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 ~
Yesterday, I spoke about prominence (being important, famous, noticeable) and how the desire for its fulfillment can be sin for me. But as I continued to meditate on it, a deeper understanding came—my desire for prominence stems from wanting the approval, acceptance, and love of others.
God is being faithful to His promise to sanctify me—in response to my prayer of Psalm 139:23-24. Charles Spurgeon, commenting on verse 23 said, “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.”
Spurgeon, on verse 24, And see if there is any wicked way in me, states, “See whether there be in my heart, or in my life, any evil habit unknown to myself. If there be such an evil way, take me from it, take it from me. No matter how dear the wrong may have become, nor how deeply prejudiced I may have been in its favour, be pleased to deliver me therefrom altogether, effectually, and at once, that I may tolerate nothing which is contrary to thy mind. As I hate the wicked in their way, so would I hate every wicked way in myself.”
The Lord further showed me that the desire to be accepted, approved, and loved is performance based, not with Him, but with others. I understand and accept God’s grace, so with Him I know I do not have to do anything to be accepted, approved, or loved, because I am accepted in the Beloved (Ephesians 1:6).
So why do I feel I need to perform and ask how I did, in order for me to feel accepted and loved by people? I have a notion that it is because I grew up under inconsistent conditional love and was driven to perform in order to be approved, accepted, and loved. Oh, God is so good to show me what has been hidden in my heart and this burden of anxiety! Now that I know this, He is leading me into victory by knowing that the grace of God permeates every aspect of my life.
I know that my hope is not misplaced and that my heart and mind will remain steadfast on Him who is able to keep me, because He is working those hidden things out of me. Ephesians 1:4-6 says, “. . . He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.”
Blessed be Your name, O LORD! For in Your wisdom and intimate knowledge of my soul, You are sanctifying me and bringing me to holiness. As You lead me in the way everlasting, and show me those things that are unpleasing to You, may my soul respond quickly, repent, and delight in being guided into holiness, and be to Your praise forevermore. In Jesus’ name, amen.