Friday, March 1

Friday, March 1

Scripture: Psalm 139: 23-24

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 Point out anything in me that offends you,
    and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

Some thoughts:

     Part of what happens during the season of Lent is that of opening anew our hearts and lives to God, our Creator, asking him to show us what things in our lives need attention. Just after describing his anger and disgust with those enemies who defy God, David turns the spotlight on himself with a humble prayer. David concludes this Psalm with the kind of transparency that resulted in God saying of David, “He is a man after my own heart.” Could such a thing be said about you or me? (By the way, these two verses would be an excellent daily prayer.) Note David was more interested in God’s perspective on his life than he was in justifying himself before the Lord. Such a perspective takes courage, faith, and a deep love and trust in the Savior.

     Most of the time when speaking of the heart, the Scriptures are not referring to the physical heart. In the language of the Bible and in Hebrew thought, the heart (leb) is the seat of emotions, thoughts, actions, courage, faith, and will. The heart is the core of one’s being, the essence of the person. Your heart shows who you are as a person, what is important to you, and what you believe.

     With these things in mind, it is interesting that the Lord proclaims to the people of Judah,

“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things,
    and desperately wicked.
    Who really knows how bad it is?
 But I, the Lord, search all hearts
    and examine secret motives.
I give all people their due rewards,
    according to what their actions deserve.”  (Jeremiah 17:9-10)

No wonder when we hear, “I just followed my heart” trouble often follows! Countless human relationships have come apart because someone did just that. We can see more clearly the wisdom of David asking the Lord to search his own heart. He doesn’t trust himself, nor should we.

     Some of us might be afraid to be that honest with God, because perhaps we don’t know him that well. We’d be embarrassed at what he’d see, as though he doesn’t already see. God looking into our hearts is not for his benefit, it’s for ours. David stepped outside of himself and gave God free rein to look in every nook and cranny of his life because he was in close communion with his Savior. He wanted to know God’s heart. How honorable and transparent are our thoughts? Have courage today and ask God to point out any “wicked way” in you. Be quiet and wait. He will show you. Then ask him to lead you in the way everlasting. Put simply, ask him to lead you in the path he has for your life as you follow his heart.

Music: “I Want Jesus to Walk with Me” Moses Hogan Chorale  

Prayer: O Lord, the house of my soul is narrow; enlarge it, that you may enter in. It is ruinous; O repair it! It displeases your sight; I confess it, I know. But who shall cleanse it, to whom shall I cry but to you? Cleanse me from my secret faults, O Lord, and spare your servant from strange sins.      — St. Augustine, 354-430 AD