Deep Cleaning Our Hearts
By Dawn Tolbert
“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
Apart from Christ, our hearts resemble a dingy, spider-infested garage. Cobwebs grow out of control in back corners. They thrive in the darkness behind too-long-ignored boxes and rigid shelves. The only solution is elbow grease to clear away the clutter and then sweeping and scrubbing until the ickiness is under control. I just need to put in the effort.
Our spiritual lives, in contrast, can never be cleaned through human effort. Instead, we need God’s help.
Psalm 139 reveals a prayer written by an ancient Hebrew named David after he became king of Israel. He, no doubt, felt the weight of his responsibility and knew he couldn’t handle the situation alone. He turned to the One who could make all the difference.
In 1 Samuel 13:14, the Prophet Samuel had told Saul, Israel’s first king, that he’d been rejected by God in favor of David—“a man after God’s own heart.” Today’s verses illustrate one reason why God saw David that way.
David invited God into his heart and mind, asking Him to shine light into the dark, cobwebby corners.
Search my heart.
Know my anxious thoughts.
See what’s offensive inside me.
Do we share David’s honesty with God? I confess that I’m sometimes tempted to keep the door of my heart closed and only let God into spaces that have been cleaned and made suitable for company. But God already knows about our dirty places, and through Jesus, He offers to make us completely clean. We need only seek His help.
We can ask God to show us the cobweb-growing corners of our hearts and then to make them clean. He’s more than willing to handle the mess and lead us “in the way everlasting.”
Dawn Tolbert is a contributor to Wholly Loved MinistriesDaily Devotional, a Christ-follower who writes to honor God, thank Him for His goodness, and encourage readers by sharing her faith journey. She works in higher education public relations and is writing her first novel and her first book-length Bible study. She has earned a B.A. in Communication Studies and English (Gardner-Webb College), a M.A. in Professional Writing (Kennesaw State University), and an Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership (Union University). She and her husband, Larry, live in Cedartown, Georgia, and serve actively in their church. Dawn blogs at dawntolbert.com.
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Originally published Friday, 24 March 2023.