Do you try to hide things about yourself from God, are there items in your life, either current or past, that you have buried deep inside of you, that you have been trying to forget, that you have no desire to face? I could be wrong, but I don’t believe that there has ever been one individual born that has not done the second part of this statement, that does not have at least one memory from their past that they would just as soon forget but can’t.
I do not fault the lost for this, for keeping things buried within themselves, they are accountable within their minds only to the laws of man and the morality that they have set upon themselves. They are in a sense a god unto themselves, at least as long as they draw breath, then I am afraid that they will be in for a rude awakening. They will have a minimum of one-thousand years to think up all the excuses that they can before they will stand before the Lord Jesus at the great white throne of judgement, and all their excuses will be to no avail.
But let us speak here of those of us that know Jesus Christ as Savior, for we all fulfill in one degree or another the opening statement of this letter to you, that we try to hide things from ourselves that we do not like within us, and at times from the Lord. Most generally these are things that we have been forgiven for either at the cross or by honestly accepting the promise of 1st John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” The problem with these memories that we hold onto is that we have difficulty forgiving ourselves of these sins against the Lord, and in a way towards others, and indeed it can be a difficult task, but who are we to hold anything against ourselves that God Himself has forgiven us for. This is a deceiving lie of Satan towards the believer in Christ, it has worked for centuries and probably will remain one of his greatest tricks until he is placed for eternity in the lake of fire.
I would ask you to please read a Psalm that our Lord used David to pen, it is Psalm 139:23-24. “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Here is the question that I would pose to you, would you in all honesty be able to write this Psalm down on paper, sign your name to it and then offer it up to God? Read closely just the first two words here, “Search me,” right there that may have made many Christians say, “Not yet, I appreciate the offer, but I am not ready for that yet.”
God knows everything about us, from the number of the hairs on our head, (Luke 12:7) to how much we truly desire to serve Him, “Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.” (ISA. 49:16) God knows everything. So what David is saying here is “Show me,” make me to know who I truly am. With just these two first words we are giving God the okay, the right if you will, to make us aware of the real intents of our hearts. “Know my heart,” do not let me hide from the reality of who I am, help me to see myself as I really am, not how I believe myself to be. And not just my heart, but also my thoughts, the deepest recesses of it. What do I honestly think of you, about others, help me to see past the veil that I myself have put up to keep those parts of me that I detest buried down deep within me? Show me the parts of myself that still do not trust you, that seeks my own will and not yours, even those thoughts that I hate the most, the ones that deny you as Lord of my life. “Try me.”
All of these and more were David’s request unto the Lord, he makes it quite clear in verse 24, “See if there be any wicked way in me.” He wanted these things gone, David knew that there was still wickedness in him, he detested it, he hated it and he wanted it gone. He knew, as we do, that our Lord knows all those unwanted items that are inside of us, but how many of us want Him to show these things to us. To ask of the Lord to make these things known unto us can be a very frightening thing to do, because we are more than likely the last person that we would ever want to get to know. The mature Christian knows full well that he can hide nothing from the Lord God, but even the smallest thought about himself without Christ brings a bitter distaste to him, and so he must ask.
How do you know then if you are prepared to do what David asked the Lord to do to him, how will you know when you are ready to say, “Try me?” When that foul taste moves from your thoughts to your heart. Thoughts can be hidden, we can bury them so very deeply within us, they can be rearranged, emotions connected to these parts of us can to a degree be controlled, but the heart can be broken. Those who can write this verse down and sign their name to it know that it is not only their heart that is breaking by keeping all these afore mentioned things inside, but in a sense, it is also God’s. He already knows, but it is us who do not want these parts that we detest shown to us, brought to the forefront of our minds where we must face them. We do not like that person, he is full of pride, he gets tired of always having to serve, he wants the things of the world, he wants to be left alone and to do things his way, he is the old man that will not die.
David did not just think one day, “Oh, this sounds like a good one to write down.” This one took some thought, this one meant something, this was very serious stuff. Do I really want to know who I am, do I truly want to see myself as I am and not as who I think I am. Do you know what type of servant could say these words to the Lord and mean them, the believer who is prepared to say to his Maker “Try me?” The one who is ready to serve, the one who is ready to put his past behind him and count it all as dung, (Phil. 3:8) he is ready to obey no matter the consequences. This servant is prepared not only to be shown the ugliness that dwells inside of him, but to live with it until that moment that the Lord removes it from him forever, that day that he is glorified.
He will watch with a joy unknown to him up until that point of his life, that moment when the Lord Jesus Christ discards the last vestiges of that old sinful nature, and we will be free at last. “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (Rom. 7:24) Paul understood these verses, and while he waited for that glorious day, he did what we are to do, he worked and served for the glory of God.
I have heard many preachers say that there are two things that we will not do in heaven, sin and reach others for Christ, but I would like to humbly suggest a third, if you will, we will not have to ask for forgiveness ever again. 1st John 1:9 will be a part of our past, will we never need to ask the Lord or others for forgiveness, but also, we won’t ever have to continually try to forgive ourselves. There will be no more of that old man inside of us constantly vying for our attention, desiring things that are not pleasing to our Lord, we will finally be free indeed. Oh, how we should long for that day!
This is never going to be a pair of easy verses for you to read ever again, and perhaps I should say that I am sorry for bringing them to your attention, but I am not. I have three responsibilities to our Lord in these letters to you, to glorify His name, to encourage you, and to convict. I have absolutely nothing to do with the third one, conviction can only come into our hearts when we willingly submit to the prompting of the Holy Spirit and obey the Word of God, there is no other way. These two verses are in the Word of God to assist us in throwing some of the trash out of our lives, to show us who we really are in Christ, not who we think we are. To give us the hope that when He leads us in the way everlasting that He can be trusted in every part of it.
“Try me,” show me, and then help me to live with it until you remove every last part of it on that glorious day. Patience my friends, willingly serve every day, and remain patient, that day is fast approaching.