“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.” Psalm 139:23-24
The Holy Spirit uses the Law of God to reveal and convict us of our sinfulness, and He uses the Gospel of God to comfort and assure us of God’s mercy and forgiveness for the sake of the holy life and bitter sufferings and death of Christ Jesus in our stead (cf. John 16:7ff.; 14:26ff.; 15:26ff.; 1 John 2:24ff.). Thus, it is fitting that we, as Christians, pray the prayer of David in Psalm 139 and ask that God’s Spirit search our hearts and test us that He might reveal to us any wicked ways and lead us in the way everlasting.
Why? Because our own hearts would deceive us and devise excuses for our sin, but God’s Spirit knows everything about us; nothing is hidden from His sight (cf. Jer. 17:9-10; Psalm 139:1-16).
And using the mirror of God’s Law, the Spirit reveals to us our utter sinfulness (cf. Rom. 3:19-20). He shows us our shortcomings in love for our God and Maker and reveals to us our selfish and sinful hearts in regard to our dealings with our neighbor. Though we, of ourselves, might think we have done a pretty good job of keeping God’s commandments, the Spirit reveals to us, more and more, how sinful we are. The Spirit searches our hearts – even our anxious and care-filled thoughts – and tests us; and He convicts us of the sinfulness and wickedness in us that He might bring us to repentance.
And, of course, God’s Spirit, our Helper and Comforter, uses the good news of Christ’s death for the sins of the world, and of His glorious and triumphal resurrection, to comfort and assure us that in Christ we have pardon, forgiveness and life everlasting (cf. 1 John 1:7 – 2:2; Ps. 130:3-4; 32:1-5). And He leads us in the way everlasting (cf. 2 Tim. 4:18).
“He will be our guide even to death” (Ps. 48:14).
“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.” Amen.