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"God Knows My Heart"

We often hear this phrase uttered when one is caught in open sin, and when there is a clear disparity and discrepancy in their practice and the truth of the scriptures.  During the course of a discussion or Bible study one may be convicted by the scriptures of their sin, yet they are not willing to come to repentance and follow the Truth of the scriptures. Thus, this phrase “God knows my heart” is uttered. It is a feeble attempt to justify their sin in their own minds. The phrase is said to nullify obedience to God’s divine word.  Thus, those who make this argument, imply “I am convinced in my own mind and heart, thus it must be pleasing to God regardless of what He has revealed in the scriptures.”   It is the credo of those who “serve their own belly,” rather than “the Lord, Christ” ( Philippians 3:17-19).  The phrase defines the very attitude of those who seek to follow their own emotions and feelings, and reject the clear teaching of inspired scripture which alone is able to make us complete and equip us unto all good works ( 2 Timothy 3:16-17).  Let us consider the scriptural implications of such an argument…..

This phrase assumes that sincerity is all that is needed to be pleasing to God.  The idea that truth is relative and sincerity is what matters is quite a pervasive and destructive doctrine.  Yet, it is prevalent in the minds of many “religious” people.  With that in mind, let us consider one such scriptural example.  The scriptures record that, “there was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band,   A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God always”  (Acts 10:1-2; emphasis mine KGJ).   Cornelius was devout and dedicated, yet the scriptures also say of him that Peter would tell him “words by which [he] might be saved” (Acts 11:14).    Thus here was a man who was the very picture of sincerity, yet still needed to hear words by which he would be saved.   Also note that Cornelius was not said to be engaging in worldliness, he was not engaged in fornication or adultery. No, he was doing things which were pleasing to the Lord:  giving alms, praying to God, fearing God, and being devout in this service.   And even Cornelius had no room to say “well, God knows my heart.”  He was still required to obey the gospel, and no provision was made for Him to remain in sin.

The phrase also assumes that since God knows a person’s heart, then the heart must be accepted.   Yet this fails the scriptural test as well.  The fact is God knows all people’s hearts.  He searches hearts (Psalm 44:21; 1 Kings 8:39).  Jeremiah points out that the Heart is deceitful above all things and “desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9-10).  In this same context it is pointed out that the Lord searches the heart. The fact is that man’s heart can be deceived, but God is not deceived.  Paul points this out that many are deceived who “receive not the love of the truth that they might be saved” (2 Thess. 2:10-11).   In the same passage the apostle speaks of those who “had pleasure in unrighteousness.”   The phrase “God knows my heart” is generally rooted in such a detestable attitude toward truth.  It is uttered by those who seek to remain in sin because “God knows their heart.”  What a sad and desperate state to find oneself in!

The fact is we can only be assured that our heart is acceptable and pleasing to God through our understanding of God’s divine word.  It contains all we need to be complete (2 Timothy 3:16-17).   The Hebrew writer notes, “the word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of the soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).    The nature of the word of God is such that it can expose aspects of our lives (i.e. in our hearts) wherein we ourselves may be deceived.  The Bible reveals the truth, even in us!   The fact is that man cannot go against the perfect and divine will of God as reveled in the scriptures, and be right in God’s sight.  Jesus said “not everyone who says to me “Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven” (Matthew 7:21)

For man to think that he may be found right in the site of God, while yet in sin, is none but folly. Jesus himself said “unless you repent you shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3).   Christ would also state “if you love Me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15).   While it is true that God does know our hearts, this fact does not show that we are saved.  If we desire to be saved, we should depart from sin, and follow the commandments of the Lord.  If we do this, God will know our hearts, and He will know that they are acceptable in His sight.