How often we speak of the heart. “I love you with all my heart,” we’ll say, or “He really put his heart into it,” or “Her heart must be breaking.” Shakespeare wrote, “I did never know so full a voice issue from so empty a heart.” But who really knows the heart?
Lord, you know everyone’s heart. (Acts 1:24)
It is one thing to speak about the heart; it is another thing altogether to actually know the heart. The Author of Scripture also formed the heart of man (Job 31:15), and the Bible tells us that the human heart is so ensnared by sin, so wicked and deceitful that it is beyond our understanding (Jeremiah 17:9). Make no mistake; the Cosmic Cardiologist really knows the human heart, which is why the prayer of the psalmist must be the confession of our lives.
Search me, O God, and know my heart. (Psalm 139:23)
It is the wise person who cries out to our Cosmic Cardiologist to search the heart; the fool thinks his heart needs no searching. By nature we all think we are better than we really are; we think more highly of ourselves than we should! We compare ourselves with others, find those who are a little worse off than we are, and tell ourselves we are doing well. We believe we reflect much more of the character of Christ than the confession of our lives affirms. And how often are we convinced that we know with absolute certainty what is beating inside the heart of another? We practically put ourselves in the roles of judge, jury, and executioner.
But this is not for you!
Only God knows the heart—every heart (John 2:25). He is the One who removed our heart of stone and gave us a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26). Only God knows exactly what is going on inside our hearts moment by moment. We need to acknowledge this truth and live in the light of this truth. We need not fear God searching our hearts, because He is the only One who can cause it to beat after the things of God.
You see, God will tolerate no rival. He is to be on the throne of our lives and He will dismantle and deconstruct every idol of the heart. He began this work when He raised us from death to life and He continues this work until it is done (Philippians 1:6) and that will only happen when we reach the other side of the Jordan. Until that day what we need to remember God is at work in the lives of you and me and all of His children.
In light of this truth, we need to keep preaching the Gospel to ourselves daily. We must keep both past grace and future grace before the eyes of our heart. We live under the banner of the finished work of Jesus Christ (our justification, which is past grace), but we also live under the banner of the future work of Jesus Christ (our continued sanctification and ultimate glorification, which is future grace). What God started He will finish, and nothing will get in His way—and that includes you!
Regardless of where this finds you today, whether your heart that is beating strongly for the things of God, broken on the anvil of affliction, or buried under the weight of weakness and despair, God will finish what He started in you and in this world. There is a day, not so far off, when your heart will beat only for the things of God and you will be in a place where there are no more tears, sorrow, pain, or death. Let that truth from our Cosmic Cardiologist be a comfort to your heart today and all the days of your life.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!