“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? 10I the LORD search the heat, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings ” Jeremiah 17.9-10
I don’t think any of us disagree with v. 9. God is simply speaking truth here and we need to recognize the truthfulness as it relates to our own hearts. V. 9 sets up the dramatic contrast between “the wicked heart” and “I the LORD search the heart … ” With the realization that the Lord searches our hearts, we find powerful motivation to yield control of our hearts to the Lord. Most of our heart-felt decisions, when they are made without the Lord’s guidance, merely give way to what the flesh wants, not what God wants. There is NEVER a good time to project ourselves ahead of God by thinking WE know what is best.
The verse continues: “I try the reins … ” Another translations reads like this: “I test the mind … ” God not only works with the heart, He also tests our mind to see if we are filtering our thoughts through what the flesh wants or what the Spirit wants. Don’t miss this next phrase: “to give every man according to his ways … ” If I demand to have my own way, then God will give me what MY ways long for. Here is expressed the maxim: “You reap what you sow.” Far too many times I fear that God’s people go about sowing their wild oats and the pray for a crop failure.
“to give every man according to … the fruit of his doings.” The fruit of our lives reflects what we hold dear. God WILL give the fruit of our doings, but I am not certain that any of us really want that. How much better would our lives be if we longed for the fruit of the Spirit? “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith 23Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” How about we say to God today, “I’m all in! Take these broken pieces of my life and do with them something that will bring glory and honor to you.” Just my thoughts …