“The Lord looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. From the place of His dwelling He looks On all the inhabitants of the earth; He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works.”
Psalms 33:13-15 (NKJV)
A few weeks ago I found myself being led to the Greece Ridge Mall. This trip was not devoid of purpose, but orchestrated by the Holy Spirit.
While attempting to pray earlier that morning, I seemed thick and lethargic. The thought came to mind go to the mall and study for Sunday’s message. Over the years when such a thought comes, I have learned to trust the Lord, understanding He wants me to hear something in particular. I grabbed my Bible and journal and drove to the mall.
Arriving I ha the idea walking through the mall to a location about 7 minutes in to the facility, but before I got to my intended location, I found a bench sandwiched between two kiosks and sat down. This location (tpicture to the right) is what the Lord had in mind. I opened my Bible to Psalm 33 intending to pray for whatever and whoever the Holy Spirit brought to mind. When my eyes fell over verses 13-15 the Lord began to speak to me very clearly. The message has been with me for two weeks.
I read “The Lord looks down from heaven; He sees all the sons of men”, I began to consider the people walking by all looking for something; most of whom unaware of the one True God, who is observing their every move.
The one person which stood out to me most, was the muslim man attending to the custom T-shirt kiosk to my left. Here was a man, quietly doing his work and who most likely has some idea about God. Some of what he believes is true (most of it is not), but does he really consider that God is watching him? Are most people in general or other wise aware of God’s personal gaze? Even more do most Christians live with this truth in practical awareness?
Further still, my eyes panned down the page and read the next line “From the place of His dwelling He looks On all the inhabitants of the earth; He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works.” Considering this truth my soul flooded my mind with truth from the word of God. Belwo are the conclusions the Holy Spirit led me too.
This passage reveals God’s personal care for each individual that has ever been born. Many would agree that God gives life, yet forget that without God involved in the very procreative act itself, no life would ever be conceived. We believers are often so in awe at seeing life in its earliest stages (through medical technology), we can forget God’s care over every soul ever conceived, even those who turn out to be the biggest God haters.
That is correct, pick your villan… Stalin, Hitler, Kim Jon Un, Jeffery Dahmer or any Isis terrorist committing heinous atrocities; and know that God individually fashioned their heart, and wanted them to come to repentance, even though they did not.
Looking over at this Muslim man I understood, that his false version of God (Allah) does not allow a God who loves, cares for and desires to be with of men in His image. In spite of that fact, God still individually fashioned his heart and wants the man to repent and receive His mercy in the cross. In Islam Allah (a false god) is so transcendent and above his created order, that he would never condescend to be with men. In fact, he has no real dealings with them now, nor even in the Islamic view of paradise, where Allah will not be near those who make it to that place.
Contrary to this view, the one true God does see men moment by moment, and is concerned for them and considering their works, because He individually fashioned his heart. The LORD God Almighty does this through Jesus Christ the Lord, who “is the Light that lights every man coming into the world (I John 1:9). How God does this is remarkable. As He knits us together (Psalm 139:13), He forms the heart and places His image upon it.
This comes about through Jesus Christ, who is “the expressed image of His (God’s) person” (Hebrews 1:1-3). This phrase describing Jesus Christ refers to a die which casts and image in metal. For those who have worked in a metal fabrication plant this is a very familiar concept. The machines that imprint metal for cars and trucks and other machines are called presses (Like the one to the right).
The press is the entire machine. Hidden in the top is the weight, and glory of the press. This weight has gears, hydraulic lines and electrical circuits, which when fired, push the weight down closing the space between top and bottom. In the space between there is a die with a top and bottom piece, made often of titanium. This die will cast the intended image.
Just as the entire machine with its weight and die are the press, God is fully involved in fashioning the heart of every man individually. As the character that impacts the metal,is the die, in a similar fashion it is Christ, the eternal Word of God, that impacts and casts the image of God upon every soul coming into the world. This leaves the moral stamp of God’s character on core of a person’s being, What we often refer to as conscience is a good understanding of how this imprint functions. Not only is it remarkable that God individually fashions the heart of all men individually, but how He does this through Jesus is cause for rejoicing and sober reflection.
Reading further in verse 15 we find that beyond individually fashioning our hearts “He considers all their works.” This totally slays the Islamic view of God, as well as the way many Christians view God’s involvement in their life. Although many “believers” may be able to recite a version of Isaiah 7:14 where we read “Behold, a virgin conceive and bear a Son and shall call Him Immanuel”, do we really understand the full weight of the name Immanuel?
This name referring to Jesus means “God with us”, yet it is not only a reference to God’s desire to dwell with those He created, or His means to bring that about through the atonement of Christ, or even that Jesus is literally God dwelling with us in the flesh; It also refers to the promise of all those who call upon the name of Jesus in faith and repentance. The promise that He will abide with us forever (John 14:16; Hebrews 13:5). The promise that if we obey His commandments He and the Father will make their home with us (John 14:23). The promise that the fullness of redemption in this life is “Christ in us the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27).
Therfore, because He individually fashions our hearts and gives promises in Christ for that heart, He is intimately involved in every aspect of the Christian’s life; observing all of our activity attempting to lead us in the Christ life. We need to understand this and live according to this truth. Fat to often we treat Him as if He stands behind the answer counter in heaven awaiting our request, giving us what we want, only to remain distant and far off until we need him again. If we are to avoid falling into sin, we must run from that kind of life in practice.
Even David knew in Psalm 51:4, without proof positive of Holy Spirit indwelling, that against God He had sinned doing evil in His sight. Why would he say that unless he understood it was his neglect of God’s presence with him that led to his fall? We need to consider this truth soberly and recover the practice of His presence in our hearts, no only for ourselves but for the lost among us as well.
No matter what we beleive God individually forming their the hearts of the lost and their responsiblity to God for their actions, without the manifest presence of Christ encountered in us, they will never find conviction. How does God bring conviction of sin, judgement and righteousness in the lost? Through those in whom God is supposed to be abiding. Remember it is our eyes He choses to see through, our voices He choses to use to diagnose their works as insufficient, our mouths through which He pronounces the remedy for the sin that separates them from Him. It is the new heart He gives us in the new birth, that is to display the true righteousness of Christ through transformed actions.
The knowledge that God individually fashions the heart of every person, is not a sappy message bent on proving a sentimental view of God, but one that knows the outcome of the unrepentant heart; to burn in conscious existence forever separated from the love and relational presence of God. That is the hell god wants no person to encounter ,because in His love he individually fashions their heart to be the throne of His presence; the place from which His love flows to other in all ages and that age to come.
This week count how many people come with in 5 feet of you when you are out and about. Consider God individually fashion their heart as His throne. Ask yourself… how will they know with our a preacher to tell them? THEN BE THE PREACHER!!!