There are different ways God uses to hear your heart. Your voice, actions and attitudes are all subject to His evaluation and analysis. He is continually watching us. He uses His divine stethoscope to know us.
“Yet even now,” declares the Lord,
“return to me with all your heart,
with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;
13 and rend your hearts and not your garments.”
Return to the Lord your God,
for he is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love;
and he relents over disaster.
14 Who knows whether he will not turn and relent,
and leave a blessing behind him,”
The Old Testament prophet Joel is also interested in the human heart. His words make that a central issue. He diminishes the outward that doesn’t include the inward. (Unfortunately it is easier to be seen rather than “to be.”)
“Rend your hearts and not your garments.” This God’s very real word to a wayward people. To “rend” means to tear and it is the most critical attribute for a wayward heart.
We have this strange tendency to reduce repentance to outward actions. These may or may not reveal something real. We however must stress the inward rather than than the outward.
God desires to hear your heart.
“Blessed are those who mourn [especially them], for they shall be comforted.”
Matthew 5:4, Emphasis mine
“To do so no more is the truest repentance.” —Martin Luther