Understand This, and Your Life Will Change
No, this isn't "clickbait" (an attempt to lure you in solely for clicks/views), nor is it a "bait and switch" (bring you in promising one thing and leave you with something else). This is more of a testimony than anything. This past Sunday, as part of our Summer Psalms series, we studied Psalm 51 together ("Create in Me a Clean Heart"), a weighty song of appeals for mercy, cleansing, repentance, and renewal. King David in verse six confesses that his crooked and trust-breaking sin of adultery with Bethsheba and murder of her husband Uriah wasn't some freak accident coming in out of left field, but was lurking deep within his nature since his conception in his mother's womb: "Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me" (Psalm 51:5, ESV). This sin came out from within his heart (inner nature). What a hard truth for anyone to admit, especially for a king to record for generations of people to know about him!
Then David, at first glance, seems to pull a "squirrel"... and leap in thought from his depraved nature to what God delights in: "Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart" (Psalm 51:10, ESV). This is no squirrel moment; this is wisdom interfacing with the depths of our brokenness.
All sin starts with a lie believed in the heart.
Recall the first temptation in the Garden, in Genesis three; Eve is tempted to believe a lie that gives birth to rebellion and disobedience: "God didn't make us like him." Analyze any other time in scripture when human beings sinned, and every one of them starts from a place in their hearts where God's truth wasn't believed. Any sin or brokenness in our outward behaviors are symptoms of areas within the heart where truth is not believed. David wasn't being random, he's declaring God's plan for our increasing purity and progressive sanctification: truth in the inward heart!
This is why Jesus, when tempted by Satan himself, wasn't just wielding memorized passages of scripture to fend off the temptations as we're so often instructed to do as the solution to our sin problems, Jesus was quoting deep truths He believed within His heart about God's sufficiency, awesomeness, and worthiness.
What we most deeply need is "truth in the inward being, wisdom in the secret heart." It's what God delights in and what He's made costly provisions for. Jesus died, rose again, and ascended to send us Holy Spirit to "guide you into all the truth" (John 16:13, ESV). Holy Spirit knows your heart infinitely better than you do, he's able to search out the recesses of your heart's beliefs, identify lies, and drop truth bombs, destroying the deepest roots of sin behaviors in your life.
Can you see why I say if you understand and believe this concept, the framework, and inner/outer workings, your life will change? We'll stop trying to modify our behaviors, stop trying to manage sins or "muscle up" to overcome temptations, we'll learn to look within your heart and what it is believing, hold that belief up to the light of the Lord, and ask Holy Spirit to lead you into truth. He'll do it, and you'll see true transformation happen in your life. May God bless you richly as you seek truth in the inward heart.