Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxious thoughts;

And see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way.

Psalm 139: 23, 24

 

In academic and professional circles peer review can be highly nerve wracking. For we all know that handing your work over to someone else for critique is hard. Opening up the heart to someone in an accountability partnership is also frightening. Yet, if we were to accept these verses personally, we would be asking God to look closely at our hearts and to give us honest feedback about our condition. Now, that can be more than scary! Yet, this is the type of deep intimacy that God desires with all people. Think about this; who else can you trust to know you at this level, who else will use nothing learned for personal advantage, and who else will provide absolutely honest, totally accurate and actionable information?

 

We are created in a manner that gives us the opportunity to seek life advice and direction from multiple sources. We are also made in a way that gives us the ability and the right to choose the voices that we listen to. God took the risk of creating people with this ability; yet, He wants us to desire to turn to Him, and God wants us to be truly ready to listen and to act upon what He says. Thus, when we say words like the ones that David wrote in this Psalm, God is both delighted, and He is ready to speak to us.

 

It is important to let Him in at this deep level. I also think that it is important to be rather open about the request. I know that I do not always, maybe almost never, see clearly into my own heart and the actions that I take as a result of its condition. Asking God to search out my deeper motives can be very challenging and truly painful, but the results will be rewarding. The Lord always provides me with the sort of insight that I can do something about. He always shows me how the change is possible, and He makes clear the steps that I need to take to cause it to happen. The changes that God asks me to make may not be easy, but they are achievable, and they always take me along a pathway that leads deeper into the Lord’s righteousness.