“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”
Psalm 119:11, NIV
The inner workings of our heart are very personal. The heart of man is a very private place. It’s the place where we hide intimate and personal thoughts that really matter to us. It’s also the place where we can bury things and hide them away like precious treasure.
But it can also be the place where we bury things, not because they are precious or valuable, but because we don’t want anyone else to know that they’re there! Especially things that we might be ashamed of, such as memories of sinful experiences which may still hold an attraction for us; things that we like to go back to from time to time, when tempted to indulge ourselves in the false comfort of sinful thinking, as opposed to dwelling on those things that would bless the heart of God and enrich our lives.
The writer of the Hebrews knew the reality of this when he wrote, “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to the dividing of soul and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:12-13).
The thoughts and attitudes of the heart, or intentions of the heart in some translations, clearly matter to God. They are the things that motivate our actions – they are the source of both good things and bad things. No wonder Jeremiah warned us that “the heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9).
When man chose to obey and follow Satan, we acquired a new and rebellious character in our inner being – the carnal nature, out of which flows the original sin with which the whole of mankind is tainted. And ever since, the battle for the destiny of our lives has been fought out in these inner reaches of our being. Proverbs 4:23 tells us, “above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
So, with so much stacked against us from within, how can we ever guard our heart and survive the onslaughts of the enemy which strike at the very core of who we are? How can we ever fulfil the rightful destiny that God has prepared in advance for each one of us (Ephesians 2:10). In our Scripture for today we discover the secret remedy that the psalmist had learned through long experience. He had hidden God’s Word, like buried treasure in his heart, where it could act as a plumb-line ranged against every deceptive intention that the enemy may want us to follow.
I am so thankful to the Lord that I was encouraged as a child to read and learn Scriptures and to remember them. When hidden in my heart, they became bastions of truth against which the temptations of the enemy had to be measured. I’m not saying I always made the right choices as a result, for the will can be very strong. But I can say, without question, that without the comfort of knowing that the Word of God is truth, and that God has promised His blessings to those who follow Him, I would have fallen into Satan’s traps on many occasions and missed out on so much of what God had in store for me.
What a comfort it is to know that if we get the Word of God into our hearts, then the Holy Spirit will get it out, to help us in time of need, especially when facing temptation.
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, that Your Word is truth. Help me to diligently read Your Word so that, hidden in my heart, it will help me to resist temptation and make godly choices throughout my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.