Examine me, God, from head to foot, order your battery of tests. Make sure I’m fit  inside and out. [Psalm 26:2 MSG)]

cone flower and butterflyWell, it’s that time of year again and I went through my annual (and embarrassing) total body check at the dermatologist’s office. I was closely examined head to toe with a bright light and a magnifying glass and body parts that never see the sun were seen by a complete stranger. That’s what David asked God to do, only God was no stranger and it was his heart that was inspected rather than his skin. Knowing that he was imperfect and hadn’t lived up to God’s standard, David asked God to thoroughly examine him and point out his failings. As awkward as it is to stand naked in front of a stranger, it is far more difficult and humbling to bare our hearts to God and ask Him to point out our deepest faults.

During her exam, my dermatologist found some problem areas—pre-cancers that needed to be removed with liquid nitrogen. Implied in my consent to be examined was my consent to be treated. If I’d chosen not to have those spots removed, the examination would have been meaningless. Without treatment, what was merely pre-cancerous could well become cancer.

When David asked God to examine him, he wasn’t worried about skin cancer. He asked God to point out his sins. Implied in David’s request was his consent for treatment—a willingness to repent and change. Asking God to point out our sins and then doing nothing about them is as foolish as leaving the dermatologist’s office without having our pre-cancers treated. Sin is simply a cancer of another kind and can be far deadlier than even melanoma.

Point out what’s wrong my life, O Lord, and teach me how to live in a way that honors you.

Investigate my life, O God, find out everything about me; Cross-examine and test me, get a clear picture of what I’m about; See for yourself whether I’ve done anything wrong—then guide me on the road to eternal life. [Psalm 139:23-24 (MSG)]

 Teach me how to live to please you, because you’re my God. Lead me by your blessed Spirit into cleared and level pastureland. [Psalm 143:10 (MSG)]

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