Lately I find myself going back to the same prayer throughout the day. I keep asking the Lord, "Search Me, O God and know my heart." This prayer of course comes from Psalm 139:23-24 which says, "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." As I'm praying it feels like God is uncovering the rocks in my heart to expose the slimy little sins underneath. It's like he's taking the scalpel of His holy Word and gently piercing through my sinful heart. He's shining his flashlight into the dark corners of my soul and exposing everything hidden from my own eyes. All this feels a little painful but I keep praying that he'd do it more.
Why? I want nothing to get in the way of my communion with God. I want nothing to get in the way of me loving Jesus more. I think that's David's heart in this Psalm as well. He begins by saying, "O Lord you have searched me and known me" and ends the same way, "Search Me, O God." He knows this truth intellectually (in v. 1) and now welcomes it eagerly (in v. 23).
In addition to the Bible, God has used Jerry Bridges and his book, Respectable Sins, to help me practically in this area. Bridges is not a flashy writer, but his words ring with authenticity. In other words, you can tell this man lives what he writes. And what he writes is so helpful in regards to how to confront the sins we seem to tolerate in our lives. I would recommend this book to you. I can't think of another book that has helped me as much as this one to take steps in defeating those subtle sins in my life--the sins God has shown me as I've cried out to him, "Search me O God."