A Matter of Heart

by Jenny Harrison

Search me, O 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 (NIV84)

07162012_01As I read this prayer of David to his Lord, I became curious about the nature of his request. He must have known that God was fully aware of his heart, anxious thoughts, and offensive ways, however, David appears to be asking God to reveal these unbecoming characteristics and help him overcome them. A courageous prayer indeed considering it can be excruciatingly painful to have a clear image of our inner being.

We are usually experts at seeing the flaws and failings of others, but the problem is our perceptions are frequently limited and skewed.

In his book, The Road Less Traveled, M. Scott Peck states:

09232012_01“Human beings are poor examiners, subject to superstition, bias, prejudice, and a profound tendency to see what they want to see rather than what is really there.”

My prideful nature makes it difficult to admit my less- than-flattering ways. I suspect this is related to my fear of disapproval, rejection, or being reprimanded by prejudiced and biased humans.

It’s a different matter with our Savior. You’ve heard the old saying: “You can run but you can’t hide”. This is so with my Lord. Jeremiah 1:5 (ESV) tells us:

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

Praise to our loving and gracious God, his agenda and purpose do not match those of the world. According to his word:

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 (ESV)

In other words, he is faithful to pardon our offenses and make us virtuous by cleansing our wicked and sinful nature.

Notice our Father does not ridicule, rub it in, or keep score. Thankfully, that is not his way.

So today, I shall not shy away from David’s prayer. I will make this request with confidence knowing what matters most to my Savior is the condition of my heart.

Copyright © 2013, Jenny Harrison, all rights reserved, Breath of Life Women’s Ministries.
Excerpt from The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck.
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®)Copyright © 2001 by Crossway,a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. All rights reserved. ESV Text Edition: 2007.
Scripture also taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®. Copyright © 1973, 1978,
1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission.

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