This is something I wrote a while back while I was preaching on Psalm 139…found on my computer and don’t remember if i ever posted these thoughts…I wrote it back in Feb of 2004Meditations on Psalm 139“Search me, O God, and know my heart;Test me and know my anxious thoughts.See if there is any offensive way in me,Lead me in the way of everlasting…” Psalm 139:23-24I have heard this verse over and over again in my walk with Christ. Usually, it’s in the context of a situation where we are taking the Lord’s Supper, in group prayer or some other serious personal time with God. It has definitely been a good verse for me to meditate on in the past. However, I think I am beginning to realize that this verse is deeply loaded with so much more than I ever imagined.We usually use this verse as a reason for us to “examine ourselves.” What we mean by “examining ourselves” is basically saying to God, show me what I have done wrong this week” (day, year, month, etc.). While this is definitely a good practice, I think we miss something huge when we only emphasize God’s showing us our wrong actions.David starts this chapter with an stunning summary of how God has created us and knows us intimately. As a result here is no way that we can get from His presence or knowledge. Think about it. If this is all true, than God knows you better than you know you. God is the expert on your life. He is “intimately acquainted with our ways.” (v.3) He knows the word we will speak before it is even a thought in our mind (v.4). He formed our inward parts and wove us together in our mother’s womb (13). The Lord knows all (4).The beauty of this Psalm is not merely that He knows us intimately (which is huge). It is also in that fact that we have value because we have been created by God. Our very being gives us immeasurable value. God ahead. Take another look. Why do we give thanks? Because we are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (v. 14). We were “skillfully” wrought by the One whose “skills” have no rival (15). This is a huge thought for most of us. We often look at ourselves and think about how we are worthless and that there is nothing good about us whatsoever. One of the hardest things for us to truly understand as fallen human beings is that we still have great worth. Dallas Willard writes, “the hardest thing to accept in the Christian religion is the great value it places on the individual soul “even in its ruined condition a human being is regarded by God as something immensely worth saving.”A basic summary of verses 1-22 might read like this: God is our creator and sustainer; he intimately knows and cares for His precious creation.So, after a brilliant explanation of God’s intimate knowledge of His precious creation, he gets to the end of the chapter where we find the above verses. It is in this context, us as intimately created, formed and woven together by the hand of God, that David cries out to God to search him and know him. Do we really think this is simply a call to for God to show David what things he has done wrong? Or, is this more a call to show him who he really is, in his inmost being, why he does the things he does. After all, the One who created and knows him in this special way is the only one who can show him who he is in the depths of his being.Translate this to your life. When you ask God to search and know you, are you just going to him to get your sins off your chest so you can go on with your day or are you seeking true heart change (i.e. real repentance!)? Do you sit with your perfect creator, who cares and knows you in ways that “are too wonderful” (v. 6). Do you ask Him, (after all, he is the only one who is really capable) to search the depths of your heart?The implications of this are huge. How often are we guilty of “cheap confession.” For me it often goes like this: “God I’ve lied, cheated, lusted, gossiped. Forgive me.” How hard is this?! We’re not risking too much when this is our approach that is for sure. Maybe some pride here and there is let go but that is about it. But you are definitely not going to get confronted with the real you this way. But when you do, how hard is that!? (Which is likely much of the reason we don’t do it).It seems that instead of going to God merely asking what sin we have committed lately, we need to take it another whole step deeper. We need to ask that God, by His Spirit, help us look down into the depths of our being (which again only he can do!), who we really are in our hearts. It is then and only then will we truly see “if there is any offensive way in me.” Read it again. It’s not just, “see if I have done anything offensive.” It’s, “If there is anything offensive about me as a person, show that to me because you already know it.” This is listening for the voice of God as he shows us who we really are in our deepest parts of our hearts.Telling God what is plain to me and what he already knows is one thing. Asking Him to search deeply into my heart, motives and being is a whole other thing. That can get downright painful. I don’t know about you, but I don’t necessarily want to see the inmost parts of me, it can get really ugly down there. There is the simple reason we don’t do it. It is difficult, gut wrenching and humbling.Why is it necessary for us to allow God to search our hearts? Isn’t the important thing in life how we act? How we live? What we actually do? If I don’t drink, smoke or chew or go with girls that do, isn’t that what really matters in the end? It is this very thinking that has led so many of us down a legalistic, frustrating and life-stealing path. In his book, Renovation of the Heart, Dallas Willard argues that spiritual formation (i.e. becoming like Christ) is not about merely about what we do; it’s about who we are becoming. He writes, “Spiritual formation basically refers to the Spirit-Driven process of forming the inner world of the human self in such a way that it becomes life the inner being of Christ himself.” Think about it, if we only ask God to show us what we have done wrong, what kind of real inner transformation is taking place? But, if we ask God’s Spirit to search us and know and reveal to us who we are in our hearts, there is some serious room for heart transformation to take place. Then, as our hearts are transformed, the things we do will come naturally.It is one thing to say that we need to allow God to search our hearts. But, how does this look? How do we do this? For starters, we need to sit with God in our own hearts. We need to listen, hard. We need to slow down. Take a walk. Turn off the TV. Take a spiritual retreat.. Get in your heart and sit there as you listen for God’s voice.(This is a collection of my thoughts so far. Sorry for any typos, run on sentences, and lousy grammar. It is nothing authoritative or meant to be a perfect treatise on Psalm 139. Please take it as such. It is a work in progress so don’t critique it too harshly…though your thoughts are welcome…)