A prayer that often flows out of my mouth is for the Lord to search me and know me. Psalm 139 is a favorite of mine, as it contains the beautiful verses of how we are fully known and how we are never alone. Something interesting caught my attention this morning as I said these words, however, and I invite you to ponder it with me.
"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."
This is a very dangerous prayer to pray, yet extremely necessary if we desire to stay near the Lord with all of our hearts. (I say "dangerous" in the sense that if you really want Him to show you your anxieties, be ready. He will.) This plea that David lifted up for the Lord to do an inside and out pat-down occurred at the end of the Psalm. I dare you to trace back to the beginning of it and see what he said then...
"O Lord, You have searched me and known me." Okay, so he started out his psalm of praise to the Lord acknowledging that the Lord has done a thorough search of him already. As you continue reading you find that he recognized that there is nothing he could say or do without the Lord knowing beforehand the words and actions. He knew that he was surrounded and watched and known at all times.
Keep going. He recognized and acknowledged further that he could not even dare to run from the Lord and find some place that He would not be. He looked to furthest reaches outwardly and found God, so he then looked to the furthest depths inwardly...and found God.
The entire discourse on the intimate knowledge that the Lord holds is beautiful and comforting. So, to get back to what is stirring the pondering this morning: why does David request that the Lord search and know him at the end? Multiple verses describing the depth of the Lord's understanding of us have just been laid out in exquisite detail - why ask for a deeper investigation?
I wonder if the verses right before give a little clue. They are basically displaying how David views the enemies of this God he loves. The wicked, those who hate the Lord - David had no good words to say about them. So, I wonder if he looked at how the Lord was treated by some and it stirred him to recognize the potential of wickedness within himself. Maybe he knew that he easily saw fault in those around him while somehow being blind to his own weaknesses and temptations.
I challenge you to recognize how known and loved you are, but don't stop there. Allow the Lord to dig into you daily and show you what still needs surrendered to Him. We are often blinded to what may be wrong within - let us continually pray that He lets us in on the secrets that we somehow keep from ourselves.
Father, search me and know me again. Test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any wicked and offensive way in me, and please lead me in the way everlasting. In Jesus' Name. Amen.