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You Have Examined My Heart, Testing Me at Night

You have examined my heart, testing me at night.
You’ve looked me over closely, but haven’t found anything wrong.
My mouth doesn’t sin.

Go ahead, examine me from inside out, surprise me in the middle of the night—
You’ll find I’m just what I say I am.  My words don’t run loose.

 -Psalm 17:3 (CEB, MSG)

We live our lives mostly in the day.  No matter how busy out lives are, 99% of us go unconscious and sleep for a number of hours each night.  When we sleep, our guard is down, we can not fake it or put on a mask.

God can see through our masks or defenses and God knows what is in our hearts all the time.  But David had an experience with God and told about it.  God came in the night and evaluated his heart.

God, being God, always knows the state of our hearts.  No wrong or sin escapes his eyes.  But, there is a time, like the time David describes, when God specifically and intimately examines you.  He tests you.  We ought not live like this will never happen.

Is your heart ready for an examination, an inspection, a look-over?  Am I ready for God to come close, when my guard is down, when my defenses are at rest, when my masks are laid down?  Can I say to God, "come and see what is in me and you will find a person who has been processing their stuff with you.".  In other words, do you and I have short accounts with God?  Do we have no outstanding debts?  Are you a forgiver and forgiven?

When God visits you, he looks at you, inside and outside.  If you are full of hate and anger or bitterness or lust or greed, to give a few examples, God is going to look at those things inside us that motivate or behavior and speech.  Do these types of things drive you, while you put on a good face?  You can't hide ungodly inner motivators, what drives you, from God.

It is part of the human condition to control our selves in a socially acceptable way, even if we have attitudes and desires in our hearts that are sinful.  The way that the believer is different is that he or she not only controls their selves and is in training to say no to sin, but they also do not allow sinful thoughts and attitudes a nesting place in their hearts.

David, who wrote these words, says that he believes that when God visits him in the night and examines his heart, God will find nothing wrong.  David immediately then says, "my mouth doesn't sin", or "my words don't run loose".  Jesus said, in Matthew 15:18 that, "what goes out of the mouth comes from the heart".  

David had been through a lot of painful, disappointing, and very offensive experiences.  Yet, David can say that when God examines his heart, inside him with nothing hidden, that nothing will be found out of line.  Do you need to evict something that is living in your heart?

David suffered murder attempts, slander, hunger, injustice, and confusing and chaotic circumstances.  In spite of all this, David maintained a heart that was not bitter and rage filled.  Some would say that David had reason to be bitterly disappointed in his heart or angry at certain people.  But, whatever was in his heart, it did not cause him to sin with his mouth.  Do you need to be cleansed of things in your heart that cause you to sin with the things you say?

We can be honest about our situation and not sin.  The Bible does not teach us to be in denial.  Denial of self and denial of reality are two different things.  David did not deny the reality, but he dealt with it in a godly way.  There is a way to deal with suffering that leads to life and another way that leads to death.

David was a person of worship and prayer.  David had a developed relationship with God, for many years, before he penned Psalm 17.  

Worship and prayer is when we ask God to come into our place and change it.  Worship and prayer are also when we ask God to take us into him and change us.  

Those of us who want and who need God's intervention in our lives, have we done our house-keeping?  Are our inner hearts Christ-like and what does that look like?  It might include love, faith, forgiveness, meekness, humility, graciousness, patience, forbearance, hope, and gentleness.


Change my heart oh God, make it ever new.  Change my heart oh God, may I be like you.
You are the potter, I am the clay.  Mold me and make me, this is what I pray.

I hear the Savior say,“Thy strength indeed is small; Child of weakness, watch and pray,
Find in Me thine all in all.”
Jesus paid it all, All to Him I owe; Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.

What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.

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