A. INVITE A SEARCH

Along with our bodies, we also need to offer our hearts to God. David is a man who experienced both great victories and  great failures before God. Yet through it all, he is an unsurpassed example of one who desired earnestly to walk before God with his whole heart (Deut. 6:5).

David prayed these words: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try [test] me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Ps 139:23,24)

This Psalm is a picture of a man living in close fellowship with God. Yet he is asking God to search his heart, and test his thoughts for anything wicked that he might not know about.

This Psalm also tells us that God knows us better than we know ourselves. The purpose of having God search our hearts is to discover sin: to allow Him to point out anything He sees as danger areas in our lives that might bring hurt or harm to ourselves or others. We must accept His dealings with us – without excuses – and freely confess our sins to God that we might be set free.

GUARD YOUR CHRISTIAN WALK

There are many believers who are caught up in unworthy practices or sinful habits that they may not recognize as such. These might involve relationships, employment, entertainment, or practices carried forward from a time before knowing Christ.

Usually such conduct is acceptable to the world, but the searching eyes of the Lord will reveal it as unworthy of His sons and daughters. The Lord wants to free us from all sin or bondage – because if it is not dealt with, it will eventually result in a harvest of pain and destruction in our lives and the lives of others.

Very few people just decide one day to turn their back on God, and live a sinful life. Most of the time, we make lots of small compromises over time, and participate in more and more worldly behavior. Eventually, we end up far away from God and His ways.

We must learn – and teach others also – to invite the Lord’s daily searching of our heart and thoughts. We must learn to wait in His presence, to hear His voice, and to respond to what He tells us. If we ask the Lord to show us our hidden sins, He will help us to see them.

As we listen for His voice, and seek to obey His Word, we will learn to follow His directions to freedom! “Show me Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me” (Ps 25:4,5).

     B. DON’T BE DECEIVED

Deception means to believe that something is right when it is wrong. The prophet Jeremiah warned us how easily the human heart is deceived: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jer 17:9).

It is possible for anyone to be deceived – even a Christian. “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins [to God], He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1John 1:8,9).

  1. Three Areas For Deception

 The Apostle John shows us three possible ways a person can be deceived: