The heart is deceitful above all things,
and desperately sick;
who can understand it? Jeremiah 17:9 ESV
Isn’t it interesting that we don’t really know our own hearts? How many times have I wondered why I felt a certain way or why that word came out so harshly or what my motive was.
But somehow I have an excuse for them all. I didn’t have enough sleep, someone didn’t keep their word, I just wanted to things to be “fair.” But really I just wanted things to go my way. I like to justify the behavior even though I have no idea why. But David, the man after God’s heart, wasn’t satisfied with self-justification.
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
First David is not insinuating that God does not already know what is in his heart.
But the Lord said to Samuel, “…For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 ESV
Instead David is certain that he does not know his heart, but that God, who created him and the universe, knows his heart. And David longed to please God so much that he asked God to search his heart.
Honestly in my sinful patterns I prefer God to leave my hidden motives alone. I prefer he step on other toes, not mine. But when I really get a glimpse of how good God is and how much I do not deserve Him, then is when I can join in David’s prayer. I can ask God to search my heart.
How does God search our hearts? He uses His Word.
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 ESV
So are we spending time in God’s Word? Are we seeking His guidance, His face, His character? Do we allow God’s Word to search our hearts? How in the world do we do this?
- First we must read God’s Word. Find a reading plan that works for you. Read through the New Testament. Look for a reading plan that gets you through the Bible in one year. What ever it takes just READ His Word.
- Then we must ask God to help us understand what He is telling us in His Word.
- While we read ask simple questions of the text:
- What does this tell me about God?
- What does it tell me about humanity?
- What do I need to do/stop doing in light of this truth?
- Ask God to help you live out what you learned.
Father God I confess that there are times I am not listening to You. I admit many times I do not want you to search my heart. I pray You will search my heart that I may know when I fail to honor you in my words, deeds, thoughts, and attitudes. Help me to hunger for Your Word that I may know You and know myself. May Your Spirit empower me to live for You and not myself. In Jesus’ Name I pray Amen.