Alone, in the quietness of my home I found myself before the feet of Jesus. Lying on the floor next to me was a gift from a friend; a bookmark that quoted part of Psalm 139:23 “Search my heart oh God…” In that moment, as I held that bookmark in my hand, I felt so led to make that my prayer. After lifting those sweet incenses to the Lord He had revealed what truly resided in my heart, and it was tough to see. Jeremiah 17:9 states, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” Ouch…that stings, and so did the revelation of what God showed me in that moment.
This Psalm was penned by King David, whom Scripture quotes to be a man after God’s own heart. David desired to be closer to God and to be made more like Him. In reading the rest of Psalm 139, we can clearly see that David understood the love God had for him by the way he spoke of God’s intimate knowledge of him. However, he also understood that there was a continual work that needed to be done within, so David asked the Lord to search, purify, and make right his heart.
When I had lifted up that same prayer to the Lord, He showed me the bitterness and unforgiveness that was buried in the depths of my very own heart. Truthfully, I had no idea that I had let those feelings creep inside and make a home for years. In that moment of realization tears fell to the ground instantly and my heart became heavy. “I know those things aren’t pleasing to you, Lord. I thought my heart was pure before you.”
I was known to be “the girl next door,” the one who was always smiling; if only they knew the innocent smiles on my face didn’t line up with wickedness in my heart. I might have been fooling everyone else, but I was not fooling God. The Bible states in 1 Samuel 16:7 that God looks at what is on the inside, not on the outside: “But the LORD said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.’”
Through it all the Lord met me with His comforting presence, and after seeking counsel on how to rightly deal with the sin laid out before me, I was encouraged to release the matters of my heart to the Lord. He knew I had been hurting for years from a shattered heart with hopes dashed over and over again, but by pressing down and not acknowledging the problem, it would only do more harm.
What I didn’t realize was that those issues were stealing my joy and peace. They were also blocking a growth that God wanted to do in my relationship with Him, which was to draw me closer and use my sufferings for His glory. After recognizing and confessing it before the Lord, chains were broken as I was given a new gift: freedom. No longer bound to those burdens, I began to experience a new intimacy with my Father.
Sometimes in life, unfortunate occurrences take place and we reap the consequences, whether by the choices we make or the choices others make. We can reap the effects by letting them take root within, covering it up and trying to move on. However, God in His amazing mercy, grace, and love cares too much to allow us to continue on in that direction. He sees our hurt, shame, wounds, even wickedness, and He wants to cleanse us from the inside out, to transform us more and more like His beloved Son, Jesus Christ.
As a daughter of the King, you and I have an amazing access to boldly go to His throne and ask to be freed from what holds us captive. He is faithful to meet us in those moments where we go to Him as we are, genuinely seeking His face. When He shows us the essence of what lies within, though it may be hard, and it may hurt, it is well worth it.
Would we desire to be like David, a child after God’s own heart and humbly profess, “Here’s my heart Lord.” May we be brave enough to ask the Lord to search us and purify us so that we can be a clean vessel for His living water to flow through, unto the lives around who are desperately thirsty. Though we will not reach perfection until the day we see our Maker face to face, we can desire sanctification to take its course. Let us sit before the feet of Jesus and give Him that which He deserves and all we have to offer…our heart.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.” ~Psalm 139:23-24
By: Ashley Rodriguez
Take a few minutes and ask the Lord to examine your heart carefully and reveal any issues you need to address.
Is there an area of struggle in your heart that is stealing joy and peace from your life or hindering growth in your relationship with God?
What practical steps can you take today to confront your thought life, or habitual sin, in an effort to access the freedom that comes with God’s sanctification process?