Rhythm Reading Plan: Day Twelve

Hearts and Kidneys

Scripture: Psalm 139:11-17
We all have “go to” phrases when trying to offer encouragement. “Don’t worry. God has a plan for everyone,” or, “Just trust in him. He always provides,” or the ever infamous, “Everything happens for a reason.” We’ve probably all heard or said some of these.
In a similar way, Psalm 139 may be familiar to you as well, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (v. 13-14, NIV).
The problem is – they are all too familiar – engrained in our brain to the point where we’ve become numb to them. It’s easy in a new year to become consumed by “resolutions” and thoughts of what our life could or should be. But the most important thing is to seek out God’s plan and direction for our life. So what do we do when God’s Word feels like a bunch of cliches?How then can we truly know God?
We must push past what we think we know and look deeper into the text.
The phrase “inward parts” literally means kidneys in Hebrew. It also appears in Psalm 7:9, “minds and hearts” literally meaning “hearts and kidneys.” Figuratively though, it was considered by the people of Israel to mean the center of our very being, where all emotions and moral sensitivity reside.
Psalm 139 is sometimes coupled with Genesis 1:27, “So God created man in His own image, in the image and likeness of God he created them; male and female he created them” (AMP). But the word “created” that appears here is not that same as in Psalm 139. In fact, in Psalm 139 it means to possess. So why is that important? Because it shows that God not only created us but also possesses the reins to our life! Our “hearts and kidneys” and “unformed substance” were not hidden from Him as He “curiously wrought” us together as if weaving variously colored threads together in a secret, hidden, mysterious place.
When we seek to know God and search for Him in the hidden mystery of the secret place where we were formed, there we will find Him and our purpose. For we have been given the Spirit of God so “that we might understand the things freely given to us by God” (1 Cor. 2:11-13). God has already ordained our days. All we have to do is keep pursuing God – even through the pain and hurt – knowing that everything is loss compared to knowing Christ and letting Him completely transform our lives. (Philippians 3:8)


  • Are you seeking to truly know God, or are you content with just knowing about Him?
  • What are places or situations in your life do you need to surrender to God?
  • Do you believe that God has a real purpose and direction for your life?

Devotional Contributed by Joseph Tolonen

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