Since Eden, the eyes have tripped us up, and our culture preys on them with declarations of what we need and deserve: wrinkle-less faces, gray-less hair, plump-less bodies (but plump-full lips!), the smartest, easiest, trendiest, newest everything to wear, carry, drive, and use. The ploy of our eyes is that they attract us to the exterior. But God is concerned with the interior. His eyes see through our veneer, and He knows that how we adorn ourselves, what we say and choose and post and pursue flows from within. As a society, we tend ‘not to go there,’ preferring shallow “fine, thank you”s and smiling selfies, boasts of achievement and constant noise through bluetooth or earbuds, over contemplative care of our interior and honesty about our sins.
“This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. The things that come out of a person are what defile him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.” Mark 7:6,16,21-23
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” We cannot be diligent enough. Uprooting these pervasive weeds by confession and renunciation as soon as they are recognized is a life-long practice as we follow Christ. God’s judgment in Noah’s time came because “The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually,” and although we are being sanctified, until we see Jesus face to face we will struggle with our hearts of flesh. (Jeremiah 17:9; Genesis 6:5)
Lord, give me the courage to focus on my interior. Make me diligent to hide Your word in my heart, that I not sin against You, to guard and keep my heart with all vigilance as the wellspring of life, and to love You with all my heart. Create in me a clean heart, an undivided heart, and incline it always to You alone. (Psalm 119:11; Proverbs 4:23; Deuteronomy 6:5; Psalm 51:10; 86:11; 1 Kings 8:58)