"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."
If you were to ask me what my favorite verse was in the entire Bible, it may very well be this one. This is a prayer that I have returned to over and over again. It tends to be when I'm feeling a bit lost. Women tend to be more on the emotional side, and I admit I'm probably on the higher end of this statistic. My emotions can cloud my judgment and make me confused on a number of matters.
Chuck Smith makes a good point that "...the work of the Holy Spirit is not only revealing Christ to us, but revealing ourselves to us" (Chuck Smith, C2000 Series on Psalm 136-150).
I could really use all the help I can get in revealing myself to me. Especially now that I suffer from "mom brain."
Let's look at marriage for an example. When I am upset at something my husband did, like maybe being on his phone or reading a book, I'm not upset that he's doing those things. It's deeper than that. Instead of me being angry with him for being on his phone, I need to search my heart and discover the root of the issue, which is most likely that I'm wanting him to give me his attention. Battles are so much easier to find victory in when the root of the issue is clear, and you can move forward accordingly.
For me, this is significantly important when it comes to my spiritual walk. There are all sorts of issues that rise up in my heart that I need the Holy Spirit to search and try: bitterness, hurt, worldly desires, etc. These are things that can easily go unnoticed, and sometimes I need the Holy Spirit's help to decipher my heart.
"He will have God himself search him, and search him thoroughly, till every point of his being is known, and read, and understood; for he is sure that even by such an investigation there will be found in him no complicity with wicked men. He challenges the fullest investigation, the innermost search; he had need be a true man who can put himself deliberately into such a crucible. Yet we may each one desire such searching; for it would be a terrible calamity to us for sin to remain in our hearts unknown and undiscovered" (C.H. Spurgeon).
The Psalmist prays for 6 things that I think are good for us to ask of the Lord one by one:
1. Search me, O God (vs. 23).
2. Know my heart (vs. 23).
3. Try me (vs 23).
4. Know my anxieties (vs 23).
5. See if there is any wicked way in me (vs 24).
6. Lead me in the way everlasting (vs 24).
Pause to Pray:
Search me, God. I need you to examine my heart. You know my heart far better than I do myself (Psalm 139:1). Try me. "Exercise every and any test upon me. By fire and by water let me be examined" (C.H. Spurgeon). Know my anxieties and my thoughts. Show me if there are any evil or sinful habits in my life that I am unaware of, and lead me in the way everlasting. Continue the work in me that you first began (Phil 1:6).