If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, 'Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.'
Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.
I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.
A verbal confession of faith in Jesus Christ invites the Holy Spirit into our hearts. It is a glorious and life-changing moment. Surely, Heaven cheers. Just as surely, Satan sneers--drawing up a personal plan of attack aimed at the heart of each new recruit in God's Army of Saints.
Can the enemy snatch God's Spirit once rooted in the yielding soil of our hearts? Surely not. God is 'Lord of the Harvest' (Matthew 9:38), and He protects His field. However, our 'Captain of Salvation' (Hebrews 2:10) allows testing. In trials we become proven. In adversity we become strong.
So what if our confession of faith was just a surface story? What if our enlistment was purely practical? The term 'Cultural Christian' describes a phony follower.
Here's the thing: in a predominantly Christian nation, the appearance of Christianity makes earthly advancement easier. In fact, over 85% of U.S. politicians claim to be Christians. Is it true? Are they true?
Rest assured, phonies will be revealed: 'For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed' (Luke 8:17). 'For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart' (1 Samuel 16:7).
On the other hand, what if our commitment was heartfelt, but later we deserted our Commander--from fear, greed or neglect through misplaced priorities? A new recruit needs careful attention. So does a new plant. When we ignore either one, it can shrink or die. Although God's Holy Spirit will never shrink, can we shrink from It? Can we go AWOL?
'If anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him' (Hebrews 10:38). Instead of being covered by prayer, we are uncovered as prey.
When we turn away from God, we have two choices: 1) Do what Peter and the prodigal son did: repent and return to the Living God. 2) Continue on the road to ruin. 'And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind and to things that should not be done' (Romans 1:28).
'Let your heart therefore be loyal to the Lord our God' (1 Kings 8:61).
Salvation is a matter of the heart. 'Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God' (Matthew 5:8).
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the The Question of Salvation series.