Matters of the heart
How would you feel if your spouse were unfaithful? They made vows that they would love, honor, and cherish you, yet you come home from work and catch them in the midst of an adulterous situation. And when you confront them with the question, "How could you do this to me?" their response is a statement calmly made of, "But, honey, you know my heart," implying that although they are guilty of adultery and the taking of your love and their vows for granted, that you should just overlook their shameful, disrespectful behavior because down deep they really do love you. Would their words make you feel any better? Would this so-called "heart love" match the blatantly disobedient behavior of the one who is your spouse? Of course not! Yet every single day men and women who claim to be the bride of Christ justify their unfaithfulness towards the Lord (their sinful behavior) with those five little words, "But God knows my heart."
Here are some real-life examples of times when people have used this "but God knows my heart" line to justify their sin:
- Here we have people who lie, cheat, or scam to get ahead at work or to benefit in other ways:
"I know that lying is a sin, but my boss expects it in certain situations. I have to lie or I might lose my job. Well, God understands because he knows my heart."
"If I fill out these medical forms with my true status (newly married), I will lose my welfare benefits. I guess I'd better keep that information to myself and not tell them the truth. Oh, well, God knows my heart."
- Here are examples of men and women who justify the reasons they are fornicating:
"I'd love to get married, but he doesn't want to. Anyway, I've invested this many years in this relationship. It's like we're almost married. I'm sure God will forgive me. He knows my heart."
"If I get married to my live-in boyfriend, I will lose my widow social security benefits. I want to do right, but because of 'the system' I can't. But I know that God understands. He knows my heart."
"I'm scared to get married again because I was burned by my first wife in an ugly divorce. Maybe I will some day if my girlfriend signs a prenuptial agreement. In the meantime, we will just move in together and see how it goes. God knows my heart."
- Here are people who chose society's standards of right and wrong instead of God's standards of purity:
"As a professed Christian actress, some people might talk when I take on this R-rated role that requires nudity. Oh, well, I made my decision based on that still small voice inside. And I don't care what people say, God knows my heart."
"I don't feel comfortable being at this concert (or party or club or movie) with my unsaved friends and taking part in this worldly behavior, but I want people to like me. I want to fit in. Hey, God understands that it's hard being a teen, and He knows my heart."
Friend, do any of the above-mentioned real-life scenarios sound like behavior that you have engaged in? Are you making excuses for your sin or holding on to a lifestyle that a true lover of the Lord should not be holding on to? Have you been unfaithful to your Bridegroom, Jesus Christ? Are you using God's mercy and grace as a license to sin?
Yes, God does know your heart. God knows your heart even better than you do. And although you may fool yourself with this irrational thinking that somehow your actions and your heart are not connected, God is not fooled. His Word says this about you and your behavior:
Ezekiel 33:31, "And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they show much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness."
Matthew 15:8, "This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoreth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me."
Jeremiah 13:10, "This evil people, which refuse to hear my words, which walk in the imagination of their heart, and walk after other gods, to serve them, and to worship them, shall even be as this girdle, which is good for nothing."
Luke 6:45, "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil."
What are you bringing forth? Good fruit or evil fruit? Our ACTIONS show where our love lies. If in your heart you truly loved the Lord, you would repent of your sinful ways and live a life in obedience to your Bridegroom, Jesus Christ. God's law is written on every man's heart. You know right from wrong, yet you choose sin over God's will for your life. Then you justify your sin by making excuses or pretending that in spite of your actions, you love the Lord. What utter nonsense! The verses below show how someone who truly loved the Lord would live:
John 14:15, "If ye love me, keep my commandments."
1 John 2:3, "And hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him."
1 John 2:6, "He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked."
1 Corinthians 10:21, "Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils."
3 John 1:11, "Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God."
So, Reader, are you truly of God? And if you are claiming to have been born again and saved, then why are you still living like an old unregenerate sinner? Is that man or woman that you are fornicating with your idol? They must be, why else would you put pleasing them before pleasing the Lord? Are those lies that you are telling helping you to build a bigger, better golden calf to trust in? They must be, why else would you be so unwilling to speak the truth? Are those friends that you are compromising your Christian walk for worthy of the altar that you have placed them on? Obviously your answer is yes, or else you would not be hiding your Christian light in order to blend in with them.
You can't be a 70% Christian or even a 95% Christian. If Jesus is your Lord and Savior, you should be obeying Him 100%. Otherwise, you are just engaging in meaningless lip service. The Lord wants, no, He deserves a chaste bride, a righteous bride, someone who loves and cherishes Him above all else. You should not offer to Him your sloppy hand-me-down love. You should be ashamed to call yourself a Christian while your life resembles that of an unsaved heathen. God's Word shows us what we must do and how we are instructed to live:
2 Corinthians 7:1, "Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God."
Deuteronomy 10:12, "...What doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, to keep the commandments of the Lord, and his statutes..."
Galatians: 5:24, "And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts."
1 Thessalonians 5:22, "Abstain from all appearance of evil."
1 Peter 2:11, "Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;"
Romans 12:2, "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
Ephesians 5:11, "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them."
Acts 8:22, "Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee."
Romans 6:11-12, "Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof."
1 Samuel 12:24, "Only fear the Lord, and serve him in truth with all your heart; for consider how great things he hath done for you."
It could not be any clearer than that! Our Bridegroom who has done such great things for us should receive our utmost in return. So in conclusion, Friend, if your heart has been convicted and you know that you have not been living as you ought, it is not too late for you, but you need to make some changes. You need to be willing to give up the sins that you have been engaging in. Repent and ask the Lord to forgive you. Yes, you might have to sacrifice that relationship with that girlfriend or boyfriend. Yes, you might have to stand up to your boss. Yes, you might lose out on some money or worldly benefit. But if Jesus Christ is truly the One whom you love above all else, it should not be hard to let go of the people, possessions, or lifestyle which is causing you to sin in the first place.
And in the future, don't ever just go by how you feel. Don't just "listen to your heart" when deciding what things are good and right because you can deceive yourself into believing what is evil is good. Always look to God's Word. God has blessed us with instructions on exactly how He wants us to live. Read the Holy Bible and obey what you read. And don't judge a situation by the examples of others. Don't listen to your friends. Don't even think that your pastor has all the answers. God's Holy Word is the only source you need or that you can rely on.
Matthew 15:19, "For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies."
Proverbs 16:25, "There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death."
Jeremiah 17:9, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?"
Proverbs 28:26, "He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered."
Jeremiah 17:5, "Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord."