Unbridled Grace

David’s rollercoster reflection on God’s knowledge of him in Psalm 139 eventually drives him to ask God to search him and purge him. He concluded his prayer in psalm 139 with, “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!” (Psalms 139:23)

He recognises that, as there is nothing God does not see or know about him, he might as well throw in the towel, open up and be searched by Him for his own betterment and benefit. The ultimate purpose of being known and intentionally allowing ourselves to be searched by God is so that He can purge us from the evil and deceit that resides within us. Psalms 139:24

“And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!”

David understood that only God sees and knows the human heart in its entirety and as it truly is. The human heart is the preserve of God’s knowledge and judgement alone. He sees and knows it like no one else does, even its very owner.  Jeremiah 17:9-10

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? “I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.””

That is why God’s judgment is perfect and never unfair – because He knows all the facts, they are laid totally bare before Him, nothing is hidden from Him that needs to be taken into account. Hebrews 4:13

“And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”

Herein lies the other implication of God’s complete and unimpeded knowledge of us – the fact that we will have to give account to Him for everything. In Matthew 12:36 the Lord Jesus Himself, speaking in the context of mindlessly judging others, categorically stated, “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak,”

Similarly, the apostle Paul too reminded the Corinthian Christians not to preempt God in judging others in 1 Corinthians 4:5, “Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God.”

In other words, the apostle Paul is saying that judgment is the Lord’s prerogative who has access to “the things now hidden in darkness”, (i.e. those things which we cannot see and therefore have no knowledge about) and “the purposes/motives of the heart” (which are currently undisclosed and not available to us). Nonetheless, each one will be judged without exception – “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.” (2 Corinthians 5:10)

God’s grace is indeed what liberates us to confidently stand before him and serve him, imperfect as we are, but we must never forget that we will also have to one day give account to Him for our lives and actions too. God’s total and unbridled knowledge of us is liberating in that we can be our naked selves before Him. We however not only need to humbly and in all sincerity seek His forgiveness for our failures and our sins but, like David, also continually present ourselves before God to search and purge us.

We are in desperate need of God’s purging (cleansing) not every now and again in our lives but continually – because of the sinful nature we still carry and the propensity therein to respond to satanic stimuli. We need to grow and cultivate a life of repentance before God for which reason the apostle John reminds and exhorts us not to declare ourselves sinless but humbly bring ourselves to God to be cleansed by Him. 1 John 1:8-9

“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Declaring ourselves to be without sin is not only self deception but tantamount to accusing God of lying – 1 John 1:10

“If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”

It is therefore imperative that together with David (in Psalms 139:23-24) we too continually cry out to God:

“Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!”

Oh the grace of God!

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