Search Me, O God!
But he replied, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.” Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.”
We must be on guard against the presumption of our actions lest, like Peter, we fail. Peter, as confident as he was in his own heart, was not, ready to go to prison and death with Jesus. Our hearts are untrustworthy. Let’s give Peter credit; this occurred prior to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit’s power. The flesh is flawed at best, nevertheless we are to be on guard against the deceitfulness of our own hearts:
The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? “I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve.” (Jeremiah 17:9-10)
The Lord is the only true discerner of man’s heart, of each person’s innermost thoughts and motives. This is particularly important for us to acknowledge in the spiritual realm.
“Private loop-holes, sinful lusts, can hide themselves at times so well as to seem quite dead; but if we grow careless, they spring up again on a favourable occasion, and sometimes appear in a spiritual shape, and take a fine spiritual name. Thus, though the flesh exceedingly likes sensual indulgences, yet to flatter its lust of pride, and the vanity of being thought a perfect man, it will sometimes endure great mortification. Therefore we ought always to be jealous of ourselves, and guard as much against self-righteousness as licentiousness; for the flesh is never more fleshly and dangerous than when it has the most spiritual appearance, and covers its lusts with the holiness and spirituality of angels.”
(K. H. Von Bogatzky)
Take It to Heart
How do we go about searching and guarding our hearts so as to equip ourselves for the high calling of discipleship? Like King David we must ask God to continually search our hearts and point out to us what needs to go and what needs to be fanned into flames. We must seek His ways fully through the diligent study and application of His Word, through prayer, through praise and thanksgiving, and through hiding His Word in our hearts.
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139:23-24)
“The wiser we are in our own conceits, the more negligent are we in prayer, the more destitute of true wisdom and faith; for the Lord gives sight only to the blind, and to the babes, who pray for it. Therefore the deepest humblings go before the greatest blessings. O my blessed Saviour! Since I am always blind and ignorant of myself, if I am not guided by thine eyes, I desire always to look up to thee, and do everything under thy direction.”
(K. H. Von Bogatzky)
Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” (James 4:13-15)