When I first got saved, 10 years ago, I had a voracious appetite for the Word of God. I stopped watching TV, changed my relationships and associations, and most definitely changed my activities. I read the Bible all the time. Seriously, any free time I had. I just couldn’t get enough of it. I read the whole Bible three times the first year. Except for Psalms.
I just couldn’t get into Psalms. It wasn’t that I didn’t think there wasn’t good content to be read; it’s just that I couldn’t structure it right. I had a tendency to read like a machine, start at the beginning and go straight through to the end, but I found I couldn’t do that with the Psalms. Eventually I found a way to read them. And guess what? I found that I loved them! Such beauty, such love, such pain, such humility, such need for God, such need for grace, such honesty. Brutal honesty at times. I found so much contained within the Psalms that spoke directly to me, and whatever situation I found myself in. Now I love Psalms, and have tons of underlining, highlighting and notes to prove that.
Recently when I was in Psalms and came to a passage that really caused to me pause and think on it for a moment. I was in Psalm 139 (one of my favorites anyway), at the last two verses really jumped out at me. “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” ~ Psalm 139:23-24
What a brave prayer! Read it again and let it sink in. Did the Psalmist really want God to search him and see into the deepest parts of his heart and mind? Yikes! My first reaction was, I really don’t think I would want God to do that to me. But then I realized how absurd that is because He does anyway. He knows the parts inside of me that are still dark and cold. He knows when I hold offense or unforgiveness in my heart. He knows when I sin in thought, even if I don’t actually sin in action.
He knows me far better than I know myself. And that's why I think this prayer is so brave. The Psalmist is asking God to examine him, test him, and then show him anything that is within him, that is not pure and pleasing to God. Why would he do that? Why would we do this? Is this something we really want to know? Isn’t ignorance bliss? No, in this case it's not. The answer to why is in the very last part of the prayer. When God shows us the sin in our lives (thoughts, words, actions, and attitudes), He is leading us along the path of everlasting life, the path of righteousness, the path to Him.
So now, despite my great trepidation, I will try to be as brave as the Psalmist, and pray this prayer on a regular basis, because I know that He corrects me lovingly and for my own good, because He is a good Daddy. That doesn’t mean I have to like it though! (Still working on attitude!) I realize this is not without challenge because once He shows me, I really am responsible for changing. And I will probably have to let go of some things that I’d really rather hang on to. But I know He will be there, and He will give me the grace I need. And I know that according to Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Amen!
6 hours ago