From My Heart

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight. – Proverbs 3:5-6 -NIV

Archive for April, 2011

Self-Deception

Search me, God, and know my heart;test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:23-24

I was recently in a discussion that brought the passage of scripture to my mind. I have been mulling it over and over for a few days now. I have read commentaries. I have prayed asking God what this should mean to me and any Christ follower. In the past when I heard this scripture I thought simply that I should occasionally pray that God reveal to me anything in my life that wasn’t pleasing to Him, Something that I wasn’t aware of. Sounds easy enough. However, after the searching I’ve done the last few days I see that there is something deeper, something much more dangerous and threatening to our relationship with God; self-deception.
The word for search used in this scripture is that of searching by boring or digging such as used in searching for water or minerals. Not a gentle process
Barnes’ Notes on the Bible explains that God does search us and the psalmist is asking that God do just that so that he would not be under any delusion of deceiving himself. How often do we do just that? Scripture speaks of the heart being corrupt Jeremiah 17:9. Our tendency is to explain away our actions or thoughts and convince ourselves we are on the right track.
Know my anxious thoughts………the word translated thoughts here carries the idea of searching thoroughly. Not merely outward conduct but what are my purposes, what passes through my mind, what occupies my imagination and memory, what takes hold of my affections and controls my will. WOW!
We can so easily get off track and rely on our own understanding. We can be led by our own desires, our own preferences and soon convince ourselves that we are doing just fine. Self-deception I can tell you I was very humbled and a little bit shaken at how easily we can deceive ourselves.
It’s a good practice pray this prayer as the psalmist did………………Search me God………..
When you do pray this prayer be sincere and ready to adjust in the areas God reveals.

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Yes, it’s been a while!

I haven’t blogged for sometime now. It’s not that I haven’t had a lot to say but rather that God prompted me to be silent for a while.

I was being pulled in many directions and felt I was becoming very scattered. I lost focus on what God would have me put first. Some days it seemed I was being more reactive than proactive. I was exhausted emotionally and physically. By the evening I wondered if anyone had really saw Christ in me that day? Not that I had mistreated anyone but did they see the peace and focus that Christ gives. Many days I would say not.

So, I retreated. Not literally even though some of those I encounter on a regular basis may have thought so! I was intentionally more quiet and observant. I took some time to regroup and focus. Now I’m ready to share some of the journey.
First I had to slow down in everything starting with digesting God’s word. That is what I would like to share today. God wants us to meditate His word. That may sound a bit ominous but no need to worry; read on.

Meditation: To many of my generation this word has a bad connotation. You may think of Transcendental Meditation -A technique based on ancient Hindu writings by which one seeks to achieve a relaxed state through regular periods of meditation during which a mantra is repeated.
This is not the type of meditation that God is speaking of throughout scripture.
Psalm 1:2 NIV “but whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night.“
The word used here for meditates is hagah which means to murmur (in pleasure), to ponder. I should murmur scripture pleasantly to myself.

Psalm 119:99 NIV “I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes.“
The word used here for meditate is sicah which means to reflect with deep devotion; to contemplate. I should quietly contemplate and reflect on scripture.

Psalm 19:14 NIV “May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.“
This is one of my favourite scriptures and it grieves me that often my words most likely are not pleasing to my Lord.
The word used here for meditation is higgayon which means a musical notation, murmuring sound. I should be singing at least in my heart His holy word.

1 Timothy 4:15 NKJ “Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all.“
The word used here for meditate is meletao which means to ponder carefully with the mind, to muse upon. I should always be careful while reading scripture; not hurrying along so I can move on to the next thing. If I take my time and muse over His word it will be evident to everyone I encounter throughout my days. They will see Christ in me!

Yes, I could tell many stories about the blunders I made over the past few weeks but I won’t do that this time. I will just encourage you to meditate. Not just while you are reading your Bible but throughout your days. Ponder God’s word as you go through your days. Pray that the words of your mouth and the meditations of your heart be pleasing to your Lord so that they will be evident to all!