The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord, searching all the inward parts of the belly.
The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord. It shows all the inside parts of his heart.
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
The heart is fooled more than anything else and is very sinful. Who can know how bad it is?
Above are two translations of two verses. The summation: God watches us, he alone knows our motives and he uses our own spirits to see clearly into our innermost being; our heart. So what?
So here is a little wisdom for us; a little trick of sorts to help keep us on track.
WATCH YOUR OWN SPIRIT! Whatever is in the heart will find its way to the surface one way or another.
When a certain person’s name or a certain situation comes up in conversation, does your breath catch? Do you feel a little tightening in your core? Do you switch your gaze away from the speaker, or decide to change the subject or leave the room? Do you feel rage or fear or sadness or jealousy bubbling inside so that you are a little frightened about your own response? Do your defense mechanisms of fight or flight begin to overtake your calm exterior? Does your body language change?
If you know what I am talking about, you have experienced this. There are two reasons this happens to us. Either we have not fully forgiven (a process we will address in a moment,) or…we are still unequally tied to this person or situation and God is trying to separate us from it.
Two heavy oxen were yoked together to plow a field. The yoke between them was made of two RIGID circles that fit around the neck and then held together by a RIGID bond between the circles. Those oxen had to have the same destination; the end of the row. If one of them wanted to return to the crib for a meal, or to tend to a baby, the poor farmer (the Lord) was completely stopped in his progress because those beasts were not pulling in the same direction. They had different goals, different destinations.
They were UNEQUALLY YOKED.
Be ye NOT unequally yoked together with unbelievers; for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? 2 Corinthians 6:14.
Call occasionally to check up on the person if they are family, but if the destinations are radically different; i.e. heaven or hell, avoid entanglement in matters of finance, emotional exchanges or weighty matters. You can still be a friend, but if your spirit reveals to you AND TO THE LORD, any snag or unfinished turmoil, please rethink and redirect that spirit in prayer and take action to unyoke if necessary.
If unforgiveness is the issue, you must remember that forgiveness is a process, not a one-time decision. If you still feel that quickening at the mention of a person or situation and you are pretty sure you forgave it a while back, you aren’t finished yet with this process. It is time to really seek God and pray that person or situation gets blessed. Pray that God will not take vengeance; that he will shed mercy on those who hurt you and redeem them by his forgiveness. Try to really ‘get into their head,’ so to speak. Try in prayer to see the situation through the eyes of your adversary and then truly forgive from your deepest heart.
Let your spirit soften and allow God to pick up that flashlight and really look around to find any other place that needs a good prayer purge. Watch your own spirit very carefully and by this little exercise, you will walk in true victory and faith. God is watching, and this inner work will assure your worthiness to escape all that is coming upon this wicked world. Repent for your unforgiveness and do a quick work on the decisions in your life that will free you to fully serve God. Take on the yoke of Jesus, for his burden is light and you have the same destination.