This morning as I was reading further in Exodus 20, through the Ten Commandments, I was struck by something. As you read each commandment, it really gets down to being a heart issue. All of them are about the heart.
Sure many of them talk about actions and things we aren't supposed to do. But even with those ones, it really does come down to the heart. Because if our heart isn't right, doing or not doing the right things won't last and won't mean much while they're doing them.
Elsewhere in Scripture, God clearly states that He wants the hearts of His people, not just their actions.
"For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgement of God rather than burnt offerings." (Hosea 6:6)
God spoke these words to Israel when their actions were right, but their hearts weren't.
I don't think God's desire for us has changed. He still wants the hearts of His people over actions that mean little or nothing. And so much of how He calls us to live in this world comes down to a heart issue.
We can do the right thing for a while, but if our heart isn't in it, it won't last.
So, I'm left with a couple of questions to ponder that I'll leave for you as well:
Where is my heart? Do I need to ask God to change my heart so my actions have some real meaning?