LORD SEARCH ME
“Psalm 139:23-24” says: – “Search me, O God, and know my heart. Try me and know my thoughts and see if there be any wicked way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.”
The word HEART is used 821 times throughout the Word of God and working on the principle that when something is mentioned frequently and in this particular amount regarding the heart we can assume that it is of the utmost importance. It therefore behoves us to see what the Word of God has to say about it, and we are going to in this message do just that.
We will do so by dissecting out text and discover what God through the Psalmist David desires us to know. However, before we do let me pin-point several things of importance which will perhaps set our thinking in the right way. I will deal with them briefly as we want to get on and into the real meal of the message.
The 1st of the things we notice is that the Psalmist David is addressing God in recognition of his hearts condition. But Why? Well the reason is very simple, only the Lord knows us for who we really are. We can fool others and even ourselves at times, but we cannot fool or deceive the Lord; He knows us through and through.
The 2nd thing we notice is the Psalmist asks God to search him, and he asks God to do it in three specific areas: – The Hearts (or the Emotions and Feelings), the Thoughts and for the very intimate side of his life. The word search means to ransack, and this is the extent to which David was asking to be searched.
The 3rd thing we notice was David shows courage and humility in his praying, for such a search can be a very powerful and painful experience and thus no one should ever pray it lightly.
The 4th thing we notice is that David was hungry for God and manifests his desire to know Him better.
So, there we have the Psalmist David’s prayer in a Compact Form but what has it to say to us today, what relevance has it for us today for our lives. How are we able to enter its meaning in the way the Lord desires it of us?
Well, there are three things that bring to us the answer and they come under the headings of Why, When and How we should pray this prayer.
1 – Why Should We Pray this Prayer?
It is an undeniable fact that our hearts get so easily cluttered up with things that we might metaphorically call Dust and Rubbish, and it is so easy for us to let things which we know to be unhelpful to enter our hearts and make their home there.
When we allow this to take place our hearts become like Giant Dustbins. If we are honest with ourselves today, we would not deny the truth that we so often become spiritually insensitive – I know it is something that I must fight against so often.
We have to fight against wrong attitudes towards others or we have to be on our guard against prayerlessness or against hard heartedness in respect of the needs of others and of the lost.
There are times when we become formal in worship and lukewarm in our love for Jesus. It is for these reasons that we perhaps know so very vividly in our spirit lives and for many other reasons that we really need to pray this prayer.
God’s intention is not to do us harm but to bless our lives and to flow His grace upon them but in order to do so He must by the Spirit of God reveal to us our faults and failures.
2 – When Should We Pray this Prayer?
Well! When presents quite a problem really, for I guess there would be hundreds of occasions, but it is for me to try and bring them down to the most important and applicable.
We Should Pray this Prayer When We Come to the Lords Table
In “1 Corinthians 11:27-28” we read “Anyone who eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Master irreverently is like part of the crowd that jeered and spit on him at his death. Is that the kind of “remembrance” you want to be part of? Examine your motives, test your heart, and come to this meal in holy awe.” The Message
These verses are I sure very familiar to us, but I wonder if we realise that amongst those things which are obligatory for Christians such as Baptism is also partaking of communion.
There are some who say “I don’t take communion because I feel sinful or unworthy” but the Scripture says “Let a man examine himself, AND SO LET HIM EAT” this takes away all excuse from us.
We Should Pray this Prayer in both Times of Adversity and Prosperity
Now that might appear strange, but in actual fact it isn’t for in times of prosperity for instance it is easy to become slack in our seeking after God and in our diligence in coming before Him – In “Psalm 62: 10” we read “If riches increase set not your heart upon them” in other words make sure they do not become bigger than God in your eyes, for this very reason Jesus said “It is hard for a rich man to get into heaven”.
Jesus does not condemn riches no! But the importance that we set upon them He frowns upon. That’s why the Bible declares that “The Love of Money is the Root of all Evil” not money or riches in themselves.
How about adversity then, when this comes our way – Adversity is not an infrequent visitor I guess we would all admit to today and it is at times like those that we should draw close to God. He will teach us some very valuable lessons in these times and amaze us with His goodness, mercy and grace.
We Should Pray this Prayer when our Service is Fruitless and Barren
In “John 15:16” we find some very important words that Jesus speaks to us He says – “You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that you shall go and bring forth fruit” fruitfulness for the Child of God should be the norm in our lives not the unusual Why? Because He has ordained it to be so. If we have no fruit, there is something wrong and we need to pray the Psalmists prayer.
We Should Pray this Prayer when we Think our Prayers are not Heard
I’m sure it has been true for all of us at some stage in our journey with Christ that we have engaged in prayer and it I has felt like the heavens were like brass, or that we were just not getting anywhere. We feel that He is not listening or paying any attention to what we are saying. If so that could be for several reasons.
It could just be our imagination, so often our feelings just get in the way, or it could be that it’s a lack of faith or it could be (and this brings us to the Psalmists thoughts again) that there is sin in our lives.
The Bible tells us that “If I regard sin in my heart the Lord will not hear me” so we need the Lord to reveal these things to us by searching us, in order that we might know the fullness of His blessing.
3 – How Should We Pray this Prayer?
Well it can be summed up in three words: – Personally, Privately and with Determination.
- Personally of course because it is our own faults and failures that we ourselves need to recognise.
- Privately because these things are so very intimate and because they are so very serious.
- Determination because it shows that we are willing to admit to the things He reveals to us, and it also shows that we will willingly confess the wrong we do to Him and renounce it.
The Psalmists Prayer finishes with the words “Lead me in the way everlasting” and this way is the way of joy and peace. If we desire to know the fullness of His joy and His peace in our walk with Him then we must pray this prayer regularly.
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