~Psalm 139:23-24 reads, “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.
How often do you ask God to search your heart? To bring to the light all the things that you tend to cover up or suppress? The Psalmist not only ask God to search his heart, but to know it. To know the depth of what lies beneath.
When you think of a situation or situations where you may have bitterness or unforgiveness towards someone because of an offense, minor or major, have you asked God to test you and know your anxious thoughts?
I have, just a couple of weeks ago, and I have to share with you, God responds rather quickly when we ask him to bring to light things in our character that we have to work on. Now, this time it was not him exposing something regarding romantic love but love all the same.
As Christians we are called to love our brothers and sisters in Christ and to forgive them when they have sinned against us. I was sharing Psalms 139:23-24 with a client and walking through what forgiveness looks like based on this passage and it got me to thinking, when the last time was that I had personally done this exercise, and it had been a while. So, I prayed, and walked through the forgiveness exercise. Later that evening I was on a Zoom call with several colleagues from all over the US and the first face I saw was someone who had offended me about 5 years ago and of course she was the most active in the chat, and I have to confess, every time her name came up, I felt this horrible knot in my stomach. Not because of a health issue, this was a feeling I knew all too well. It is the feeling I get when I am anxious and unresolved about something. Later that night I shared my feelings with my husband and asked him to pray for me about this situation and I have been praying daily about it myself. I would love to say that I am 100% resolved, but even now I can still feel the little knots of anxiety.
So, you must be asking, then why share this. I share this to let you know that when we cry out to God, seeking to be resolved of any offensive ways, that he hears us, and he exposes the areas that we need to work on. We just have to have the heart to allow others in to help us along.
Picking up in verse 24, it says, “See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.” When you pray and ask God to reveal those deep feelings of bitterness and unforgiveness you cannot allow yourself to just get caught up on the offense, because we have no control over the offender and when or if they will ever acknowledge their wrongdoing.
We have to focus on what we have control of and that is ourselves and our response to the offense. The scripture says see if there is any offensive way in me. It is at this point that you have to ask God to reveal to you your thoughts and feelings about the offender.
I am not saying you have to connect with this person and open yourself up to more harm, but what I am saying is that you have to begin to take your thoughts and actions captive and make sure that you are living out God’s word in the situation.
~Ephesians 6:11 in the English Standard Version says, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.”
I was recently a part of a Group Bible Study on the Book of Ephesians and learned that the phrase, may be able, in the original Greek translates to dynasthai, which means, I am powerful – I have the power.
We do have the power, when we begin to view things at a spiritual level, we come into the realization that even though humans are committing the offenses, there is still a greater spiritual battle that is attached to what is going on. When we put on the whole armor of God, his word, faith and the like, we are fully equipped with the power to overcome any situation that comes our way!
Which leads me to the last part of vs. 24 where it says, “lead me in the way everlasting”, the way everlasting. When you put in the work to forgive, when you take control of your thoughts and actions, it is then that you are allowing God to lead you in the way Everlasting!