The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught.”
God knows you better than anyone. He has intimate knowledge, not only of your behavior, but also of your thoughts. He knows the reality of your faith; if it’s sincere, shallow, uncertain, or superficial. And He knows when your worship is merely lip-service.
Christianity was never intended as a religion for robots. God gave us free will and offers heaven as a gift. The choice of an eternal relationship with Him is ours to make, and He knows when that commitment is genuine.
“I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.” Jeremiah 17:10
Imagine for a moment you can read minds. You know what everyone is thinking. You aren’t limited to interpreting statements and observing behavior. No more guessing motives or the truth. Could you handle it? I know I couldn’t. It’s hard enough dealing with the information available.
Sometimes we don’t even know why we do the things we do. That’s why we have psychologists and psychiatrists who help us get in touch with our inner selves.
But those complexities of the human psyche are fully known to God. All the more reason to pray for a pure heart and a right spirit. (Psalm 51:10)
How many times have you said to your spouse, parents, or children, “I love you?” Often, you said those words without thinking. That doesn’t mean your sentiment is not heartfelt. Love for them is the reality of your heart.
Occasionally, we act in unloving ways toward our loved ones. A cross word to a spouse. A temper tantrum. An unkind act. Tuning them out when they’re talking to you. Such moody behavior is never acceptable, but it happens to all of us. Point is, when we act that way it doesn’t mean we stopped loving. Love remains the reality of your heart.
And that’s what God sees. The reality. The reality of your heart.
Love and devotion don’t always overflow in emotional enthusiasm.
A few days ago, my quiet time was interrupted by a phone call. After the conversation, I went on with my day and forgot to complete the earlier task of Bible study and prayer. But while I was mowing the lawn, old hymns came to mind, and I sang as I worked. “I love to tell the story of Jesus and His glory,” and “This is my story, this is my song.” And then came heartfelt thoughts of thanksgiving and a joyful spirit. The reality of my heart had come to the surface.
The reality of your heart will always come out to remind you it’s still there. In those times, you see what God sees. Therein lies what you truly believe, faith that is genuine and love that is real.
As Christians, we don’t always live on the mountaintop of faith. Sometimes we slip into the valley of distraction and despair. There are also wrong turns and faith failures. But if faith is real, it will always rise to remind us of who we are — and to whom we belong.
For more on this topic, check out this article: Are You Worthy of His Calling?
Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 4 (October – December) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.