How we regard our heart is of vital importance for our well-being and how we perceive ourselves. It is evident that if we find our hearts attractive and beautiful that will influence how we meet the many challenges and obstacles we face while still in this temporal realm. From the heart flows the springs of life (Proverbs 4:23). Owing to the fact that there were merely two threes in the Garden our heart’s springs can only be motivated by one of these two. Never both! Understood correctly the heart is our inner core from where every motivation and stirring originates which move us and motion us either this way or that way.
Jesus clearly made a distinction between the good treasure of the heart and the evil treasure of the heart (Matt 12:35). The treasure He is referring to is which deity who operates and manifests itself as us. Operated by the spirit of error the heart brings forth evil things manifested as good and evil. If the light in you is darkness then your body is full of darkness (Luk 11:33). But thanks to God who redeemed us in Jesus Christ a most magnificent heart transplantation has taken place and this new heart is a well of good things and can only be good since it is God’s own heart full of light that we manifest in everything in which we are involved. A great liberation has thus taken place in us. That old heart we had to keep with all vigilance, but as new wine in new wine-skins our heart is kept by God. We are solely His responsibility! What a difference that makes in our daily living!
As royal priests and intercessors we are daily taken on adventures in faith where we sometimes are involved in missions we do not understand and we even act in ways we find difficult to reconcile with our commission as royal priests. Paul often faced these contradictions between how he thought he should conduct his life and affairs and how things turned out in real life. Through the Romans 7 anguish he learned several crucial lessons and one of them he clearly articulates in 1 Cor 4:4. Here Paul says that he does not judge himself anymore. He cannot, because now as an intercessor he operates on a quite different level where appearances only play a minor role and what matters is faith trusting God working everything after the council of His own will.
In like manner of everything else in this new life intercession doesn’t stem from self-effort. We are again faced with the paradox of living. By being a do-nothing we will actually be a do-everything, “because the Real Doer whose aim is to get the world back to Himself will surely be busy by you in His own way and time. Yet watch even there when we say He will be busy by you, because times will come when you will appear to be useless on the shelf, as if God has forgotten you (how crazy can we be!), and the only word left which can suit you is, ‘Be still, and know that I am God’. Very well then, be still; and if God wants to be lazy in you, let Him be!” (N Grubb).
Paul continues his exposition in 1 Corinthians 4 by explaining how certain things are shrouded in darkness, that is, things he does and missions he gets involved in as God’s ambassador. His only beacon is faith because God hasn’t revealed to him all the whys yet. However, God will bring those things to light in his own time and then disclose the purpose of the heart. The Spirit who searches all things knows the heart of man and God, and hence only He knows the often for us hidden agendas of God’s heart which works powerfully His eternal purposes in us as us. That is, we know His agenda – spreading the word of reconciliation, but not infrequently His ways are too high for us. In many such instances we begin to doubt our heart, its desires and motivations. But we do not need to fear, because God is greater than our hearts and knows all things, that is, He knows that those doubts do not originate in us even though it feels that way. They come from the accuser.
On this backdrop we have to reevaluate how we perceive God’s judgment the day the Lord comes. “We eagerly anticipate the blessing of being judged. It won’t be loads of disapproval to weight us down, because then shall every man have praise of God (1 Cor 4:5)” (N Grubb). Another translation states that then each one will receive his commendation from God. An eternal weight of glory is our prize.