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)
Have you ever prayer a similar prayer? It is a kind of scary thing to ask God to test your heart and mind to see if there is any offensive stuff there, isn't it? You almost don't want to ask because you know there is! When God points out what 'offends' him, he doesn't do it to humiliate us, or even to chastise us. He does it to show us how deeply he loves us - because he wants us to be free of all that garbage that takes up emotional, mental, or physical space in our lives.
To be led, one must submit to the one leading. To be whole, one must submit to the one capable of ridding us of all the stuff that keeps us 'broken' and 'hurt'. When we don't know the way, we seek guidance via a mapping service, GPS, or the good old way of asking someone for directions. Why do we not ask God to show us where our lives are actually being held 'captive' by our thoughts, emotions, or past hurts? Perhaps it is because we have held onto those things for so long that we just don't see any way past them. There is always a way when we ask God to show us the way.
Do you think God really doesn't know our hearts without that 'testing' process our psalmist is seeking? He does, but have you ever considered that the 'testing' process is really a way of getting us to know our own hearts as well as God knows them? Maybe we are turned off by the term 'test', because we think testing has a negative connotation. Yes, testing includes investigation and analysis, but it also involves a certain amount of 'corroboration' - affirmation, validation, and verification. We likely know a bit of what is there, but when we ask God to test our hearts, we are asking him to 'validate' or 'verify' what we believe to be there.
There is nothing that delights his heart more than to hear us ask for his view into our minds and heart. He won't shame us, but he will help us see the healing that is possible when he is given access to those areas that have held us captive for so long. So, don't hesitate to ask - you might just be dazzled by what you discover with his help! Just sayin!
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