Sunday, May 8, 2011

Praying Through Logs for Correction

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!
(Psalms 139:23-24)

Excerpt from “Prayer of Wonder for the Sovereignty of God” – 2011-05-08
We all know how easy it is to recognize sin and evil at work in other people - and how hard it is to recognize when sin and evil are at work in our own lives. This is what Jesus was talking about when he said: "Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye" (Matthew 7:3-5). When David asked God to “know my heart . . . and know my thoughts” he was not merely asking God to examine him and then tell David what He had found. David was pleading for God’s correction: “lead me in the way everlasting!” This should be our prayer too. The truth is we almost always pray that God would correct others - because our own need for God’s correction is blocked from our view by the three story log home that we’ve built on the foundation of the sinful pride of our fallen hearts. We are all deeply in need of God’s correction.

Immersed in the deep waters of the all-knowing, ever-present, all-powerful, most holy character of God – David realized he was drowning in his sin; so he prays God would “know” him and “lead” him to walk in “the way everlasting.” That “way” Jesus said is his “way” - the “way” of the cross. Jesus said: “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few" (Matthew 7:13-14). It’s not by coincidence that Jesus said this just a few verses after he spoke about specks and logs that can get in our eyes when we look at others rather than ourselves.