Search me, O 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.
"I'm ready for my close-up."
How often have you heard people repeat this phrase from the 1950 American film noir, Sunset Boulevard? It's usually said in jest, but it refers to the storyline's aging silent-movie star, Norma Desmond, who says it as she is trying to make a comeback to the big screen.
No doubt she spent some time in front of a magnifying mirror so that she would look just right and perhaps cover up a wrinkle or two before the cameras came in too close. And if you're a woman, then you can certainly identify.
We of the female species want to look good, and we sometimes need a magnifying mirror to help us out a little. Either you've got to see up close to pluck your eyebrows or perhaps you need some sort of triple magnification to make sure you don't poke the mascara wand in your eye. And if you're a man, well I don't know why you would need one. So that's between you and your mirror.
For us ladies, however, a magnifying mirror can be a blessing and a curse. It's blessing in that it helps you to see what you can't see normally with the naked eye. But the mirror is also somewhat of a curse in that you may not like what you see or you might see something you don't want to see—as in wrinkles, blemishes, or random hairs. When that happens, well you just hope to goodness that no one else has seen what it's taken a magnifying mirror to point out to you!
As believers, we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28) under a most divine magnifying mirror—whether we realize that or not. David refers to God's continual examination of our lives in Psalm 139:
O LORD, you have searched me and you know me … Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? … For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb …All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be … Search me, O 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.
Who of us in our sinful states welcomes this kind of scrutiny? Who of us wants someone to get that close to us, to see every single thought and motive and the ugly pride and selfishness that we try to keep covered up in our lives?
Now, reread all of Psalm 139 and think about this type of close examination once more. How do you see it now?
This is really a love letter, my friend. David understood and got how much God truly loves us—no matter what. He is the one who created our "inmost being" and saw our "unformed body" when it was woven together. He is omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent. He knows us better than we know ourselves!
David welcomed his close-up with his heavenly Father, and he responded to God's unchanging, unconditional, unmerited love. So why do I fear letting God examine me? Why do you?
If we truly want to be obedient to our Master and our King, then we will always be ready for our close-ups and will want him to see into every area of our lives as we seek to live for him.
In grateful response, may we all aim to magnify the Lord today and let our lives reflect his glory.
Intersecting Faith & Life:
What are you afraid of letting God see in your life? Do you know that he already knows about whatever it is you're trying to keep from him? Be like David and praise the Lord for knowing you better than anyone else ("such knowledge is too wonderful for me") and ask him to "lead you in the way everlasting."
**Listen to the audio/podcast version of this devotional here.