“Search me, God and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting,” Psalm 139:23-24
It’s easy to look at other people and come up with a list of their issues and the things that THEY need to do to change. We’re quick to tell people about the tiny speck of dust in their eye without first taking the time out of our busy schedules to take the beam out of our own eye (Matthew 7:5).
We will never admit it, out loud anyway, but we all have our ways. Selfish ways, jealous ways, lazy, prideful, arrogant, stingy and self-righteous ways. They manifest every now and again when we are led by our sinful flesh instead of the Holy Spirit!! One of the most POWERFUL prayers that we can pray is: “Lord, search MY HEART and show me things about ME that need to change.”
I’ll never forget the time several years ago when I was a baby Christian and still had one foot in “the world” and a toe in church, after a very late night of partying the next morning I had to do the walk of shame back to my “friends” car so he could drop me back to my place. The dress that looked good for a Saturday night in the club was inappropriate for Sunday morning. To make matters worse we had to walk past a church just as the people were walking in for an 11am service. As I walked past, the “saved and sanctified saints” looked at us “sinners” with disgust. I admit staying the night was not wise and maybe my dress was too short but even in my sin and stupidity God’s hand was still on me and he still had a plan for my life.
The “saved and sanctified saints” forgot that the same Jesus who died to save them from their sins also died for mine too. I wasn’t expecting them to invite us to church that morning but they could’ve given us a smile of compassion and love. Instead they walked past us with disapproving looks while walking into church to raise their holy hands to praise and worship. The “saved and sanctified saints” were also judgemental/self-righteous and the sad thing is they probably didn’t know it. I’m not excusing my foolishness, I was wrong but in God’s eyes my sin was no different from the sin that they had in their HEARTS. (See the blog I wrote #Heart Check).
Now that we are saved and have given our lives to Jesus, the Holy Spirit has cleansed us and we’ve been washed with the water through the Word of God. We are now holy, saved and sanctified Saints of God, it can be easy to forget where God brought us from. If we do not allow the Holy Spirit to examine our hearts on a regular basis we can easily fall into the trap of self-righteousness, pride and have inequity in our hearts. I know you’re probably thinking “Nooooooo not me, NEVER. This is for someone else.”
We may be smart enough to hide ourselves and “our ways” from people and hide behind our good works, impeccable church service, powerful preaching and perfect church attendance but we cannot hide from God who sees our heart and know the true motives behind everything we do and say. God is more interested in our pure hearts than our religious works. Sometimes we can be so busy serving God that we can’t hear when the Holy Spirit is trying to talk to us and deal with us about our heart.
When I asked the Holy Spirit to show me my heart six things were revealed to me. One of my issues was that I was an “in the box thinker”. I’m very organised and I plan everything and when things don’t go according to “my plan” I get annoyed. Its good to have a plan but hold on to it very loosely and be prepared for the unexpected. Instead of having an internal melt down when things don’t according to my plan I now ask God for the wisdom to deal with the unexpected. God is unconventional and does things outside of the box.
- Ask God to shine his light on your heart and reveal the areas where change is needed.
- Prayer isn’t just talking. We need to be quiet enough to listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying to us.
- When the Holy Spirit reveals the areas of your heart that need to change write them down and turn them in to a prayer points. Only God can help you change (see the blog I wrote Lord, HELP me).
- God speaks to us through his Word. We are transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2).
Its a BLESSING when the Holy Spirit shows you yourself, it will humble because you’ll be reminded that without God you are nothing. Everything you have or can do is only because you’ve been given the GRACE to do it.
I finally understand Acts 17:28 when it says: “For in him we live and move and have our being.” This is so true!!!!!!
Thank God for his Grace and Mercy!!