Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln said, “We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. . . . But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.”
One person in the Oval Office, in Congress, or on the Supreme Court cannot get to the deepest part of America’s problems. That is because our deepest problems are spiritual. And the only hope for America is a spiritual awakening.
God gave us His recipe for revival when He said, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14 NKJV).
There’s an interesting nuance regarding the word “pray.” Of the twelve Hebrew words employed to address this verb, the one in this verse means “to judge self habitually.”
God didn’t say, “If My people who are called by My name will love themselves . . .” We already do that. Rather, God was saying that we need to judge ourselves.
That means we are to come into God’s presence and say, “Lord, if there is anything in my life that is displeasing to You, show it to me.” Like the psalmist, we should pray, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23–24 NKJV).
We are to set aside our own aims, goals, ambitions, and desires in life, giving up our own wills. That is what it is to follow Jesus.