Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting. (NIV)
David is open to conviction. He pleads with God to search his heart for any offensive way. He does not do this because God is unsure of David’s heart. He does this because He desperately does not want to displease the Lord. David’s desire to please the Lord opens his heart to conviction. He is open to whatever God would point out as sin.
Conviction is not easy. We do not enjoy being told what is wrong with us or how we are failing. The pride of man suffers at correction.
It is useless to hide from the Lord. As David said, “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your presence?” Because the Lord is unseen, we are able to engage this world putting out of our minds the presence of God. But this is a fantasy. God is always with us. He is a witness to every moment and every movement. Yet, He loves us anyway. He will not correct us outside of His lovingkindness. It is a gentle reproof He gives. The calmness of God’s redress should pacify our pride.
Though His patience and kindness are ever-present in our sin, we struggle because of our past experience with being corrected. People can be harsh. When operating in the sinful nature, our mistakes are met with an overreaction by others. They respond in their own selfishness, irritated by our mistake that has disturbed their own desires and agenda. But God has no agenda or desire greater than seeing us chiseled in increasing detail according to His likeness. Painful correction attacked our spirit because of the egotistical plans born out of the sinful nature of man. But we can rest in God’s presence knowing He has no priority higher than the beautification of our soul.
He is slow to anger because anger rarely beautifies the soul.
He is abounding in love because our radiance is His highest pursuit.
His yoke is easy and His burden is light. He gives rest to our souls, even as He corrects.
When we keep our minds aware of His presence and how He reprimands with all gentility, we are able to open our hearts to conviction. We will unflinchingly invite His search into the depths of our souls to lead us into the way everlasting. To God be the glory.
Prayer: Lord, remind me that You are not them. You are not the one who has been harsh, unreasonable, and angry. Teach me to rest as You survey my soul. Amen.