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Search me, O God, and know my heart...

    B"H  Elul 5772

Search me, O God

and see if the Messiah lives within me...

by John J. Parsons

Psalm 139:23

"Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Examine me and know my anxieties" – Psalm 139:23

The sages say, "Repent one day before you die." But who knows the day of one's death in advance?  Perhaps your name will be called today, ending your lease on life in this world. Are you ready? Are you prepared to appear before God your Creator to give account for your life (Rev. 22:12)? The apostle Paul urges us to undergo self-examination: "Put yourselves to the test to see if you are in the faith; prove yourselves to see whether Yeshua the Messiah lives within you" (2 Cor. 13:5). The verb "to prove" means to test something (like a precious metal) by fire to determine its purity. The analogy here is straightforward: the quality of our faith will be revealed during times of testing.

Whether Yeshua is living in you (and you are living in Him) is the most important question of your life. Everything else turns on this (John 15:5). The great mystery of faith is always "Messiah in you, the hope of glory" (Col. 1:27). As Ravenhill once said, "I don't ask people if they're saved anymore; I look them straight in the eye and ask, 'Does Christ live inside you?'" Are you connected with Him in the truth? Are you drawing life from His life? Do you really live in Yeshua?

Of course we all fail the test apart from the grace and love of God, since no one can be approved by means of the unaided will. We all need a miracle from heaven to love God in the truth and to pass the test – but praise God – the LORD helps those who can't help themselves!  We ask God to search us to "see if there is any idolatrous way in me," so that we can be led "in the way everlasting" (Psalm 139:24). This is the underlying request, that by means of God's testing we will learn to trust in Him for salvation and life...

Should we live in fear of ourselves? After all, "the heart is deceptive above all things and desperately wicked" (Jer. 17:9). No, because we are accepted in the Beloved. God has not given us a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear; there is no fear in His love (Rom. 8:15; 2 Tim. 1:7; 1 John 4:18). The gift of faith is a miracle of grace that transforms us so that we become a "new creation" (2 Cor. 5:17; Ezek. 36:26). Spiritual rebirth means having a new heart with a new set of affections: "I am crucified with Messiah. It is no longer I who live, but Messiah who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me" (Gal. 2:20).

Yeshua is the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father apart from Him. He calls out to us in the storm of this world saying, "Take heart. It is I; be not afraid" (Matt. 14:27). So take courage – trusting in Him is the way everlasting.  Amen.


In the days leading up to Rosh Hashanah it is customary to perform cheshbon hanefesh (חֶשְׁבּוֹן הַנֶּפֶשׁ), that is, "an accounting of the soul." To the degree that our motives and desires are hidden from us, we become strangers to ourselves. The way to find healing and integration, then, is to first of all to come to the light - to ask God to help us be honest and transparent before Him: "Search me, O God, and know my heart..."

Unnoticed inner desires, urges, and so on, do their secret work in the hidden parts of the soul - free to affect us because they operate under the surface. Left unchecked, these passions will lead us to be "double-minded" and unstable in our affections (James 1:8). When we bring our secrets to the light, however, they lose their power over us. For example, we can be honest with ourselves by acknowledging our hidden pride, our secret desire to be "different" (i.e., better) or "more spiritual" than others, and so on. Likewise we can confess our yearning for the approval of others -- our lust to be respected, admired or even worshiped. We bring all such "secret stuff" to the light and ask God for deliverance....

Hebrew-English Transliteration:

Hebrew-English transliteration

chokreini El ve'da levavi, bechaneini ve'da sarapai

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