Tuesday, 21 December 2021
“Let us search out and examine our ways, And turn back to the LORD;”-Lamentations 3:40
‘Lamentations’ is a collection of five laments/poems written by the prophet Jeremiah remembering the fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians in 586 BC. God’s people were so caught up with looking at themselves, mourning their plight and living for themselves, instead of looking to God their Creator and living for Him who had chosen them to be His own people. The nation’s constant sin and wandering away from God had caused their downfall- the temple was destroyed, people killed and carried into captivity to Babylon. Jeremiah sadly details all of this in Lamentations so that God’s people would remember and reflect.
Jeremiah was urging his people to make a self-evaluation of their lives: “Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the LORD!” God is calling us to take a step back from who we “think” we are or “imagine” ourselves to be - and take a hard, deep look at who we really are as fallen, sinful human beings. God says: “The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). God sees how “deceitful” and desperately sick our hearts are and He wants us to see it too!
Walking with God in self-awareness means to examine our lives by God’s standard - found in God’s Word and not by our standards! The Word of God is the mirror that reflects our true selves– that deeply penetrates beyond the surface of what we see or allow people to see. Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” His Word intimately searches, exposing the thoughts and very intent of our hearts, thereby uncovering the secret sin issues that lie hidden deep in our hearts.
Andrew Murray, the great writer, teacher and pastor, said: ―"It is when we face ourselves and face Christ, that we are lost in wonder, love and praise. We need to rediscover the almost lost discipline of self-examination; and then a re-awakened sense of sin will beget a reawakened sense of wonder." If we refuse to examine the depths of our hearts, we will be held captive to those secret sins that have been so long disguised and covered up and we will continue doing them. All throughout the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus pointed to conditions below the surface of our lives into the deep things of the heart, showing us how God views things differently than we do. Jesus cares about the condition of our heart for He said: "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Matthew 6:21).
It is never too late to return to God- we need to come back to God every moment of our lives because we all still possess those sinful blind spots that we fail to see, covered up deep within our hearts. God knows those sins concealed in our hearts- how we blind we are to those sins, powerless to overcome them without His help. He knows it is our tendency to love ourselves more than Him -prone to wander away from Him. And so by His mercy God has made a way through Christ, His Son who became a sacrifice for our sins on the cross - so we might know His forgiveness. When we confess our sin and receive cleansing through His blood, we are restored into the relationship with God. That is the surrender of our hearts and lives to Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour.
Friend, it’s never too late to turn your heart over to the Lord and come back to Him!
LET US PRAY: “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! (Psalm139:23-24 ESV)