Have you ever asked God to reveal your sin to you? It’s probably not the first thing on most people’s prayer list. After all, who wants to be reminded of their sins?
The more that I study and immerse myself in Scripture, the more I see how important it is that I see myself as I truly am. The more that I plumb the depths of my heart, the more I see of God’s grace. And the more I love and praise Him.
David asked God to search his heart saying, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts; and see if there be any wicked way in me.” (Psalm 139:23,24)
When we hold our hearts open to the search light of God, the Holy Spirit will not only reveal our sins to us, but also help us put those sins to death.
Sometimes when I pray, I want to quickly get through my confession of sin and get on to the good stuff: my list of requests. Yet I think God would be more glorified if I spent more time really assessing my heart and sharing with Him the sins with which I struggle.
He says in Isaiah 66:2 “But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.”
To be humble and contrite requires that I be honest with myself and God about my very real struggle with sin. In some ways, it means that I my not need to be healed too quickly after I sin. I need to pause there and spend time exploring my heart–seeing all that’s there.
David spent time exploring the depths of his own heart following his sin with Bathsheba. Rather than quickly asking for forgiveness and moving on, he took inventory and evaluated the state of his heart before God.
“For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in you judgment.” (Psalm 51:3-4)
The purpose of evaluating our hearts isn’t so we can beat ourselves up and then feel badly about ourselves. Rather the intention is to have a real perspective on who we are which then gives us a deeper understanding of who God is.
“Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being.” (Psalm 51:6)
His grace becomes bigger and His love even greater.
Seeing the true depths of my sin allows me to see just how far His grace extends. Because no matter how far I stray in my sin, His grace casts my sins even farther still.
But it doesn’t end there. Truly acknowledging our sin is the first part, then comes the work of the Spirit to transform our heart. Following his confession, David requests, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10) It’s only after repentance and confession that the heart is cleansed. After the cleansing waters of the grace of Christ pour over our heart, our sins are put to death and a right spirit is created within. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
May we all be willing to be broken and shaped by Him.
“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” Psalm 51:17
Have you plumbed the depths of your heart? Have you been broken and healed by His grace?