October 13, 2013

One prayer He always answers . . .

God knows everything about me. When a person realizes that, it can make them either fearful or glad; fearful of what God sees because it is not compatible with His holiness, or glad that God understands everything and therefore knows what is best for us.

The psalmist, David, was not fearful. He rejoiced that God knew all about him, physically and spiritually. He even invited God to take a good look, for he knew that he didn’t know himself as well as God did . . .

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)

Today’s reading says this prayer implies that the psalmist was deeply impressed of the omnipresence and omniscience of God. He was aware that God understood his heart and was able to search it. This prayer also suggests that he knew about God’s purity and wanted his own heart to match that. He earnestly wanted the sinful stuff inside of him exposed so that he could move on in his journey toward being like Christ. He wanted to be as perfect as God would have him to be, and to be led on a path that abandoned sin and selfishness to walk with God. This sounds noble, even desirable, but all who follow Christ know that it comes at a cost.

Obviously this prayer assumes that my heart needs to be tested. It makes me ask if I want the light of God to penetrate the deepest parts of my life? Do I want God to reveal things about myself that I have overlooked? Am I willing to be subjected to such a search? Will I allow God to do this without telling Him the way to do it or what parts of my heart most need it?

In the past, whenever I’ve prayed such a prayer I have been surprised and dismayed by what the search uncovered. I’ve also been astonished at the way God connects the dots from the newly exposed grime to my current problems. I would not have guessed or understood what was at the root of my troubles had I not asked the Lord to search me.

But am I willing to let Him undertake this search? Will I offer no resistance to whatever process God takes me through to answer it? 

Even though I know God understands all my needs, and will get right into the corners in His search, there are times I’ve prayed this and forgotten that I asked. Later, after the search began and I’m in the middle of the discomfort of it, I remembered what I’d requested. Now as He challenges me to do it again, I need to be more alert or perhaps even brace myself! 

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