“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? “I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve.” Jeremiah 17:9-10 (NIV)
God is looking for an internal heart change among His people, through His power and for His glory. He desires to “irrigate the deserts” of our hearts with the knowledge of His mercy and love. And this is the greatest and hardest work of the believer. For out of the heart the mouth speaks and the actions flow, Amen? God desires for us to be more and more like Jesus – inside and out. Flesh cannot produce these kinds of works. Forced morality, regarding our outward actions, using simply sheer will or the arm of flesh, God will never own. Besides that, anything done sans the power of the Holy Spirit in a life will never make it through the fire that will test the quality of each man’s work. That is simply building with the wood, hay or straw of the flesh rather than the gold, silver and costly stones of the Holy Spirit.
Humility clears the pathway for us to hear from God. Ridding ourselves of pride, preconceived expectations and our own wills. God is sovereign over the inward as well as the outward man. And He will not fit into our little proverbial boxes of what He will or will not do - He is so totally other. We must come to Him on His terms. When we seek Him, we will find Him when we seek Him with our whole hearts. Sin resides in the heart and spreads to our minds, wills and affections. And a deluded hearts can lead us astray.
Our hearts are deceptive and our inner selves can become distorted by sin. Indeed, Jesus said out of our hearts come all sorts of evil thoughts in Matthew 15:19. Through illusion, Satan makes worldliness appear bigger to us and spiritual things lesser, misleading our affections and leading us into wrong motives and actions. Remember he is full of disordered lusts and monstrous conceptions. We cannot go as low as he is. Taking captive every thought and making it obedient to Christ through His power is our remedy against the adversaries’ wily ways. We do not want to become darkened in our thoughts – futile, foolish, debased, in error, suppressing the Truth with a lie because of the hardness of our hearts. When our hearts are set on the flesh they are in enmity towards God. And a debased heart and mind can descend into such unthinkable evil and degradation. Sadly, a vile heart is all too human. We must beware. When God’s Truth is ignored, we open ourselves up for countless idols of unrighteousness. Our minds are motivated and impassioned by the state of our hearts and we function rightly only when our hearts are right with God – willing to submit to His will and His ways, Which, of course, are always, always for our best.
“And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wIholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.” 1 Chronicles 28:9 (NIV)