Some years ago, I attended a three-day conference for Christian speakers. We learned things like various techniques and presentation styles, how to do outlines, and how to engage your audience. We also practiced. Every afternoon they divided us up and each of us spoke briefly to our groups. We evaluated each other on delivery, personality, body language, and more.
The final day was our most important presentation. This time our group leader would evaluate each of us. The founder of the organization would also be popping into various groups at different times.
I wasn’t overly nervous, but when my turn came, SHE walked in the room and sat down. My speaking ability would be evaluated by my peers, my group leader, and the very experienced founder of the organization.
I felt exposed and vulnerable. What would SHE think? What flaw would she spot? What weakness would she discern?
As it turned out, she was very encouraging and helpful. But of course she couldn’t see everything about me. She didn’t know my insecurities.
What about you? Have you ever been evaluated? Maybe it was in a speech class, piano recital, or a yearly job performance review. We’ve all faced an evaluation at some point.
But I dare say we rarely ask for it. We don’t usually initiate the scrutiny.
But that’s exactly what the psalmist David did. And it wasn’t just some other lowly human he invited to take a really close look. Nope. David asked God Almighty, the One who knows all and sees all, to thoroughly examine his heart and mind.
Search me, 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
That sounds super scary to me. I mean, I know God knows it all already, but to purposefully make myself so incredibly vulnerable… That’s like one of those dreams where you walk into a room full of people only to discover you wore your birthday suit.
But here’s the thing. God is totally faithful. Completely trustworthy. He wants only the best for us. He desires for us to grow into our full potential so we can be useful and effective for His good purposes.
That requires spiritual refinement, transformation, and growth. It requires getting rid of all the junk and replacing it with Jesus.
This prayer, modeled by David, expresses a willingness to be laid completely bare before the Father. To invite His examination and scrutiny of our inner self. Every thought in our minds. Every inclination of our hearts. Every motivation. Every passion.
But we are going to trust anyone with our lives, with ourselves, shouldn’t be God? He already knows us better than we know ourselves. Let’s allow Him to have His way. Scary, yes. But also glorious and miraculous. Search me O’ God.
Have you ever prayed this prayer? Does the thought scare you a little?