“Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” Psalm 139:23-24
Have you ever pondered the fact that God knows you better than you? The infinite mind of God, intimate with the ways of a grand universe is equally concerned with you. His desire for meaningful relationship with you never ceases. Have you ever considered that God not only knows you better than you know yourself but He has greater dreams and aspirations than you could have on your own?
Recently, my 4 year old and I were having a conversation. I was telling her something about herself that she hadn’t realized. Thankfully, I spend a great amount of time with her – all that I can. I know her very well. I know when she is tired, I know when acting out is really pointing to a deeper issue, I know when she is lying, and I know when she is absolutely telling the truth. There are times when I help her understand why she acts or reacts the way she does. As an adult, I would hope that I’ve outgrown this phenomenon. I would hope that I can see my faults and understand myself better than anyone else. But, I often think “grown-ups” are more blind to our “grievous ways” because we have the wonderful ability to rationalize our short-comings.
Psalm 139 is a confession of God’s amazing intricate experience creating each person. In this simple but amazing Psalm, God reveals His deep love for humanity and His desire for individual relationship. The author concludes the Psalm with the verses above after being apparently floored because of God’s amazing love. These compelling verses are a desperate cry for purity and holiness. They are a response and desire to honor a great God. If there is anything not right, God bring it clearly to mind that I might repent and then lead me down the right path.
The “way” (verse 24) was a term iterated long after this Psalm was written to describe the followers of Jesus after His resurrection. In John 14:7, Jesus proclaims, “I am the Way, and the the Truth, and the Life.” The “way” is a singular direction of obedience to God. It is the person of Jesus Christ. And the stark reality is, we need the Way to find and navigate our way through the detours of life. Our hearts are so prone to leave the God who has laid our path before us that we must consistently depend on Him to reveal ways we are veering. We just can’t see it ourselves. It seems that Life in Christ is far more than doing the right things and not stepping off the yellow brick road. Instead it walking step by step behind the Leader who actually knows the way.
My prayer is that none of us would simply “find our own way.” What looks right in my eyes will more often than not, be a path to nowhere…or worse. Instead, may we follow the One who leads well when we remain so close that the dust from his feet remain on our clothes. Search me and lead me in the way everlasting.