Search me, God, and know my heart (Psalm 139:23a NIV).
Friend to Friend
A few years ago, I was given a 12x magnification hand mirror as part of a gift. The gift-giver told me that she uses hers all the time and expected that I would love it. Never thinking I would actually need or use it; I thanked her with all the grace I could muster and put the mirror away where I put the gifts that I never plan on needing or using.
Fast-forward a few years … My son was working on a self-portrait for art class and asked me if I had a hand mirror. I remembered that the 12x magnification mirror had a normal-mirror side, so I ran and got it for him.
After his art project was completed, Preston put the mirror in the top drawer of my bathroom vanity. Not long after that, on a grooming day, I reached for my tweezers to pluck what needed plucking, and in doing so, my eyes fell upon the 12x magnification mirror.
What the heck! I’ll try it.
(Insert freaky horror sounds here …)
I wasn’t at all prepared for the revelation of my up-close and personal reflection. My pores looked like swimming pools, and my stray eyebrow hairs looked like tree trunks. Even the super-tiny, fine ones!
It. Was. Crazy.
And I must tell you, eyebrow plucking hasn’t been the same for me since!
Here’s why: prior to having this hyper-magnified experience, I’d always thought I did a good job plucking my eyebrows. Wrong! Though I used to think I did a good job plucking, now I know I do because what isn’t visible to me in a normal mirror is vibrantly visible in the magnified one. So now every stray that doesn’t belong gets gone!
Over the years I’ve found that it’s far too easy to pray in a way that’s similar to how I used to pluck my eyebrows. I confessed only the sins that were visible in my life, leaving me blissfully unaware of the smaller, harder-to-see stray responses, attitudes, thought patterns, and wrong choices that needed to be plucked as well.
Have you ever pretended everything was just peachy with God when you knew it wasn’t?
It’s easier. I know.
If you and I want all that God has for us, we’ve gotta pluck those strays—any choices we make that go against the ways of God that are revealed in His Word. Disobedience diminishes the power He has for our lives and we all have rebellion rushing through our veins.
Any thought we think or choice we make that doesn’t line up with the holy ways of God will keep us from His will and the fullness of His power. Graciously, the Holy Spirit often taps us on our stubborn shoulders and suggests we bend a knee to hash it out and clear it up (Romans 2:4).
David was good at getting real with God. “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” (Psalm 139:23–24). That’s a 12x-magnified prayer, my friend! David prayed for purposed purity to rise. We need to do the same.
Are you brave enough to pray like this?
If you and I can get this, if we’ll get real with God, and ask Him to reveal and remove the stray sins from our lives, the Spirit of God will lead us to new heights, widths, and depths of His love, purity, and power. And this grooming will lead to our blooming!
When you and I pray with hearts that are willing to get down and dirty in deep confession, when we extend God an invitation to correct and direct us we position ourselves in the center of His power through Christ.
Lord Jesus, be the center.
Dear Lord, Search me. Know me. Show me. Please shine Your holy light on any shady areas of my life that need correction or direction. Crush any stubborn ways that keep me from Your will and Your best. Magnify any secret sins or unknown compromises that hinder my holiness. And move me forward in Your grace so that I can be led by Your Spirit and so that others can see Your love through me.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
What are some ungodly behaviors that diminish the power of God in your life? What would it look like if you were to give God total access to your life?
More From the Girlfriends
Today’s post is an excerpt from Gwen Smith’s book, I Want It ALL. Ready to narrow the gap between ordinary faith and the not-so-ordinary promises of God found in His Word? Order yours today from Amazon, Gwen’s website, or from your favorite retailer.
© 2023 by Gwen Smith. All rights reserved.
Thank Gwen. Great reading for this am!
Last pm I was asked to do a Bible study for our micro-church group. The subject was Matt. 5, “the Holy Beatitudes”. I call them Holy, because I find some of them a rough task!
What would it look like if we all followed Jesus’s “red letters” in that chapter?
So, as a disciple after my leadership study, I’m going to concentrate on the ones I find hard, and pray for God to help me to live up to my potential!
Thank you for your continued writings. It is a great way to guide us into morning scriptures!
I always enjoy reading your blog.Asa whole, I joyed the message,but, today’s first paragraph really bothered me. Did you consider that your friend that gave you the mirror may read this. The fact that you said you had to “muster”up grace to thank her in itself, is pretty offensive. Then when you go on to say you put it in your “drawer” of gifts you think you’ll never use makes you sound a bit spoiled. When people take their time and money to buy you something they think you’ll like then you write a blog about some of them not being worthy, you might want to rethink your wording.
I’m always in awe of God and how He speaks to me. Last night at the dinner table my 21 yr old daughter announced that she was taking a weekend trip away with friends but as she unfolded her plans and who the “friends” were, I felt anger arising and before I knew it, I was yelling and she left the table crying. 😔 Later I went to apologize and she forgave but it still didn’t sit right. Before opening this devotion this morning I prayed for forgiveness, self-control with my mouth is a work in progress. I realized that through this there was a multiple of sins that I had committed and I want to be brave enough to own up to them and allow God to lead me in correction, to bring new wine out of me. Thank you for your commitment in sharing your experiences with us. ❤️
Thank you for this devotional, it certainly speaks to me this morning. I recently did something I wished I hadn’t and I’ve just been feeling badly about it. I felt like I couldn’t talk to God about it until I felt a little better about myself ~ truth is, I didn’t feel better until I talked to God! And I have to remember that condemnation is finished, so that I don’t beat myself about it.
Thank you for writing this 🙂