When I was a small child my father held a three-week revival around 35 miles away. Night after night we drove the winding Kentucky roads to church. I remember the excitement of being with the congregation. I can even remember the theme song which still rings in my heart: “Cleanse me, O God and know my heart today. Try me O Savior, try my thoughts I pray. See if there be some wicked way in me. Cleanse me from every sin and set me free.” I believe if we could pray anything on a daily basis, it should be for God to search our hearts and cleanse us from every sin. Why? God is not pleased when sin becomes a part of our lives.
For several weeks the Lord keeps bringing me back to Psalm 139. In this Psalm, King David begins his prayer with, “O Lord, you have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off.” (vs. 1-2) David realizes that God’s Presence is with him no matter where he is.
The intimacy David has with his Heavenly Father is evident when he says, “For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works and that my soul knows very well.” Then David ends his prayer with a request:
Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me,
and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:23-24
David acknowledged that God knew every intricate part of his life and desired for Him to search his heart, the very core of his being, through and through.
Some years earlier, King David commits adultery with a beautiful woman named Bathsheba. During the situation David drifts far from God and into a life anyone would to be ashamed of even though he once held a close relationship with God. It took David a long while to finally humble himself enough to go before God in repentance, but when he does he asks for his sin to be blotted out and a clean heart created in him. David was fearful that God would take His Holy Spirit from him and did not want that to happen. (Psalm 51:1-17)
What would bring about a clean heart acceptable in the sight of God? Just as David, we’re to first acknowledge our sin. Secondly, we must confess our sin to God and He will be faithful and just to forgive us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9) God already knows of there is sin in our hearts because He is omniscient (all-knowing), but He awaits our response to what we’ve done. God wants us to freely come to Him, but never forces our hand.
We may spend a lot of time on our outward appearance making sure our hair is combed just right. We want our nails clean and manicured. We want our clothes clean and shoes shined, but God doesn’t look at the outward appearance, He’s looking at the heart. (I Sam. 16:7) God is looking to see what our intentions and desires are. Sin is what causes complete separation from God because He is holy and He cannot look upon it.
Many of us spend time going to the doctor for our annual exams. We want to have ourselves checked so we’re confident we’re in good condition. We want to make sure the cholesterol is at a good level. We want to make sure our blood pressure is good and the heart performing properly.
We all take time getting ready for the day and taking time going for annual exams, but do we take time in doing a daily heart inspection? I want my heart to be right with the Lord before I begin my day and want Him to search me through and through. If something is wrong, He will point it out during my prayer and meditation.
Some worry about all of these things but never consider that there’s an issue with the heart (or soul). Some never consider there is unconfessed sin. Of course, the only way sin can be washed away is by confessing to God and then the precious blood of Jesus Christ will wash away every stain.
Christians don’t have room in their hearts for both godliness and ungodliness. We can’t serve but one Master. We must guard our hearts with all diligence. (Prov. 4:23) The enemy loves to bombard us with unwholesome thoughts and we’re forced to make a decision to dwell on it or not. There are people we’re forced to be around and if we’re not careful we’ll begin to act just like them. There are some who say they love God, but it becomes evident in only a short time their hearts are not what they first seemed. Many honor God with their mouths but their hearts are far from Him. (Mt. 15:8)
Perhaps there’s someone who needs a change of heart. Something isn’t right and you’ve known it for a long time. Right there where you are, the chains that hold you captive can be broken off. The clean heart you’ve desired can become a reality simply by asking the Father to purify your heart and save your soul. Jesus will be your closest friend. If you’ve made that choice today, say this simple prayer:
Heavenly Father, I come to you realizing I need a Savior. Forgive me from all wrong. I’m ready to make a change in my life. Cleanse me from every sin with the blood of Jesus. I surrender my life to You. I ask that you make me new. I believe Jesus died on the cross for my sins and arose again on the third day. Thank You for saving me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. (Isaiah 55:6-7)
My prayer today is: “Father, thank You for this word today. Bless Your name forever and ever. Father save this nation and purify hearts and lives. Help us to examine our own hearts and let no wicked thing take dominion in us. Let no stronghold take hold causing it to become even more difficult to shake free from. I pray for tender hearts toward You, Your way, Your truth, Your love. I pray for hearts to turn to You. Change our hearts Lord. Cleanse. Purify. Fill us with Your precious Holy Spirit. Let your love reign in our hearts, O God. When Your Spirit draws, we will be changed into the likeness of our Savior. When those things are accomplished, You will shine Your lovely face down upon us and will be well-pleased. Father, be pleased with us. I also pray for every decision made to accept You as the Lord of their lives to be strengthened with the power of the Holy Spirit. I pray for them as they take on the new life Jesus sacrificed His life for. May every heart be filled to overflowing by Your power. In Jesus’ name. Amen.