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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Okay, it IS all about me!

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. (Psalm 139:23-24 NLT)
Scripture reminds us that our heart is utterly defiled - it deceives us and others at every opportunity it gets. Why? It is bent toward our sin nature - it wants a way opposed to the way God wants for us. It often demands a way opposite of the way God would outline for our lives. Yet, no one quite knows our heart like God does - despite our attempts to cover-up the real us, God is fully aware of what dwells at the basis of each of our decisions, every action, and even all our thoughts. Who better could search out the intents and "attitude" of heart each of us possesses?
Our heart needs some scrutinizing - because it is continually manipulating things to get at whatever it wants! Some of you may have cringed when I said our hearts are more than a little manipulative, but hear me out on this one. Manipulation really means we will skillfully control or "play upon" something often by unfair means. Have you ever sought to win an argument just because you didn't want to be wrong? I know when I have it is not because I am always right - it is because I didn't like the idea of the other guy being right! That is called manipulation - skillfully controlling by unfair means in order to obtain something to one's own advantage.
Our "bent" of heart is toward this type of "advantage" - it is "me first" if we are to be totally truthful here. It is "all about me" on more occasions than we might honestly want to admit - we skillfully "play" the circumstances for our advantage. Why? We don't like to "lose", nor do we like to be "wrong", "wronged", or "wrongly accused". We need someone who isn't focused on "me" to point out the true intent of our heart. In case you didn't realize it, God isn't all about himself. If you need proof, you need only look to Jesus - for nothing proves God is all about "us" more than the fact he gave his son to satisfy the demands of sin's penalty on OUR behalf.
With God, there will be an honest appraisal. There will be a truthful analysis and a reliable plan to change what is amiss in our hearts. He is the one most capable - therefore we need to rely upon him to point out what should not be in our hearts and then to show us how that gets removed so we don't access it again. God isn't just going to get into our hearts and clean up all the mess there without being invited, though. He needs to be given permission to set in order what we have set in total disorder by our constant focus on "me" in this life. Nothing quite measures up to his graceful examination of our heart, though, for his his examination brings a setting in order not achieved by any amount of "self-help" or "introspective evaluation". Just sayin!