"Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path to everlasting life.” Psalm 139:23-24, NLT
(Be forewarned, this is almost nothing like my usual devotional. This is mostly my ramblings. Sorry.)
When you read these verses, they may seem a little innocuous at first. Just a simple prayer, something to say and maybe seem a little more religious. I was actually instructed to use this as a prayer when I was a child. But it’s so much more than that. Look at them again. Read them aloud. What do you see now? I see and hear “vulnerability.” Asking God to search my heart? No, thank you. It’s dark. It’s ugly. It’s rebellious. I don’t want God to see that. I want Him to see the pretty façade I wear to church and out in public, not the messed up parts of me. I don’t want Him to test my thoughts, because sometimes, they aren’t very nice. After all these thoughts ran through my mind, something struck me. God already knows. It sounds so simple, but it kind of hit me upside the head. These verses, they just make me a willing participant because I’m asking God to search me, to point out the ugliness I may not have noticed before. God definitely doesn’t need my permission to know me, He’s seen my heart from the very beginning. Scary thought, right? Then I was reminded of this verse: “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” Romans 5:8 God doesn’t look at our sins and count us out. He sees them and continues to call us, “beloved.” How amazing is that?! With God, we don’t have to hide or pretend. There are no walls, no façades, no faking. There is amazing freedom in the knowledge that you don’t have to be something you’re not for God. He knows exactly who you are and He adores you any way.
As for me? I’m not sure I’m ready to use this as a prayer just yet. But I’m working on being vulnerable and with His help, I’m sure I’ll get there eventually (I’m good with later, but I’m sure He would prefer sooner).
Father, thank You for the realizations You brought to my mind while I was pondering these verses. I ask that they would touch someone and encourage them. Please teach us Your ways and show us how to tear away the façades and masks that keep us from fully knowing You. Help us to be vulnerable before You and give us willing hearts. Amen.