“God knows my heart”. How many times have we heard someone say this or said it ourselves? Although we usually say this phrase to express our true desire to serve God, it actually does more to show our sinful nature.
The Bible has a lot to say when it comes to our hearts and it’s not all good. Scripture tells us our hearts are deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9 and Psalm 16:25) and can even condemn us (1 John 3:20). God knowing our hearts does us no good because our hearts are the very reason we sin (James 1:13-15).
Please don’t be discouraged because there is hope. More than we need to understand that God knows our hearts, we need to know His. We need to know that despite the sinful nature of our hearts and the sin that it produces God sent His Son to die so that we might live. We need to know that God loves us even while our hearts have lured us away from Him.
The Apostle John reminds us that if we believe God’s love and heart for us, we will follow His commands. He says:
But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did. (1 John 2:5-6 NIV)
It is God’s heart for us, not ours for Him that compels us to live the lives He’s called us to live. Living for God sometimes places us in awkward, uncomfortable, dangerous or even lonely places. It is then our hearts will not be enough to endure. Our hearts will fail us. It is then we need to know God’s heart.
We need to know He loves us. We need to believe our circumstance does not determine His love towards us. Your level of belief affects your behavior. If someone screams “fire, fire” and you see them running either you will believe them and run too or you will not believe them and stay right where you are. God is screaming “I love you, I have a purpose for you,” and He showed it on the cross. Either we will believe Him and follow Him or we won’t believe Him and stay in our sinful ways.
The root cause of any sin is lack of faith in God. We don’t believe His love is better. We don’t believe He has the best for us. We don’t believe He will truly provide for and sustain us. And when we believe these lies we are lead away from God.
We don’t need God to believe in us, we need to believe in Him. We can’t do better until we start believing better and we can’t do that until we know God and know His heart, not the other way around. May our prayer be His love made complete in us so we may joyfully follow Him with sincere hearts.