God knows the secrets of the heart; there are no parts you can hide from Him.
“If we had forgotten the name of our God or spread out our hands to a foreign god, would not God discover this? For he knows the secrets of the heart.”
- Psalm 44:20–21
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Transcript: Hi, welcome to Five Minutes With Pastor Lutzer. Thank you so much for joining us today, as we continue our study of the attributes of God—specifically, the omniscience of God. As you have frequently heard me say, whenever we are in the presence of God and contemplate Him, we should be rebuked, challenged, encouraged; always, we should be led to worship. And when we consider the extent of His knowledge about us, certainly today, we should be humbled.
The passage of Scripture actually comes to us from Psalm 44, and I’m picking it up at verse 20: “If we had forgotten the name of our God or spread out our hands to a foreign god, would not God discover this? For He knows the secrets of the heart.” Wow. Contemplate that for a moment. He knows the secrets of the heart.
This reminds me of the passage of Scripture found in Jeremiah chapter 17, where we read, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked—who can know it?” I’ve quoted that many times when I’ve been preaching. But oftentimes, we as preachers, what we don’t do is quote the next verse. Alright, the heart is deceitful above all things, desperately wicked. Next verse says, “And I, the LORD, search the heart.”
Let’s take a deep dive for just a moment into our hearts. I think what we would admit to is that in all of our lives, there are serpents that lie in the basement of our hearts. After all, the Bible says the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. Someone has put it this way: when you really think that you have come to the bottom of human nature, you’re at the basement, where you have children who are being abused in so many different ways, and the evil of the human heart. And you think to yourself, “This is the basement.” As you walk along the basement, you discover that there’s a tap under your foot. There’s another layer of evil, and God sees it all. He sees the way in which we want to deceive ourselves.
We are good at self-deception. We tell ourself lies that we absolutely know are lies, but we want to believe those lies with all that we have. I remember two men who were involved sexually with each other, in a homosexual relationship; and they said, “There is nothing as pure and as wonderful as this relationship.” In their hearts they know that that is not true. But we want to believe all of these things. Or a man that I know who was involved in an adulterous relationship, justifying it, because we want to believe our lies.
We also think of the sins of the flesh, but let me for a moment remind you of the sins of the spirit: anger, hostility, jealousy, envy—all of these things. Yesterday I was speaking to an attorney who deals with issues of inheritance, and she says to me, “It is absolutely ugly. All of the children get together. They fight over their parents’ money—money that they didn’t earn, by the way—and they become so annoyed at one another that they would rather see the inheritance brought to nothing with attorneys rather than have somebody get by with something they think that person should not deserve.”
You know, we live in a world in which there is so much unforgiveness, a world in which there is so much evil, and we must realize that God knows the heart. Now of course, in a moment, I’m gonna be speaking about grace. But let me illustrate our situation this way. In this circle, we are the public persona. We are public in our actions, because it’s very important for all of us to appear good. But there’s another circle, in our private lives over here; the secrets of the heart, which are hidden from everyone. And as one man told me, “There were parts in my heart I thought I was even hiding from God!”
Now think about this, my friend. God knows the secrets of the heart. And what He wants to do is to bring our motives and our hearts in line with our actions, so that our motives and our actions are actually glorifying to Him. How can that happen? It can only happen when we are born anew by the Holy Spirit of God. We trust Christ as our Savior, and He births within us a different nature with different desires, but even then, we still struggle.
But we do struggle seeking that which glorifies God. And as we grow in the Christian life, all of the secret sins eventually come under the authority of Jesus, and more and more by His grace, our motives become pure. Now that’s a process! It’s a process that we struggle with. But today, my friend, don’t hide from God at all. Because He knows the secrets of the heart.
One other word of encouragement. Although this might find—you might find what I’ve just said quite terrifying, remember this: it is very encouraging. Have you ever been misunderstood? People falsely accused you, spread lies about you? I wanna encourage you today. God knows the truth. He knows the secrets of the heart. And because He knows everything, we can trust His wisdom as we keep on going, asking God to purify our motives for His glory and for His honor.
Thank you so much for joining us. Hope to see you next time. And today, as you have frequently heard me, say go with God.