“Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Point out anything in me that offends You,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”
Psalms 139:23-24 NLT
We must have one last look at this amazing Psalm, Psalm 139. David, the Psalmist, has meditated his way through God’s omnipresence, His blessings and support, the wonder of a new born baby, how God continually thinks about him, and how he hates the wicked and blasphemers. And, finally, he makes an appeal to God to search his heart and expose anxious and offensive thoughts. David, overcome with God-thoughts, finally surfaces to the realities of life but doesn’t want anything to spoil his relational bubble with the Lord.
In our pilgrimage through life, there will be many opportunities to sit in David’s seat, where we can dwell in God’s presence, soaking in His Spirit, meditating on His love for us with a responsive heart. I often look about me and see God’s hand in His creation, always with thoughts of wonder about the complexity and uniqueness. But then the phone rings, or a text pings the phone. A demanding voice intrudes into my God-space-bubble and before I know it I’m back to the realities of life. In many ways we live a double life, citizens of both the Kingdom of God and kingdom of the world. But regardless of our circumstances we can find time for both. The Apostle John said in Revelation 1:10, “It was the Lord’s Day, and I was worshiping in the Spirit. Suddenly, I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet blast.” Even in his incarceration on the Isle of Patmos, John was spending time in God’s presence; the deprivations of being exiled unable to stop his visit to God’s Kingdom.
But back to David’s statement, “Search me, O God, and know my heart”. In many ways that’s a dangerous question to ask of God, because He might expose something we would rather not be reminded of. Perhaps a behavioural issue, or unconfessed sin. Perhaps a relationship that needs to be restored. But if we want to spend quality time with God there needs to be total honesty and openness. Nothing can be allowed to get in the way of a relationship with our Creator. David knew that, hence his question. David could see a connection between hiding what he referred to as anxious and offensive thoughts, and preventing God from leading him, unimpeded, along the “path of everlasting life”. That’s the same path we are taking, as pilgrims towards our full-time future in God’s presence. We don’t want anything to get in the way of our journey either. Thankfully, God loves us so much that He isn’t going to dump on us a whole load of difficult to deal with stuff all in one go. So we need to keep praying that prayer, so that God can peel back our layers of “anxious and offensive thoughts”, one by one, helping us deal with the issues, helping us step by step on our journey. Of course He loves us just as we are, but on the other hand, He loves us too much to allow us to forever wallow in an anxious and offensive state. Blocked from the relationship with God that He so earnestly wants us to enjoy. Search us, O God, we pray.