David ends his well known Psalm 139 with the phrase, “lead me in the way everlasting.” For most Christians this is a prayer they would claim for themselves. Christians desire to follow God’s direction and leading. Rightfully so. God’s way is the right way, so listening and discerning His movement is vital for fulfilling His desire for your life.
But what gets lost when we throw out this desire as our end goal is the difficult process it takes to get there. Just previous to the “lead me” statement David says, “See if there is any offensive way in me.” As if to give the idea that God must search us before we can fulfill His plan. And this squares well with the previous verse:
“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.”
I’m all for listening to God and allowing Him to direct my path, but the whole “search me” piece is a bit invasive for me to get excited about.
In order to allow God to truly lead you in the way everlasting you must first go through an intense investigation of your heart and soul. With an army of God’s soldiers burrowing deep within, the process will be tedious and grievous.
I find it easier to follow a God who pats me on the back rather than a God who wants to invade the depths of my being.
In my studying of the opening chapters of Genesis a theme of suffering and glory is coming through. Genesis 2 is a picture of glory. God and man thriving in the garden of Eden. Genesis 3 is a picture of suffering. Sin. Curses. It’s ugly. Often we want the glory experienced in Genesis 2 without dealing with the suffering of Genesis 3. Daniel Montogomery and Mike Cosper speak to this in their book Faithmapping:
“Crossless Christianity wants the glory without the suffering. It wants access to God (Genesis 2) without acknowledging the ravaging effects of sin in our hearts and in our world (Genesis 3). Jesus calls his followers to deny themselves and take up a cross; a share in the kingdom means a share in suffering (pg. 52).”
The same theme is at play in our lives. We want to follow in the way everlasting, but we’d rather not deal with the difficulty of allowing God to search us and know us.
Prayer: Father God, search me and know me. Help me to grant you access into the depths of my being, allowing you to shape and form me more fully into your likeness. Amen.