Psalm 139: 23 & 24: "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.”
I was thinking about this verse recently when praying about a particular situation. The words “Search me, O God” suddenly struck me: the psalmist is asking God to do the searching of the psalmist’s heart. He then goes on to ask God to do four more things on his behalf: test, know, see and lead.
What I realised was, that very often, we try to do the searching and seeing ourselves and it can lead down a blurry, and sometimes dark, path of introspection and condemnation which is often fraught with anxious thoughts- thoughts we really should hand over to God, and realise He knows them already and knows what to do far more than we will ever know.
It is good to acknowledge our sin and confess it to God. But then we must allow Him to deal with it, instead of berating ourselves and tying ourselves in knots wondering if we will ever be free of our sin. When we allow God to search, test, know and see, He lovingly allows conviction of sin to touch us, so that we can confess it to Him who has made the “way everlasting” open to us through the Lord Jesus Christ. This is a path of peace, true freedom and the knowledge that God is our Father who cares deeply for us.
The Gospel says that our works cannot save us - and we should apply this to our daily walk with God. Allow him to do the searching, testing, knowing, seeing and leading, rather than relying on our own efforts which are often futile. He leads us more patiently, gently and wisely than we could ever hope to do ourselves.