Psalm 139:23-24 (NIV): Search me, O 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.
How God wishes that His people would, in all sincerity, pray this prayer! Many know Psalm 139 in part, and receive comfort from the parts that they know. It is comforting to know that God is present everywhere, and that with Him a person will never be alone. It is important to understand that God knows and has plans for each person from before the moment of their conception, and that each fetus is a real person, a real human being in God’s eyes, from the moment of its conception. (And it’s NOT above God’s pay-grade to make that decision!)
But in the midst of all of that good news and wonder, too few actually seem to understand that “the pure in heart” are the only ones who will “see God” (Matthew 5:8), and that “without holiness” (real, genuine, moral and ethical righteousness), “no one will see the Lord.” (Hebrews 12:14)
I’m afraid that many believe that these verses are hyperbole, or that they are some kind of ideal that God put out there for His people to aim at and never achieve. But our Lord is a genuinely holy God, and the impure cannot stand in His presence. (See Revelation 21:27) Even the Old Testament saints knew that God’s demand for ethical holiness and righteousness was literal and not some ideal. And they were far more righteous, without even having access to God’s indwelling Spirit, than the vast majority of those who dare to go by the name of Christian today. This is disgraceful!
Christians today have access to the Holy Spirit to purify their hearts, and to guide and direct their every step., but so few are even motivated to try to live a holy life. Like the Laodiceans, they believe “I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.” But in actuality, they are “wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked.” (Revelation 3:17) We, as God’s people, must hunger and thirst for true righteousness before He can fill us. We must take a good, hard look at our lives and our hearts, and truly repent of any unrighteousness that is there before He can cleanse us, and make us truly holy and righteous. We must allow God, literally ask Him, to search our hearts, to show us our true state before Him, before He can make us clean and lead us in the everlasting way.
Father, I open my heart, soul, mind, ALL of me, to Your inspection. Check me out; leave no place unexamined. Show me anyplace in my life that is not 100% pure and holy, and Yours, so that I can repent, and let You cleanse me of anything impure. Lord, I want to live a holy life — I want to BE completely holy in every thought, word, and deed, so that I CAN see You, so that I CAN enter Your holy city, so that I CAN be all that You have called me to be. Amen.