By Ricky Chelette
“Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” – Psalms 139:23-24
Who really knows you? I mean really knows all about you – the good, the bad, and the ugly. Truth is, we are not very good at knowing ourselves. We say we want to be authentic people, but even in our intended authenticity we are posers. “People wouldn’t like me if they really knew me,” we say to ourselves. So we hide. We pretend to be what we perceive people want, only to feel grieved and alone because no one knows us. We are peculiar and broken people.
Jeremiah 17:9 gives us further insight into our heart by telling us, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick [or wicked]; who can understand it?” It seems the Word of God knows we have a difficult time being honest even with ourselves. In fact, the next verse states, “I the Lord search the heart and test the mind.” So the request of the Psalmist for the Lord to search his heart is not unreasonable, but Biblical. In fact, God is the only one who really can help us with our wicked heart.
In Psalm 139 the writer pleads with God to search his heart; to know him and to direct him in a way that would lead to something real – something authentic – the everlasting way.
We need the Lord to show us our hearts and to search them out to find the “grievous way” or some translations say, “hurtful or offensive way” within me. I think we all have those wicked ways within us: Our secret thoughts, our manipulative ways, or dreams and lust for power and control, and even our desire to be desired more than to point people to Jesus. In every case we want something or someone more than we want Jesus and that grieves the heart of God. Why? Because Jesus gave His life for us and He wants our hearts and lives devoted to Him. He is worthy of our praise and allegiance.
For over thirty years I have walked with men and women, desperately trying to point them to Jesus. I have not led them perfectly, and at times, not even well, but I have felt the hurt when some have chosen the path of their heart’s wicked way rather than the Jesus Way. I have grieved and cried and pleaded, but often to no avail. But unlike God, I didn’t create a single one of them. I didn’t die so they could be reconciled to God. I didn’t take the wrath of God on myself for them. I simply walked a bit along the way of life with them. If I feel grief on their behalf, I can’t imagine the grief our Lord must feel when He looks into our hearts and sees our wickedness.
When we read the entirety of Psalm 139, we see the great hope – the hope we have if we will confess our wickedness and follow Jesus. He already knows us. He made us
and knit us together intentionally before we were ever a thought in our mothers’ hearts. He knows all of us and still loves us like no other can (Ps 139:1-16). What are you waiting for?
Are you feeling unknown, unknowable, too wicked, undesirable, or even too far gone for help? God sees you and knows every part of you. If He is showing you the wickedness of your heart today, confess it and receive His forgiveness (1 John 1:9). He wants to put us on the “everlasting way” – a way that leads to life, is filled with hope, and brings Him glory and us great joy. Won’t you join Him on the everlasting way today?