“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.”
A pastor once said to me that these verses are his habitual morning prayer. Not as an act of religious piety but as an act of humble submission to a Holy and Righteous God.
David, the writer of this wonderful psalm, knew very well what it was like to live under a banner of persistent guilt from his personal sin. Upon committing adultery with Bathsheba and ordering her husband to fight on the front lines of a ferocious war to cover up his sin, David was being consumed daily with the guilt of his sinful actions. He knew that his choices had led him to murder an innocent man and to commit adultery with his wife. He knew that he had dishonoured God through his actions. Yet God, in his mercy forgave David because of the Lord’s “steadfast love” and “mercies that are new each morning.”However, David first had to acknowledge his sin, repent of it and make his heart right before God.
This Psalm indicates that although we serve a gracious and kind God, there are choices we make that offend the righteousness of God. We also need to have a healthy guilt in our lives, not to condemn us of our sins (like David experienced), but rather to point out where we have made mistakes so that we can repent and enjoy the intimate communion with God that He so desires to have with us.
Let us come before God each day, searching our hearts to find out if there is anything we have not repented of. We do not need to dig deep, but rather allow the Holy Spirit to bring things to our attention that need repenting of. Then, let us confess it in faith and humility and accept God’s forgiveness, knowing that Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross has completely and fully paid the debt of our sins. Let this be a pray of submission and humility as we seek to live a lifestyle that leads to everlasting life.