Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!
Psalm 139:23-24 ESV
Season of searching
If you’re like most people, you don’t exactly love going to the doctor. There’s something scary about letting another person do a thorough examination of your body looking for something wrong. What if they find something? What if it’s serious? Maybe it’s just easier to deal with it on your own? Maybe it will just go away?
We do this spiritually too. There’s something a little scary about going to a holy God, knowing that he can do a thorough examination of your heart. And oh yes, he will find something wrong, something serious. It’s called sin, and it’s uncomfortable to have your deep, dark sins exposed! Maybe it’s just easier to deal with it on your own? Maybe it will just go away?
King David fell into this way of thinking. After he committed adultery with a married woman and then plotted the murder of her husband, he didn’t want his sin exposed. He tried to deal with his dangerous spiritual condition on his own. Fortunately, God graciously sent the prophet Nathan to speak to David and conduct a spiritual examination on his heart, leading David to finally confess his sins.
In Psalm 139, a spiritually restored David now shows us the only way to deal with our sinful condition. Here it is: ask God to perform a thorough examination of our heart and look for any spiritual afflictions. Confess our sins to God who knows our heart completely. God is the expert on our spiritual health and dealing with sin. He knows just how sinfully broken and corrupt we are and how desperately we need fixing. In his incredible mercy, he gives us the fix—his Son Jesus! Jesus took the fatal disease of sinful humanity on himself and died with it on the cross so that we might be cured.
This Lenten season, don’t shy away from the spiritual examinations God desires for your heart. Instead, like David, go to God in repentance. Ask him to search your heart and to lead you in the way everlasting.
Prayer: O Great Physician of the soul, search my heart. Expose the sin and corruption that lie there. Have mercy on me and assure me of your forgiveness. Amen.