“…your inward part is full of greed and wickedness.”
– Luke 11:39
Incredibly, we often forget that God sees us and knows the intents of our hearts. The Apostle Paul wrote that the Lord would “bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts.” The only way Jesus can do that is if He sees the inward person, and we know that He does. The heart is the place Jesus rushes to because “He desires truth in the inward parts!”
Samuel was a very godly man, even from his youth. Hannah had rightly prayed for a son at a time that the Nation of Israel needed a spiritual leader. Samuel’s life was dedicated to God in service. When he came to choose the next king of Israel, Samuel looked upon David’s older brother and said, “Surely, this is the one!” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” Even a godly man can misunderstand things. The only One who can determine what is in the inward parts is the Lord.
The Pharisees cared more about outward appearances than they did about the inward attitude. Jesus knew their hearts, and He knows ours as well. The condition of the heart is critical in our walks with Christ, this is why Jesus points out sin. Not to condemn, but to save. Not to make you feel bad about yourself, but to make you right with Him. When Jesus pronounces woes, they are warnings of condemnation, and it is always a time to listen to what He is saying. Just as with the Pharisees, we can excel in what can be seen by others and be careless by only what God can see. May we each repair our hearts to Christ today.
“Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.”
– Proverbs 4:23