In the past, whenever another Christian would correct me, I would get defensive. It didn’t matter if I did something inappropriate or they believed I was towing the wrong line. I simply felt that they were “judging me” and would angrily retort, “God knows my heart, and that is all that matters”. Back then, I would quote the scripture, “People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” [1 Samuel 16:7, NLT], to defend my misbehavior. In my mind, if the Bible has said God looks at the heart, who were they to look at my works and “judge” me. It didn’t matter if it was a Pastor or a church worker, everyone got the same response either in behavior or words.
Yes, the state of the heart or the condition of a man’s spirit is very important. Yes, it matters that in your heart that you love God and you desire to live for him, but that should not to be an excuse to live anyway we choose to. After all, the salvation of the born again Christian is not just predisposed to what you believe in your heart, but also what you say with your mouth; there is a synergistic effect between your heart and your mouth. The Bible says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” [Romans 10:9-10, KJV]. You need both in order to be saved, and not just believing in God and Jesus Christ, because even the demons believe and shudder.
That is why Jesus said “a good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart” [Luke 6:45, NLT]. When I came across this verse, my notion and belief system was severely challenged and shattered. Jesus was basically saying that I could no longer hide under the guise of “God knows my heart”, to live a life contrary to the life he purchased for me when He died and rose again. No longer could I be comfortable with living an ungodly life and not shining my light. After all, if I loved God the way I claimed I did, it should and would reflect in my actions by the power of the Holy Ghost.
Even more fascinating was how Jesus addressed the churches in the Book of Revelations. In all the letters, Jesus said “I know thy works” and never once have I read “God knows your heart”. When your heart/Spirit man is in the right place, it will produce good fruits for all to see and when it is not, its fruits will not be good. Yet, it is also equally important to recognize that not all works which seem good, come from the right place. But all in all, when we as individuals choose to hide under “God knows my heart”, to be lukewarm, live a double life or live any life other than what God’s Word says, then that is unacceptable. Apostle James summed it up when he said “So you see, it isn’t enough just to have faith. You must also do good to prove that you have it. Faith that doesn’t show itself by good works is no faith at all—it is dead and useless. But someone may well argue, “You say the way to God is by faith alone, plus nothing; well, I say that good works are important too, for without good works you can’t prove whether you have faith or not; but anyone can see that I have faith by the way I act.” Are there still some among you who hold that “only believing” is enough? Believing in one God? Well, remember that the demons believe this too—so strongly that they tremble in terror! Fool! When will you ever learn that “believing” is useless without doing what God wants you to? Faith that does not result in good deeds is not real faith” [James 2:17-20, TLB].
Yes God knows your heart, but where are your works and fruits to prove it?