In Psalm 26:2 David prays, “Examine me, O LORD, and try me; test my mind and my heart.” In this prayer He asks God to search his inward life. The word “mind” here is actually “kidneys” in Hebrew, a cultural reference to “the most sensitive and vital part” of the inner man (BDB). And he asks Him to “examine” him — a word used elsewhere in scripture to describe how one tests gold. David’s concern with his inner man is appropriate. That’s where God’s focus is, and where ours should be as well.
The Lord isn’t concerned about “feats of physical strength” (Psalm 147:10 tells us that “He does not delight in the legs of a man”) or evaluating our external beauty (He reminds us in Proverbs 31 that “beauty is vain”). These outward attributes often consume our thoughts and attention, but they are not His focus. It is “the kidneys” — the “most sensitive and vital part” of our “inner man” — our heart — which is His greatest interest. He wants to see that we fear and trust Him more than anyone or anything else (Psalm 147:11). The circumstances and events we pass through in life — which we consider to be the most important elements of the narrative of our lifetime — are NOT in themselves of greatst important. What is most important is the way that we relate to HIM during them; how we respond. Do we trust Him; fear Him; respect and revere Him as we pass through each of these events? That is what God is looking for, much more than what the world calls the “success” of those events.
How much attention to you give to the way that you inwardly respond to God during the trials and circumstances of your life? If you have not given it much thought, be assured that there is One who has!