What’s the condition of your heart? I mean the heart you have given to God. How are you doing in your walk of following Jesus? How are you really doing? Be brutally honest with yourself. Can you take a long hard look in the mirror? Can you allow God to search your heart and life?
Over time, we can convince ourselves that we are doing much better than we really are. We can easily deceive ourselves into thinking we are okay when our spiritual lives have stagnated. All kinds of unholy stuff can be welling up in your life and you think you are doing fine.
The Psalmist was well aware of this tendency and our need to be willing to change. He prayed this prayer:
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 (NIV)
You can be sure that if there is an issue addressed in the Bible, it is an issue that is real! It was real for the Psalmist, it is real for us!
When we follow Jesus, we must be willing to undergo divine scrutiny! Just as in our physical body, it is always better to know if something is wrong than to continue in unhealthy ignorance, the same is true with our spiritual lives! It is essential for our health! We must know!
Important Realities to Consider
Prepare for the examination! Here’s a short list to help prepare:
Be transparent. Don’t assume you are okay. It’s better to assume that God will find something in his search of your heart and life. Be willing to have your failings laid out before you.
Be uncomfortable. A heart searched is often an uncomfortable heart. It’s okay to be a little uncomfortable with this process. You can be sure that the examination will soon be over.
Be confident. The purpose of a searched heart is to correct and heal! This is not for condemnation or guilt or judgment. This is to make you a better follower of Jesus.
Don’t be deceived. The devil will take advantage of your vulnerability. When he brings up past and forgiven sins, you know that it is not God’s word to you!
Pray. The scripture you read above is a prayer. Pray it to God. Allow him to respond. He will.
Wait. Listen and hear what he has to say about your heart.
Refresh. Renew your desire to be a clean-hearted follower of Jesus. When we truly desire to be like Jesus, it is refreshing to have errors pointed out and corrected.
Repent. To repent is to have a change of mind. When God points things out to us that need to be changed, we must immediately repent, change our mind, about that thing. We must give it up and give it over to him.
Worship. Thank God for his forgiving and empowering presence in your life. Tell Jesus you love him and will follow him always!
Refocus. Gain a positive new perspective about your healthy heart and do all you can to keep it healthy!
It is good to occasionally ask God to search us and test us. Doing this keeps us moving forward and helps us follow better. This also results in us hearing him better and makes us much stronger!