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Sunday, May 27, 2012

God's Holy Flashlight

“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 NIV

Entering the garden today is a bit intimidating. You see, today I come with a purpose. I need to spend time with the Master Gardner and allow him to search my heart. Sometimes this process can be painful. It may require confession or it may require surrender. So before I sit with the Gardner I will spend a little time walking in the garden. When I drink in the wonders of his creation it always gives me the courage to know the Master Gardner has a grand design for my life and his design will never be anything less than perfect.

Walking among the fragrant day lilies, admiring the ruby red Rhododendrons, feeling the cool breeze of the morning kiss my cheeks, and walking the winding pathways brings comfort and assurance to my spirit because I know the Master Gardner will graciously deal with me in love, as he shines his examining flashlight into the deepest crevices of my heart.

The fact is, just like the Psalmist, David; I know God already knows everything there is to know about my life. This truth stirs feelings within me reminding me of Adam and Eve in Eden. Like Adam and Eve, fear of God’s exposure can have me running to hide the bushes. However, there is another option. I can choose to be like David, who found the thought that God knew everything about him, to be a real comfort. David found this knowledge worthy of praise!

David tells us, “O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD. You hem me in – behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.” Psalm 139:1-6 NIV

In Psalm 139 David quickly looks to God, who is the one he trusts and asks him to search his heart and show him how to keep his life on track. He asks God to show him the way that lasts forever.

So today I will willingly choose to sit and allow the Gardner to shine his holy flashlight deep into my heart and reveal to me my anxieties and my wicked ways. I will be still and listen as he reveals the damaging sin in my life. During this time I may have to answer some tough questions. Paula, what are you anxious about? What are you afraid of? Why is there anger in your heart? How are you spending your time and energy? Paula, are you creating your own “Christian” assignments? Have you asked me if what you are spending your time and energy on is my assignment for you or your assignment? Are you serving me with gladness or out of duty? Why do you take on so many activities that have no eternal significance? Do you have something against another child of mine? Are you being honest with your answers or are you denying that many of your activities, thoughts, emotions and feelings may be sin? Has your busy work crowded me out? Are your responsibilities stuffing me to the bottom of your life? Are you making good use of your time? Are you being a good steward of the finances that I have entrusted you with? Are you sweet coating your bad choices as mistakes or do you admit that it is sin to put other gods before me? Do you see your disobedience and lack of trust as failure or do to recognize that those things are sin?

In my life I have learned there is always a need for personal renewal. David struggled with his sinful thoughts and attitudes just like I do. David had Saul chasing him; he had battles to win and men to supervise. It must have been really easy for David to let life distract him, causing him to loose his focus. David knew his own heart. He knew he was capable of lust, jealousy, pride, anger, fear, and trying to control his own life. David admitted that he had nothing but hatred for his enemies. (vs. 22) David learned there was forgiveness, renewal and hope. You see, David, on his own was a major screw-up, yet God made him a King!


1. Have you ever sat before God and allowed him to shine his holy flashlight into your heart for examination?
2. What was the result?
3. How frequently does your heart need to be examined?
4. What are the benefits to daily examinations?
5. Do you relate to running ahead of God and choosing how you spend your time?
6. Would you agree that sometimes even good things have to go so you will have time to seek God and his wisdom?
7. Are you allowing God to change you from the inside out for his holy purposes?


Dear God,

Today I confess that one of my greatest sins is trying to orchestrate my own life. At times I see that I am still trying to gain your favor and approval by the amount of work I do for you. So today I want to bring my works before you. What would you have me do? What jobs and activities would you have me set aside? God, how would you have me spend my days? Search me and know my heart. What are the things in my life that are making me anxious? What is offensive to you? What thoughts and attitudes have me in bondage? God, I pray that you would lead and direct me in your ways that are everlasting. I desire to do the work you have for me to do. I desire to live free of emotional, and mental bondage that physically cripples me and mentally defeats me. Help me Lord to know that sometimes I even have to say “no” to good things so I can better serve you. I must learn to surrender my fears to you and know that even if the worst case scenario happens, I am still loved and will be cared for by you. You are and always will be more than enough! Search me O Lord and know my heart today.

In your Son’s name I pray. Amen.