A Clean and Willing Vessel (Psalm 139:23-24)
Psalm 139:23-24, 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.
Even though God speaks to many people, some do not hear because they are not willing vessels. People are unprepared vessels when they can't make good use of a word from God because of how they are living. So we ask ourselves: Do I stand ready to obey and change, should God direct that? Do I want to know if I am wrong?
1. Search Me.
David is inviting God into his heart, where all sin originates. David sought for God to search him and reveal to him any sin that might have crept in. He surely was transparent before God. Though God knew his every thought, David invited God to shine His pure light into the inner crevasses of his heart to reveal to him his thought life. He wanted the Lord to search his heart and to go beyond his words and deeds and to probe the innermost depths of his being and to expose anything that grieved Him so that he might repent of it, if there was anything in his heart that grieved or caused sorrow for God.
Opening ourselves up entirely to God may prove to be a painful process. Not only will we have to confront our sins, or the sins we might not currently be aware of, but we will also have to repent of them. When we are willing to go through this process of letting God explore us, expose what is within us, and extract it from our hearts, we will possess a clean heart. More than anything else, our greatest desire should be to please the Lord.
David wanted to be obedient to God. He wanted to live in the way that would honor God. The heart reveals the true you. Acknowledging the omniscience of God once again, David pled with God to reveal any wickedness in his heart. David asked God to see if there was any wicked way in him. He wanted his life to be in accord with Divine requirements and wanted all wickedness exposed and removed that might remain in his heart.
David invited the Lord to go beyond his words and deeds to examine the innermost part of his being. He wanted God to know his heart, his feelings, intentions, and motives. David asked God to try or to test him so that He would even know his thoughts. To try something is an expression used of refining metals for the purpose of purifying and proving them (Job 23:10; I Corinthians 3:13). David desired that God fully examine him to prove that he was pure within.
God knows us better than we know ourselves. We need to regularly open our hearts to God and ask Him to search us within. We need to invite God to investigate us to the very core of our being, to test and prove us, and to reveal any sinful ways that are within us. More than anything else, our greatest desire should be to please the Lord.
“Obedience to God is the most infallible evidence of sincere and supreme love to him”, Nathanael Emmons. God does not expect negotiation, He expects obedience in every part of our lives. Even believers who have known Jesus for years admit, “I’m not following perfectly.” Jesus knows you can’t follow Him flawlessly. In spite of that, He invites you to follow Him anyway. The leading of God will mean that David will not walk in sinful paths but will be led in the right ways that are pleasing to the Lord. If you want to be right with God, you must constantly confront your thought life with God’s Word. When God’s Word exposes where we are wrong, we must submit to the Lord and walk in His way. We all need to be led. Believers have the Scriptures and the Spirit to guide them, but too often allow self, or the flesh, do the leading. God has not promised to keep our lives free from times of distress, but He has promised to be with us through them and to use them to bring about our ultimate sanctification. Followers of Jesus Christ whose greatest desire is to be like the Lord, understand that they must have a daily walk and conversation with Him. He provides His constant presence to help you do what you are incapable of doing on your own. This is why you can call Jesus your Shepherd. He is the perfect Shepherd even though you’re not a perfect sheep. Thank Him for being your Shepherd today.
Questions to Consider:
Do you want to know if you are on a wrong path?
Do you stand ready to obey and change, should that be what God directs?
Where are you most resistant to hearing God's direction (for example, in circumstances that require humility or honesty or purity)?
When you sit down to read the Bible or hear a sermon, are you willing to ask God to show you where you are wrong and what you need to know to be corrected?
PRAYER: Father, I ask You to search my heart and reveal to me anything that is hidden so that I can repent of it and lead a life that pleases You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.