You never know what you might be carrying around with you. Recently I put on a pair of shorts that I hadn’t worn yet this season. I wore them around all afternoon. While I was fixing dinner, I felt something tickle the back of my leg, and I looked back, somewhat alarmed. I found a dryer sheet peeking out of the leg. Phew. My momentary panic turned out to be nothing. I was recalling a time several years ago when my husband was sitting at his desk at work when he felt a tickle on his leg. A quick shake of his pants leg dislodged a very large wolf spider. Eeek!
I used to work with a gal who one time found a pair of clean underwear in the leg of her pants after teaching all day! Have you ever had a surprise stow-away in your clothing somewhere?

Sometimes we carry things around with us that we have no idea are there. Fortunately for me, it was just a dryer sheet.

My surprise staticky friend reminded me of the closing words of Psalm 139: “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.” The Psalmist explains how completely God knows us throughout this Psalm. He even knows things that we don’t know about ourselves. In these closing verses he invites God to search his heart and reveal anything ungodly that might be hiding there that he himself isn’t even aware of.

What might our hearts be carrying around that we aren’t even aware of? Is there an idol we are unknowingly serving? Is there an attitude or heart posture that isn’t glorifying to God? Are we harboring fear or anxiety or perhaps entertaining a lie from the enemy?

It requires humility to ask God to search our hearts to see if there is anything unpleasing to him within us. When we make this request, we acknowledge our limitations, our weaknesses, in light of God’s omniscience and perfection. We simply don’t know it all, even when it comes to our own hearts!

If the Holy Spirit reveals something to us, what are we to do? Just what we would do with any unwanted stow-away in our clothing – we get rid of it! Whether you can give a gentle tug like I did with my dryer sheet, or you need a vehement shake like Andrew and his spider friend, do what it takes to get rid of the sin God reveals to you. Repent to him, and to others if needed. Ask for his help to leave that sin far behind. That’s the beauty of God’s loving conviction – it’s for our good, so that we can walk more freely, more uprightly, more obediently. It’s not heaped up with guilt. His abundant grace is right there with us as we deal with our sin. He convicts us because he loves us and wants what is the very best for us.

Join me in this prayer today: “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.”

Catherine Burleigh
Tablet of Her Heart