This past week I needed to make a quick trip out of town. Since I don’t travel by air very often, I hadn’t experienced the security check process in quite a while. I realize that these procedures have been instituted in the name of national security, and are being done to make sure that weapons or explosive devices do not make it on board any aircraft, but I can’t help but wonder is this the best we can do for security and efficiency as well. As I looked around at the sea of travelers, I began to analyze them by their physical appearance, and based on the way they are dressed. From their external appearance I could guess their nationality, their age, and maybe even their social status. But the truth is, it is only a guess. Even the screening process itself is subject to mistakes.
The Bible tells us that God screens people as well, but He does not need an x-ray machine or a physical search. He goes right past the outward appearance and looks inside us. “The LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:17. The reason God looks into our heart is to find out what condition we are in, not our physical condition, but the intentions and motivations of our heart. He does this because the things which we do and say are a direct result of what is in our heart. Jesus said, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things,” Matthew 12:35-36. He also said in Matthew 15:18-19, “Those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornication, thefts, false witness, and blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man.” The Bible says a lot about our heart. When God addresses our heart it is not about a medical condition, but about our spiritual condition. People often judge us by our outward appearance or by their perceptions of how we live our life, but God knows what is really on the inside of us. He knows when we are being truthful or dishonest because He sees beneath the surface of our lives and knows the reasons why we do things.
When the Bible speaks of the heart it is usually referring to the source of our thoughts, our plans, our attitudes our desires, motives and choices. This is why the heart is referred to as the seat of our intellect, emotions, and will. As the seat of the intellect, the heart is the center of our thought processes and our hopes and dreams. The Bible speaks of the heart as the mind, the seat of knowledge, the center of understanding, and the base of our discernment and memory. The Bible also refers to the heart as the seat of emotion. The heart can be happy or sad, it can be troubled or at peace. Our hearts can also be discouraged or afraid. The heart can also be generous and pure or envious and or proud. Our heart can be moved by compassion, or it can become hard with hatred. Our hearts can desire a closer walk with God or it can grow cold and indifferent. The heart is the seat of our will. The choices we make and the things we do are often determined by the condition of our heart. In Jeremiah 17:9, the Bible says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” In Psalms 51:10-12 the Bible teaches us that it is in the heart that we understand our sin and desire to be clean. “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.” Our heart is where we make the decision to obey or disobey God. We know that by God’s grace, He can move upon our heart and cause a stubborn disobedient heart to change, and with a change of heart our lives will change too.
We pass through security screening at the airport in order to be able to fly to our destination, but it is not directly beneficial to anyone who receives the screening, unless it actually deters someone from setting off an explosive device or hijacking a plane. The type of screening that God accomplishes with our heart has an immediate and direct benefit to each of us who know Him because the condition of our heart can only be known to God. Each of us has a God shaped vacuum in our heart and that can only be filled when our heart is in God’s control.
The Bible says in Romans 10:9-10, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.” Have you had a heart checkup lately? Is your heart giving you trouble? Do you need to go through a spiritual screening? Try going through God’s checkpoint and let Him identify the need of your heart. The outcome can lead to peace with God and a reservation in eternity with Him forever.