I'm delaying my originally intended post again, but apparently this is important now. Thelema is the popular philosophic choice in the world today. Do what really pleases you, and to your hearts desire. It will free you, and anything asking abstinence from anything is restrictive and unhealthy. Freeing yourself by doing what you will allows the person to engage in what is truly moral. This because we desire what we are denied, and thus will be engaged in more meaningful pursuits rather than being in servitude.
…or so it goes. A doctrine purposefully crafted to exclude divine assistance–especially God. This doctrine may be more popular than we'd like to think in the world. Even in our mainstream culture. I don't really want to go into how infiltrated it is in our society. It's not pleasant to study.
There is an alternate course. A much better one, in my opinion!
David of the Old Testament speaks of it. His son is about to be king and is to build a temple, because David cannot:
17 I know also, my God, that thou triest the heart, and hast pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of mine heart I have willingly offered all these things: and now have I seen with joy thy people, which are present here, to offer willingly unto thee.
18 O Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, our fathers, keep this for ever in the imagination of the thoughts of the heart of thy people, and prepare their heart unto thee:
19 And give unto Solomon my son a perfect heart, to keep thy commandments, thy testimonies, and thy statutes, and to do all these things, and to build the palace, for the which I have made provision. (1 Chronicles 29)
It is instead to do God's will. It is to love Him and keep His commandments. Yeah, there are probably better scriptures out there, but I'm reading the Old Testament right now.
I'll bet that I can make a case that 'following your heart' (or to 'listen to your heart') is not so much a virtue than we think it is. It is certainly a glamorized doctrine nowadays, though. Here's an example of why it shouldn't be:
26 He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered. (Proverbs 28)
The key here is the following of one's “own heart” we should avoid, as I've made in bold. This is not the path we should follow, no matter what we are told by the world. Instead, we should love the Lord with all our heart. It is to become like God and do as He would do. Essentially, it's hearkening to His voice. Try doing a search in the scriptures for “own heart” and see what you find. I have a few journal entries full of related examples. It's a clear and prevalent doctrine taught against in the scriptures. Maybe I'll make a post on that later on, or you could just email me for them if you'd like.
We cannot leave God out of the equation. All doctrines fail without Him, and most doctrines in the world replace Him. And we can't do it our way. It must be His we seek. May we do the following instead:
5 ¶Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
7 ¶Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. (Proverbs 3)
And now that you probably have Roxette's Listen to Your Heart stuck in your head (like I did), here's something I just found upon posting this. Click here.
We can't make God into a religion when He is a living being. Christ is our direct foundation, with no one in between us and Him. Only He has the power to save. Whatever path we're on, He will straighten it for us if we seek/love Him with all our heart.
We seek Him directly in thought and deed. We won't find Him if we just hide behind the scriptures all day. Only God can make the scriptures come alive to you because God lives! He gives life to all things! When we serve Him, He makes our work fruitful.
Give your time to Him (sacrifice) and talk to Him; meaningful time spent in the spirit of pure intent, worship, and praise. You may be surprised by what you find. Talk to Him throughout the day. Listen to Him. Council with Him. He wants us to repent and be willing to give up our will. We will struggle sometimes, and the world will hate you the closer you are to Him; but it won't be so bad because we will love God. We will find comfort in Him because He lives! He won't reveal Himself to us if we won't draw near to Him. He requires our whole heart; the goal is to get there, and He can show us how it is to be done.
I know God lives!
37 Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day. (Alma 37)