So many times in the bible we learn that the condition of our spiritual heart is so important. Our hearts guides what we do, what we say, and how we relate to our God. The bible tells us that God knows what is in our heart, and that our hearts are what is most important to God because it reveals who we truly are. Though we can fool people by having our actions contradict what is truly in our heart, we can never fool God. Proverbs chapter 15, verses 8 and 9 lays it out like this:
"The Lord detests the sacrifice of the wicked, but the prayer the upright pleases him. The Lord detests the way of the wicked but he loves those who pursue righteousness."
Why does the Lord detest the sacrifice of the wicked? Because he knows that the action and the heart do not line up. Without an upright heart, the actions are false. The act of sacrifice, whether it be the sacrifice of animals in the old testament or the sacrifice of time or money today, only matters if done with the right heart. In those verses from proverbs, we learn that there is a direct correlation between how God feels about or actions as they pertain to our heart or our motives. Good acts from a wicked heart amount to nothing. But good acts from the upright pleases God. So I encourage you to concentrate on your heart. Allow the Holy Spirit conform your heart in a way that pleases our Lord.
Our heart is the truest reflection of who we are. It is like looking in a mirror, revealing our true motives, desires, and intentions, even if we aren’t willing to admit them to ourselves. God looks at our heart to determine who we really are. And who we really are, is often someone we are not proud of. But when we admit the truth to ourselves, our spirit is open, and often times broken. We realize how far we are from the likeness of our Holy God. And it is at this place where God loves to find us; broken and contrite, realizing our need for him and that we are nothing without him. I encourage you to examine your heart and to do it often. We can’t have a false heart before God because we will always be exposed for who we truly are. But we also shouldn’t lie to ourselves. We need to examine our hearts to see how close we are to living an upright life that pleases him.