldn’t have said it. So, listen to Proverbs 31:4 through 7.

It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine, nor for princes intoxicating drink, lest they drink and forget the law and pervert the justice of all the afflicted. However, give strong drink to them who are perishing, and wine to those who are bitter of heart, let them drink and forget his poverty and remember his misery no more.

Now, I’ve said on a number of occasions, and always in a facetious way, that I don’t drink adult beverages, but I have often thought that I could handle this thing a little bit better drunk. And people get mad at me when I say that, but I think sometimes when I’m watching television, people are consuming adult beverages, that’s how they get through it. But sometimes we who have things sort of together look at people who are in pain, the people to whom this passage, this text, refers. People who are having a hard time, people who are walking very difficult roads, and we have a tendency to say, deal with it. I think sometimes we make a horrible mistake in doing that. I remember a friend who, in a very poor section in the early days of television, noticed that a television antenna was sticking out the house of a shack. And I pointed that out to my mother, and my mother, who was a very wise woman, said, Steve, don’t begrudge them that. That’s their place of escape. That’s the soft place that they have to have in order to get through the pain in which they live. And so, be compassionate and be understanding. I’m not saying get them drunk, and I don’t think the writer of Proverbs is saying that. But understand that sometimes, the things that we think of are escape and we poo poo, are gifts from God, from Him that we might deal with some of the dark places. Okay, let’s look at Proverbs 30:5 through 6. Listen to this. And we’re just going to mention it today, we’ll talk a little bit more about it tomorrow.

Every word of God is pure. He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him. Do not add to His words, lest He rebuke you and you be found a liar.

As you know, in the Book of Revelation, it’s very clear if anybody adds to this book, you’re going to be in serious trouble. In other words, it’s important that God’s people listen to what God has to say about our lives, about how we live them, about other people, about the things that we’re talking about in the Book of Proverbs. All of this is God’s word. And when it comes from the throne, you can trust it. And when people add to it, when people say yes, but there’s more to it than that. When people said there’s some things that you ought to know that aren’t found in the Bible about your life. Don’t listen to that. Because God speaks truth. When he speaks truth, he does it because he likes you enough to speak truth into your life. You think about that. Amen.

Matthew Porter:
Listen to your heart, but be careful. Wise words from the Book of Proverbs. Thank you Steve. And we’ll have more from our Street-Smart Christians series tomorrow, do not miss that. Well, I don’t remember what the book was, but the first time I came across Max Lucado’s writings, it was a book I randomly pulled off the library shelf in college in the late 90s. And within about two minutes of reading, the tears were welling up. So, it was a great joy to get to speak with Max several weeks ago about the story of Jacob, which is proof positive that God loves screw ups. We would love to send you that entire conversation on CD for free. Just call us right now at 1-800-KEY-LIFE that’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] to ask for that CD. Or to mail your request, go to to find our mailing addresses. Just ask for the free CD featuring Max Lucado. Finally, if you value the work of Key Life, would you join us in that work through your financial support? You can charge a gift on your credit card or include a gift in your envelope. Or simply text Key Life to 28950 that’s Key Life, one word, two words. It doesn’t matter. Text that to 28950. And you know this, but I’m going say it anyway, even if you can’t give right now, don’t worry about it. No guilt, no pressure. But if you have a minute, please pray for us. Would you? Thanks. Key Life is a member of ECFA in the States and CCCC in Canada. And we are a listener supported production of Key Life Network.

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