I used to sell a lot of houses. Whenever I met with a seller for the first time and walked through the home I’d say things like, “the windows are old, the carpets are worn, and the cabinets need to be updated.” The homeowner may be used to the sticky windows, not care about the shag carpet, and think the cabinets are lovely. However, the truth is their house had deferred maintenance and they needed to invest into the house to get the best dollar from the sale.
David said a prayer in Psalm 139 that has really captivated me lately. The prayer was, “search me, God, and know my heart…” I question what David’s intent was with that prayer. God already knows everything so he is not going to find anything new in there. The prayer had less to do about God finding something new, and everything to do with the Lord revealing things to David.
I think David prayer was inviting the Lord in to say, “Hey, how’s my heart looking? Are the windows, carpet, and cabinets looking good?” It was a daring prayer of discovery because David was giving permission for the Lord to speak to David about the areas of his heart that needed investment. My guess is the investment came in the form of humility, forgiveness, and patience. I believe the Lord is continually calling us to allow Him to reveal what areas in us need refining, and to redefine what we believe our standard of Christian living should be like.
Second, inviting the Lord to “search me and know my heart” is a prayer to stir up the desires inside us. We are always at risk of going about our days acting like there is always tomorrow to accomplish those passions. It’s easy to lose perspective and forget that we once had God given visions for our service to the Lord, the health of our relationships, and even things like wanting to drive though the middle of a tree in the redwood forest (ok, that ones a goal of mine). Asking the Lord to know our hearts gives Him the ability to speak to us about goals, dreams, and passions that have grown cold or been forgotten.
It is also interesting that David had made some pretty big mistakes (adultery and murder), yet knew having a heart with junk in it didn’t disqualify him. The Lord referred to David as “A man after His own heart.” That’s a pretty solid compliment. It was Davids willingness to get over the fear of being called out on his issues by the Lord which allowed him to pursue the Lord without hesitation. Only then was David able to be vulnerable enough to know what was on the Lords heart for him.
Let’s embrace this prayer, “search me, God, and know my heart.” It’s a daring prayer that requires us to listen and take action. The benefit is a direct exchange for what’s old and dull for fresh life and newness with the Lord. It sets us on a path of deeper discovery about the goodness of the Lord and encourages us to walk out the plans and purposes He has for us.