Friday, January 30, 2009

Heart Examination
God is so good. He proves Himself faithful to answer our prayers, no matter what we pray. We all probably know that the answer is either yes, no or wait.
Sometimes, however, it's not as black and white as that.
A few days ago I decided to write on a topic that has been on my heart for some time. I kept starting on the post and ending up with nothing. Usually the words flow from my heart when I'm writing. Not so the last few days. I'd start and stop. I'd look up verse after verse and just couldn't get the post to flow onto the screen. What I didn't realize was there was a wall up between my heart and my fingers, praise God!
Last night I was praying on a totally unrelated topic and prayed the following verses:
"Test me, O LORD, and try me, examine my heart and my mind; for your love is ever before me, and I walk continually in your truth." ~ Psalm 26:2-3 (NIV)
I promise I almost felt God laugh and say, "You are so not walking in My Truth, Laurie Ann Pierce."
I paused and prayed again.
"Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts." ~ Psalm 139:23 (NIV)

I felt a strong prompting to search my own heart and ya'll, that post came to mind! I realized that my motives were so impure (hence the brick wall between my heart and the keyboard). I confessed that to God and asked Him to forgive me. Of course, He is so faithful! It's one of the things I love about my Jesus.

I asked Him to just give me the proper motives and timing for it and felt such peace as I just left it alone. Didn't think about it the rest of the night.

This morning I opened my email and had a message from a friend with some guidelines to follow on a project I was doing. I went in to fix it and stopped dead in my tracks.

There was a post I had written two weeks ago on the very subject my motives were impure over. At the time I wrote the post, my motives were very pure. I prayed and asked God if this was what I was to do and got such a peace about it. I edited one thing and let it go.

I realized in doing this that I needed to probably ask God to examine my heart a little more carefully. The irregular heartbeat could have caused major damage. Thankfully He rectified it and provided me with the pure motives I had earlier in the month. I praise Him for convicting me of the sin set before me and pray that I remain sensitive to His prompting.

Have you had your heart examined lately? Maybe it's time for a check-up.

The Hebrew word for examine in Psalm 26:2 is bachan. This word means:

1) to examine, try, prove
a) (Qal)
1) to examine, scrutinise
2) to test, prove, try (of gold, persons, the heart, man of God)
b) (Niphal) to be tried, proved
c) (Pual) to make a trial

The Hebrew word for search in Psalm 139:23 is chaqar. Chaqar means:

1) to search, search for, search out, examine, investigate
a) (Qal)
1) to search (for)
2) to search through, explore
3) to examine thoroughly
b) (Niphal)
1) to be searched out, be found out, be ascertained, be examined
c) (Piel) to search out, seek out

We need to ask God to really examine and search our hearts and minds for us each day before we speak, write, or respond to others. When we do this and He cleanses us, we'll truly know that we are walking in His truth and our path will be made clear.

The Hebrew word for truth in Psalm 26:3 is 'emeth. It means:

1) firmness, faithfulness, truth
a) sureness, reliability
b) stability, continuance
c) faithfulness, reliableness
d) truth
1) as spoken
2) of testimony and judgment
3) of divine instruction
4) truth as a body of ethical or religious knowledge
5) true doctrine

Can you think of a better path to walk down than in all these avenues of God's truth?
Father, please forgive me for the times when my motives have been less than pure. I invite You to continually examine my heart and mind and that You would enable me by the power of Your Holy Spirit to recognize when I am straying off the path of Your truth. Help me to stay on the path of truth with Your rod and Your staff to correct and guide me. Help me be a living example of Your love, Lord, and bring more people onto the paths of Your truth by my example, not for myself but for Your glory. Amen.

"Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." ~ James 5:16 (NIV)




bp said...

Thank you for this reminder to us to do a heart check.

God bless you for following His leading.

Tricia said...

A great post Laurie Ann! We definitely need to remember to daily ask God to purify and cleanse our hearts so that what we do for Him is done out of a pure heart with God-honoring motives.

It reminds me of something Beth Moore prayed in one of her Bible studies (A Woman's Heart, God's Dwelling Place) that has stuck with me and that I often pray for myself: "Lord, make my heart a fit vessel for your Presence to dwell in."

Have a wonderful weekend!


Peggy said...

I am humbled my dear friend and sister Laurie Ann...Praise God through whom all blessings flow!

Another GREAT and honest post & searching! God is so good & He never fails us! Love all the scripture and words! May He continue to flow truly through you as He tests, searches and perfects each of us into His own image!

Love and blessings!

Loved your prayer also!

He And Me + 3 said...

I loved this post...walk down the avenues of Truth...just beautiful. Create in me a clean heart Oh God. That is my prayer.

Lynda P. said...

Loved this post - it's so easy to backtrack into bad ways and the mind is such a sly thing, bringing up all sorts of justifications. A re-examination of one's purity of heart is necessary once in a while.

Debra said...

Laurie Ann,

I am so touched by the Spirit of our Lord who puts before us the examining process. What a blessing to get things right with our Lord.

Blessings to you, my friend.

Denise said...

Such a beautiful reminder.