The Heart of the Matter...Expanded
1 Samuel 16:7
…The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.
Why does the Lord look at the heart? What should have been in the heart even here regarding King Saul?
No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.
From the very beginning, the Lord has desired obedience from the heart. This is why, in Mark 12:30, Christ quoted from Deuteronomy 6:5 when he said:
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.'
Love YHWH your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
And how do we love Him?
1 John 5:3
For loving God means obeying his commands. Moreover, his commands are not burdensome
Reiterating the Creator's desire for our obedience...
1 Samuel 15:22
But Samuel replied: "Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.
Obedience from the heart - this is the heart of the matter. The spirit desires the things of God; the flesh desires what is contrary to God. Where is your heart? Where is your desire?
Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires
For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.
His Spirit will only lead us to Him, what He desires from us. Obedience, but not just legalistic, letter-of-the-law obedience, but a true desire to please Him and love Him. What He desires is obedience from the heart, and that is the heart of the matter.