July 1, 2012

Heart Probe

Written by Boyd Bailey

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- July 1, 2012

Though you probe my heart, though you examine me at night and test me, you will find that I have planned no evil; my mouth has not transgressed. Psalm 17:3

God’s spirit is interested in probing our hearts. He knows the heart is the source of our speech and conduct. The heart can conceal our anger or release it in Christ-honoring conversation. Unreleased anger is ugly. It eventually comes out in damaging portions. If our heart goes unexamined, then we drift into a sick state of denial. We lose touch with reality and lead others into our wrong thinking. On the other hand, a healthy heart keeps us honest and engaged. It is the tender touch of Jesus that reminds us to look inward. If we don’t manage our motives and confess our sins, we create a mess. Our hearts can be a hindrance or a conduit for Christ-centered living. So how do we exercise the Spirit’s examination of our heart and soul? What is necessary to make sure we come under the scrutiny of our Savior Jesus? How do we get to the heart of the matter?

A heart probe by God does not happen accidentally. It occurs intentionally. Just as we daily determine to take care of the physical dimension of our heart, so we are instructed to exercise our spiritual condition. Appointments, good or bad activities, and life responsibilities can all crowd out our candid conversations with Christ. So margin for our Master is a must. We cannot spend all of our time doing the work of God while ignoring the voice of God. Goodworks from an unguarded heart only give an illusion of selfless service. Our works cannot resolve a conflicted heart. It is only under microscopic probing by the Holy Spirit that we see ourselves for who we truly are. Sometimes selfishness comes into focus. Other times timidity surfaces because we are afraid of conflict. It is in these moments of discovery that we invite God’s grace to enter and heal our hurting heart.

Our words, or the lack thereof, are evidence of what dwells in our heart. Sometimes the Holy Spirit checks our heart and moves us to silence. Trust trumps the trouble we face, and we exhibit long suffering with the Lord and other people. This is a heart of faith. Other times, the Spirit prompts us to speak up. We are unclear of the outcome but He gives us the courage to converse. This is a heart of boldness. Whether in silence or speech, it is the Holy Spirit that governs a heart controlled by Christ. Therefore, do not allow your words to get ahead of your heart. Don’t speak your mind until your heart has been examined and set free by the Spirit. Sometimes a simple good night’s sleep brings perspective into focus. Bare your soul before your Savior before you boldly confront others.

Your heart probe may come from a variety of exercises. It may be a prescription of perpetual prayer that penetrates your heart with grace and forgiveness. It may be the treadmill of trust that builds endurance and creates within you a stronger heart of faith. Sometimes our Savior’s stethoscope of conviction discovers sin that needs confession and repentance. Above all else, lay your heart before the Lord. Ask others to validate the Lord’s probing and promptings. Resolve, by God’s grace, to keep short sin accounts. A Spirit-probed heart produces right speech, spoken the right way. Effectiveness on behalf of our heavenly Father hinges on a healthy heart. Therefore, allow the Lord to examine it often. The Spirit’s scripts are just what we need. Administer them daily.

Taken from Reading #11 in the 90-day devotional book, “Seeking God in the Psalms”… http://bit.ly/bQHNIE

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