“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.”
God knows each of us better than anyone else, even ourselves. Psalm 139 is mostly a list composed of the ways God knows each of us.
Here is what Psalm 139 lists that God knows about each of us:
- Our physical actions
- Our thoughts, including an understanding of them
- Our path, where life has had us, where we are now, and where we are going
- Our words uttered and those still on our tongue
- Our complete framework because He fashioned each of us and knew each of us before anyone else
So, if God knows us each that well, it is only fitting to ask for His help in keeping us on His path that leads to everlasting life, as is stated in our verse today. No other person’s advice could prove to be better. But, keeping on God’s path requires diligence on our part.
God’s path is not the wide and easy one, but rather the narrow and more difficult one. That is why we are told that very few stay on the path. Being on God’s path requires each of us to deal with how imperfect we are in light of a perfect God. Being on God’s path requires that we be willing to give up our own agendas and take the agenda God has ready for us. Being on God’s path requires that we put away thoughts of pleasing ourselves and our desires so that we have the time and energy to please Him alone.
King David was well aware of that it took to stay on God’s path and that is why he asked God at the end of Psalm 139 to search his heart, to try him, and to reveal any anxieties or wickedness in his life. Those were all very difficult things to ask God to do in his life, but necessary if he wanted to stay on God’s path. We, just like David, need to be willing to let God search us, to try us, and then to reveal to us what He finds. In doing so we are then led to repentance for sins He exposes in our lives, to casting out idols He reveals in our lives, to redirecting the pursuits we are giving time and energy to in our lives, and to refocusing our worship so that it gives praise and honor to Him alone.
Being searched and tried is not a pleasant thing. It hurts just like the knife of a surgeon hurts. Yet, just like the surgeon who has the job to remove the cancerous cells so that the body can be healthier, God can perform the job of cutting away the cancerous/sinful areas in our soul so it can be healthier than it was before, if only we are a willing patient and lay ourselves before Him.