• Wayne Fox

God Looks at the Heart

God Looks at the Heart

God had anointed Saul as King. Saul had been a disappointment and had failed to obey God during his latter reign as King of Israel. God had determined to remove Saul as King. God sent Samuel to Bethlehem to the house of Jesse the father of David to anoint one of his sons as King. As Samuel was looking at the older brothers of David (David was the youngest son of Jesse) that he should anoint one of the older brothers as King. But God told Samuel: 1 Samuel 16:7 (ESV) 7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”

Throughout the history of the world, most worshippers have tried to serve God with the outward man. We look at ourselves and others and admire the form and ritual we call worship. Jesus quote: Isaiah 29:13 in: Matthew 15:8–9 (ESV) 8 “ ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; 9 in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ ” The prophet Samuel had done exactly what Jesus was referring to, and what we do today. It seems to be our nature to look at the externals of man and not what God looks at the attitude of his heart.

Men may deceive one another, but wecannot fool God; He looks upon the heart.When there is a wrong attitude, God knows. God tells us not to bring vain offerings and abominations to him, not to bring wrong attitudes, in: Isaiah 1:13–15 (ESV) 13 Bring no more vain offerings; incense is an abomination to me. New moon and Sabbath and the calling of convocations— I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly…..15 When you spread out your hands, I will hide my eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not listen; your hands are full of blood.

God tells us in Isaiah chapter 1 though we are sinful people our sins can be made as white as snow. If we are willing to obey, we can receive the blessings of God. John 3:16 (ESV) 16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

However, God will not force forgiveness on any man. If we choose to be rebelliousand stubborn, He will not save us againstour will. If we could only see it, our own attitude is the greatest barrier to our salvation. Adam and Eve knew what God hadtold them about the forbiddentree, they took the fruit and ate despite theirclear understanding (see Genesis 3:1-7). That was rebellion. Cain was presumptuous in offeringGod a sacrifice that differedfrom what the Lord had requested (see Genesis 4:3-10). So were Nadab and Abihu (see Numbers 3:1-4). None of these sins were acts of violence or passion; none seem terrible. Yet the consequence of each was tremendous. The reason – each was willful rebellion!

Each of us comes to a point in life where we deliberately disobey the lord. Our attitude of willful disobedience separates us from God. Romans 3:23 (ESV) 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Since our attitude is so important to God, we might logically expect the Lord to call on man for a change of heart. In every age of history this has been true; it is also true today. The Bible uses a particular word to express this change of mind, will, or attitude. That word is repentance. Repentance is that sincere change of heart in which a person, conscious of their sins and truly sorry for them, determines in their mind to amend their ways and to seek God's pardon.

There can be no doubt: God offers the opportunity and then demands repentance. God not only has been patient for centuries that man might repent, but Revelation teaches that He even uses natural calamities to remind us to turn from sin, although most ignore Him.

God's generous offer of forgiveness through Christ's blood ( see Romans 6:3-11) to each who will change his attitude is certainly joyous. While sincere repentance will bring forth the fruits of a changed life (see Luke 3:8-14), God has not demanded eternal remorse or even restitution for our mistakes before He will forgive our sins. No matter how long or deeply a man has lived in sin, he can have his heart "sprinkled clean from an evil conscience" when he will "draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith" and have his salvation. How good to know that God looks on the heart!

On the other hand, it is sobering to realize that no amount of church going or even remorse for sin will assure the salvation until we turn our hearts to accept and follow God's will, revealed in the Scriptures. God looks at the heart!

There is a song that we sing that reassures us.

Is your heart right with God,

Washed in the crimson flood:

Cleansed and made holy,

Humble and lowly,

Right in the sight of God

Where are you in spiritual journey?

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