"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" Psalm 139:23-24
I can't log on to my home computer, with its "news" homepage, without seeing that someone is being investigated for something by somebody somewhere. Literally, it's every day. Politicians are being investigated. Moms and Dads under investigation for killing or molesting their kid or somebody else's. Celebrities under investigation for some financial issue.
We are a culture that loves to investigate, but hates to be investigated. It's understandable really. Who can resist taking the opportunity to find out the juicy details of the person under investigation? It's like being a fly on the wall of their personal lives or getting to go Jack Bauer on them and "bug" their phone, email and home. It's hard to resist for many, even though it seems so distasteful (case in point, there is a similar logic behind why the National Enquirer and others stay in business - and it's not because the readers are all married to their cousins and living in a double wide next to the Mississippi River). Man, just hearing the words "You are under investigation" is like a nightmare for most people.
So picture David, this harp playing, slingshot packin', Sasquach killin' shepherd who is on the lamb for a while in his life (get it.....shepherd.........on the lamb..........never mind). He actually asks God to investigate him. Great. Glad that got preserved for all eternity in the pages of Holy Writ so that we can all feel exceedingly intimidated. Yeah, it's bad enough if someone were to just call up the IRS and let them know they were hoping that they could find it in their heart to audit them this year because they have been waiting patiently for 18 years............but to ask God to investigate you? That's another thing altogether.
But, that is just what David did. He asked the One who needs to collect no evidence to check him out. And then David asked God to point out anything to him that wasn't supposed to be there. All at once, I feel disturbed and encouraged by this jointly stupid/courageous act. Disturbed because I realize that asking to be investigated feels REALLY uncomfortable, and encouraged because I know there are some things that just don't add up in my soul and I know that only God can fix them. What to do?
I think this tension might be the reason that people don't really want to spend any real time in the presence of God. The longer we stay in His presence, the more we see ourselves the way He sees us - and that is equal parts scary and freeing. When we spend time with God, He will not fail to point out to us where we are clutching onto sinful habits, attitudes, behaviors. But He will also never fail to speak love to us, around us, in us. This journey is just a little too scary for many followers of Christ, so they are content to sit in the bleachers of spirituality without giving themselves over to walking in the "way" with Jesus. Checking out on our soul is no way to live though. In fact, I think that it doesn't really constitute living - just existing.
I want to have the guts to let God examine me - investigate me. It's hard for me sometimes, truly. And I know it is hard for you as well. But unless you and I do it, it will be very hard to see our footprints on the way of Jesus.
So, this week, get before the Examiner....the Investigator and ask Him to open up a case file on you. Listen to what He says to you in the pages of His Word (forgive, don't sow seeds of dissension, keep your romance confined to your spouse, lay off the liquor, quit overeating, love people, let go of your anger, stop being bitter). But know that in all of those things that He points out to you and me, there will be a message, just as strong, that will accompany it:
I love you.