Psalm 139: 1, 23-24
“You have searched me, Lord, and you know me.
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.”
I imagine that most of us don’t really enjoy being examined by a doctor. I know I dread it when I go to the doctor’s office and one of the first things they do is ask me to stand on the scale. “Really? I have a sore throat, I’m sure that has nothing to do with how much I weigh.” That’s what I think to myself, but still I dutifully comply. I stand on the scale (why does the doctor’s scale always weigh 5 lb. heavier than the one in my house)?.
Physicians examine us so that they can have an idea of what’s going on inside of us. Is everything functioning properly. Are all the vital organs working the way they are supposed to? Do changes need to be made? Often, at the end of the visit there is a prescription given for some medicine for us to take. Or sometimes a recommendation to make a lifestyle change. Or sometimes, the need for further tests. Sometimes, what is needed is a radical, invasive procedure where they cut into your body… surgery. Most of those things are unpleasant. Sometimes, we avoid going to the doctor all together so that we can avoid hearing his diagnosis. We figure, what I don’t know won’t hurt me.
Spiritually, we sometimes act the same way. We are afraid to go to God and let him give an honest, accurate assessment of our spiritual health. But we need it. We need it more than we need our physical health. We need God to search us… to examine us… to look deep into our hearts and understand our values, our motives, our loves and our hates. We need God to look deep within and discover where our anxious thoughts lie. We need God to call us out on our offensive ways… the ways that hurt others, the ways that hurt ourselves. We need God to prescribe for us the changes that need to be made so that we can experience greater spiritual health.
The hardest prayer, and the most important prayer you can pray, is a prayer of examination to God… “Search me, O God, and know my heart.” Maybe its time you made an appointment with God for an examination. Come to think of it, maybe its time for me to do that too.
-Pastor Jeff Fletcher