Let’s read that verse. Proverbs 20:27 says, “The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly.”

The ‘SPIRIT OF MAN’ is the breath of his Creator – We read in Genesis 2:7, “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the BREATH of life; and man became a living soul.” The word ‘spirit’ in Proverbs 20:27 and the word ‘breath’ in Genesis 2:7 is the SAME WORD. This breath is much more than just the ability to sustain life. This is what sets us apart from all the other creations of God.

The spirit of man is THE CANDLE OF THE LORD – This breath (spirit) has given us the powers of intelligence, rationale, understanding, awareness, and reflection. God has given to every man a mind, which he so enlightens by his own Spirit. The man (or woman) knows how to distinguish good from evil. The conscience, which springs from this, searches the depths of the soul. It is as a lamp which God has lit within us that allows us to know Him.

The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, SEARCHING ALL THE INWARD PARTS OF THE BELLY (the heart) – Man is able to discern not only his outward actions, which are visible to others, but his most inward and secret thoughts and affections, which no other man can see. 1 Corinthians 2:11 addresses this, saying, “For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him?”

Within all of us (saved or lost) there is the ability to discern right and wrong. Even the most wicked person who may be often involved in terrible, dishonest, and hostile behaviors knows his actions are wrong. The Apostle Paul addresses this in Romans 2:14-15, “For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another).”

Often men will excuse themselves of their sins using faulty reasoning. We tend to try to justify our actions so that we can appease our consciences. However, the very fact that we have to work to appease our conscience is a sure sign that we have sinned and our conscience is convicting us. How good it is that believers on the Lord Jesus can have their consciences led by the Word of God. We read in Hebrews 4:12-13, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a DISCERNER OF THE THOUGHTS AND INTENTS OF THE HEART. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.” (331.4)