“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” — Psalm 139:23-24
Coaches often fear complacency. After a few good seasons, it’s easy to get too comfortable with our past performance or our current progress. So coaches sometimes bring in consultants from the outside to give an accurate assessment of players, facilities and other aspects of the organization. This thorough, time-consuming inventory of the organization may be disappointing and painful, but it’s helpful in the long run.
In a similar way, we need to ask God to take a full inventory of our lives and renew our hearts regularly. We need to ask the Lord to look inside our hearts and minds to show us what is good about us and serves His glory, and to also show us anything that should be removed if it doesn’t belong in His good plans for us. In other words, we need God to shine the searchlight into our souls and see what needs to change in our lives.
It’s human nature to tend to drift away from the best path for our lives, and we need the Lord’s prompting and guidance to be what we ought to be. The psalmists were mindful of our tendency to slack and forget God. We sometimes neglect to share our Christian faith and we don’t always reflect Jesus in our actions. We need revival as the Scripture says in the following prayer: “Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? Show us your unfailing love, Lord, and grant us your salvation” (Psalm 85:6-7).
Though King David may not have liked what he saw, he called upon the Lord to put him under the microscope and check him out thoroughly. “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24).
The Lord will highlight through His Word things we need to do, and others we should quit doing. Even though the Bible is written for everybody, the Holy Spirit personalizes the Scripture for us to lead us in the best way to live for God.
As the apostle Paul spoke about analyzing our spiritual condition, he emphasized the priority of knowing what God says about us. Paul was most concerned about the Lord’s evaluation of his life and ministry. “Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God” (1 Corinthians 4:5). Paul knew people can’t see everything as well as God can. Sometimes people misjudge us and don’t give an accurate picture of who we are, and we may also have a higher or lower opinion of ourselves that He can set straight.
Ask God to search your heart and lead you in His ways, and be ready to do the work He shows you. That is how you will step into renewal and the fullness of life — the way everlasting.
— Bill Kent, Pastor of Memorial Baptist Church, Sylvania, Georgia
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