5 This is what the Lord says:
“Cursed is the one who trusts in man,
who draws strength from mere flesh
and whose heart turns away from the Lord.
7 “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
8 They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.”
9 The heart is deceitful above all things
and beyond cure.
Who can understand it?
10 “I the Lord search the heart
and examine the mind,
to reward each person according to their conduct,
according to what their deeds deserve. (Jer 17:5, 7-10) NIV
My small group is studying the book of Joshua right now. We just finished the chapter where it names all the kings and towns that were totally destroyed. Being on this side of grace, it is so very difficult to wrap my head around God killing all those people. I understand that God is sovereign. The only way it makes any sense is through the lens of some of these verses. God knows the heart of a man. God knows what I am capable of doing apart from him.
God knows my heart even better than I do. He understands my past, he knows my intentions, and he knows where I truly place my trust. I am so thankful for his direction in my life. My heart has led me down some painful paths. It truly deceives. I trusted my heart above God’s word before and it led me down a path of sin. The proverbs say, there is a way that seems right to man but in the end it leads to death. That’s what happens when I follow my heart instead of God. Or when I trust in the words of “man” instead of Jesus.
5 He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored. (Mark 3:5)
Jesus knew the hearts of the Pharisees. He came in with a new way of doing things, filled with compassion and love, and it shook them to the core. They were so blinded by their desire to follow rules, they missed the Messiah.
34 The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” 35 Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.
36 As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?” 37Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” The eunuch answered, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”*** 38 And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. (Acts 8:34-38)
***(I added v 37 from the footnotes of my NIV bible as it was not in the text)
God knew the heart of the Ethiopian eunuch. He sent one of his angels who appeared to Philip and told him where to find the eunuch. While he was sitting in his chariot, Philip heard him reading from Isaiah a prophesy about Jesus. He was able to explain to him who Jesus was and he believed! The eunuch was so excited he wanted to be baptized immediately. The Lord had searched his heart.
God knows my very essence. I know I don’t always get things right and I’m thankful for the Spirit who guides me in truth. I pray for a soft heart, a teachable heart, that can be used by God.
Oh Lord, I am so thankful you look at my heart and not my conduct because my conduct does not always align with your truth. I want it to, though, and I pray for you to search my heart and continue to heal . There are times I can be stubborn, or fearful, or just plain prideful. But deep down, my heart longs for you. Help me stay focused and grounded in you so my roots grow deeper. In Jesus name, Amen