Psalms 30:8 – 12 To you, Lord, I called; to the Lord I cried for mercy: “What is gained if I am silenced, if I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it proclaim your faithfulness? Hear, Lord, and be merciful to me; Lord, be my help.” You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. Lord my God, I will praise you forever.
The other morning I read these verses and what stood out to me was the writer’s act of worship. The psalmist worshiped God from a place of gratitude and shared his testimony of God’s restoration. I began to think about the outward displays of praise and worship like singing, dancing, honoring God with our lips, and raised hands. As this imagery was playing in my head another scripture came to mind, Matthew 15:8 says, “This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.” I told the Lord that I never want to be in this place. I don’t just want to honor God with my lips, but I want my heart to be close and in tune with God. God was giving me a heart check up!
One of my favorite scriptures is Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” This scripture says everything we do is a result of the condition of our heart. I’m often reminded of this scripture when I need to evaluate my heart. When my actions and thinking are off. When negative emotions consume me. When I’m short tempered, anxious, and critical of others. When I think about things that are unlovely way too long. The bible says in Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Our actions bear fruit to what is going on in our hearts. I don’t want to just give God lip service. I don’t want to just say the right things outwardly, but inwardly my heart is far from God. As I was reading these scriptures, God was reminding me of the importance of doing a heart check.
Psalm 139:23-24 reads, “Search me, God, and know my heart test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” One way God leads and helps us navigate and understand the condition of our hearts is through His word, the Bible. “I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you,” Psalm 119. As we read God’s word, it illuminates our thinking, actions, and words. It reveals the contents of our heart. Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” We need God’s word to keep our hearts in the right place. God’s word provides a blueprint for living. Psalm 119:105 reads, “Your word is a lamp unto our feet and a light for our path.”
Is it time to do a heart check up? God’s word will illuminate and provide the path for living a life that not only honors Him with our lips, but a heart that pleases Him too. We want to worship God in spirit and truth. My prayer today is Lord, create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me!