Wednesday, February 11, 2004

you see coincidence, i see providence

(i think that's actually a misquote of morpheus, but i was sure that's what i heard.)

so, i get home, and i'm catching up on my inbox reading... and come across the latest carm newsletter from last week. guess what the devotional in it is based on? yup, psalm 139:23-24... !

Search me, O God

Psalm 139:23-24 says, "Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; 24 And see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way."

These are perhaps some of the most poignant words in
the entire Bible. In these two verses there is so much. We see the
Psalmist asking God to search him, to look to the deepest part of
what he is, his own heart. Why would the Psalmist ask this? And, why
would any of us ask it? The reason is simple. We can not know our
own hearts as well as God can. He indwells us, knows every thought,
is aware of every feeling, and He understands us better than we do.
If we ever needed anyone to reach down in the depths of our hearts
to find out what is unholy so that it can be removed, it is God.

David is the psalmist. David is asking God to prove, to
test his loyalty because he is not like the wicked men spoken of
earlier in the Psalm. David desired God and God's holiness.

When God asked Solomon what he wanted, Solomon asked
for wisdom, and because he did not ask for money, and power, ir
fame, God blessed him with all of them. Wisdom was a great thing to
have. Nevertheless, Solomon fell into idolatry in his letter years
and his wisdom did not help him in the end.

By contrast, David said, "One thing I have asked
from the Lord, that I shall seek: that I may dwell in the house of
the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord,
and to meditate in His temple,"
(Psalm 27:4). Even though David
committed adultery, murdered Bathsheba's husband, and used deception
to cover his great sins, God, who knew this would happen, said of
him through Samuel, "The Lord has sought out for Himself a man
after His own heart, and the Lord has appointed him as ruler over
His people..."
(1 Sam. 13:14). There was a quality in David that
pleased God. What was that quality? It was David's
heartfelt desire for the Lord.

You need to know this because it will help you to
understand the intimacy that David sought with God which ultimately
led him to ask God, "know my heart." David seeks God in the
most intimate place and asks Him to examine him there. David asks
God to see if there is any hurtful way in him -- in the deepest part
of his being. David was being vulnerable.

Is there any hurtful way in your heart? Would you
be able to ask God to search your heart down to the deepest levels
and reveal to you the secrets that not even you know is there? Would
you trust God enough to ask Him to expose and root out of you that
which is displeasing to Him? Do you have the courage to bow your
knees, to lower your head, to lay prostrate before God, and to
become as vulnerable as you can to Him as you ask him to look into
your heart, to see if there's anything bad in there, and to deal
with it accordingly? Such a request grows out of humility as well as
increases humility. It is the ultimate trust in God. It can be
scary. But it is definitely good.

David did not simply ask God to see if there's
any hurtful way in him and leave it at that. He asked to be led by
God in the everlasting way. This means to be corrected and
sanctified by God's loving hands.

David did not know the Messiah since Jesus was
far distant in the future. But David knew the Messiah would
come. You, on the other hand, know the everlasting way -- if
you know Christ as your savior. Jesus, who is God in flesh,
who died in the cross and rose from the dead bodily, is the
everlasting way. Therefore, for you to be led by God in the
everlasting way is to be led to Christ.

May the desire of your heart be that you would seek Jesus,
that you would dwell in His house forever, and that you would behold
His beauty. God desires that you desires this because He loves you.

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