One-a-Day...for the Heart: Any Wicked Way
Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting (Psalm 139:23-24 NKJV). The psalmist David had a very good understanding of what an intimate relationship with the Lord looked and felt like. He regularly poured out his heart to the Lord in song and verse and prayer. His sensitivity to the Lord and keen awareness of God’s voice motivated him to keep short accounts with the Lord and maintain an open communication line at all times.
To be separated from fellowship with God because of sin or wrongdoing was unbearable to David, so he asked the Lord to search his heart for anything unpleasing or odious. The New Living Translation records Psalm 139:24 like this, Point out anything in me that offends You. It takes guts to pray a prayer like that because when a holy God turns the searchlight on to investigate the deep, dark places of our heart and thoughts, He’s bound to find some “wicked ways.” They are simply, according to the Hebrew meaning, ways of pain or grief. The Hebrew word actually means an idol, but carries with it the implication of anything that grieves or pains the heart of the Lord. David’s prayer was that nothing would be found in his heart that could alienate him from God, or signal unfaithfulness.
Sin is what separates us from God, but sometimes we get so comfortable in our sinful habits and ways, we don’t even realize the Lord’s voice has become muffled or even muted, and our wicked way has offended Him. The condition of our heart can separate us from the Lord; problems from without cannot. In Romans 8:34-39 (NKJV), we read, Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: "For Your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter." Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. But, our wicked ways can.
My dad used to film home movies with an old camera that had big, bright lights attached to it. They were almost blinding as we’d come near the camera for him to film us unwrapping Christmas gifts or blowing horns at a birthday party. The Lord’s investigative search light is even more high-powered than that. In fact, He could have written the manual on high-definition cinematography! Humbly confessing our offensive, grievous ways opens the communication lines with our loving Savior and restores fellowship to an even sweeter, more intimate level than ever. Lead us in the way everlasting, Lord!