Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Inviting God to Search Our Hearts

Psalm 139:23-24

Search me, God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my anxious thoughts. 

See if there is any offensive way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting.

We know other places in Scripture describe David as a man after God's own heart. Thus, it would seem an automatic gesture for David to tell God to search and know his heart.  In living our lives as humans, knowing we, like David, commit sin, but we don't find it so automatic to be that open to God. 

What is the difference between David and us?  We are people who have professed our faith and made vows to God, dedicating our lives to his ways.  We further understand no matter how hard we try to make only right decisions, and conduct ourselves according to God's principles, we fall short. That being known, we have come to learn that God's love and grace are extended to us and salvation is ours through the sacrificial death of Jesus on the cross. 

For David, his sins of adultery, murder and deception, would have us to believe the nature of his sinfulness might put him completely out of relationship with God forever.  The Psalms show us the sorrow and repentance in his heart, his confession of wrongdoing, and his journey back to God. Later Psalms show us David still aware of the dangers of sin, but writing about those things which are an encouragement to draw closer and closer to God. 

All of this brings me to ask about our willingness, yours and mine, to pray the prayer which David prayed in the above two verses. Do we really want God to search us, or have we tried to hide sins from him (like that would be possible)?

The assurances we have in Jesus Christ and the example of David prove that we should constantly be seeking God to search our hearts. We should desire him to search to the point of really knowing us.  We should welcome his testing, even all of our thoughts. 

David's prayer didn't end there, and neither should ours. Look at the second part of the Scripture. "See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." It looks as though David wanted to cover all the bases in his past, as well as welcome God to direct his steps in the future.  David again is our example. What a personal blessing it is to know we have invited God to search our hearts, to know us inside and out, even to the point of knowing our thoughts. That blessing continues when we are devoted to following God's way, not ours, as he leads us in the way everlasting. 


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