“… He knows the secrets of the heart…”
The Psalmist was inspired to pen these words, “I have hidden Your word in my heart that I might not sin against You.” (Psalm 119:11) Spiritually, the attitude of one’s heart closely resembles the thoughts being rehearsed in their mind. This is why our minds must always be carefully guarded (see Proverbs 4:23). This protection is a natural spiritual function of God’s instruction.
Before the Old Testament Scriptures were provided in a written form, the events described by Moses were memorized and passed down verbally by the earliest believers. Later, during the time of Abraham, the spiritual battle between right and wrong continued just as it does today. In those first centuries, described in Genesis, the world’s population slowly increased, but, as it grew – the problems caused by evil and sin grew with it! The Bible explains, “The Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The Lord was grieved that He had made man on the earth…” (Genesis 6:5a)
Humanity’s deeply sinful condition which was observed by the Lord before the flood greatly disturbed Him. This is why the Bible says, “…His heart was filled with pain.” (Genesis 6:6c) The spiritual principle which vividly describes this human heart condition is summarized by the Lord’s words, “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:27b) Remember that “…the Lord looks on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7b) so He knows every thought we ever entertain.
All sin begins within us. As an example, both adultery and premeditated murder become sinful ideas before they become sinful deeds. However, the desire itself is the underlying issue. The Bible warns us of this spiritual danger saying, “…as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…” (Proverb 23:7) Quietly consider, your own private thoughts and you will immediately realize how much you need to change and grow with the Holy Spirit’s help.
Crime, violence, and every form of immorality take place as the result of misguided human desires. They proceed from either unsurrendered areas of a person’s mind or from uncontrolled and driven emotions. Explained another way, sin is the result of attitudes and decisions that are still subject to human volition rather than being willfully subject to God’s control.
A fractured heart that is experiencing severe pain is highly vulnerable to our enemy’s influence. Such a heart can easily be filled with carnal thoughts which result in worldly, sinful, and destructive behavior. However, both young Saul of Tarsus, who became Paul, and the Gerasene Demoniac are positive proof that such lives can dramatically – be transformed, healed, and redirected through the Holy Spirit’s power! (See Acts 9:1-20, Mark 5:13-15).
Today’s medicines can greatly help our many physical illnesses; however, the true internal condition of every person’s heart is spiritual! Jesus Christ alone is ultimately our great physician. His Word and His Father’s Spirit have the power to heal every human heart. Remember this as you witness today – “… the word of God is living and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, even penetrating as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)
By Billie Hanks Jr.