Summary: Communion reflection on "Search me O God"
SEARCH ME O GOD
To many people, the church today is lacking in moral authority and holiness of life. In many ways, we as the people of God are indistinguishable from non-believers. We live our lives with the same principles and desire to sin - in the scriptures we are called to be holy, but honestly have to ask ourselves whether we are living in that call. There are, I believe a number of lessons that can be learnt from our readings today about the need for holiness and God’s desire for us to walk with Him.
1. GOD KNOWS US ALREADY
There are no limits to His knowledge of us. God knows our actions, movements, all that goes on in our minds, our habits, plans, aims, desires, all my life to date. I can hide my heart, my past and my future plans from men (and often do !), but cannot hide anything from God. I can talk in a way that deceives my fellow creatures as to what I really am, but nothing I can do or say can deceive God. He sees through all my reserve and pretence; He knows me as I really am, better indeed than I know myself. Furthermore, God is not blind.
(Look over there God while I commit this sin.)
A God whose scrutiny and presence I could evade would be a small and trivial deity; but the true God is great and terrible. Living becomes an awesome business when we realise that we spend every moment of our life in the sight and company of our Creator. You can cut yourself off from your fellow men, even when in their company, but you cannot escape God.
2. DESIRE FOR RELATIONSHIP AND KNOWING HIM.
The prayer that God will search our hearts is rarely uttered today, and it is rarely that we reflect upon the need for repentance and a holy life. To do so is seen as uncomfortable and disturbing. We want the happiness (Bless me God) but not the cost (He who would follow me must deny himself, take up his cross).If we pray for God to search us, we are
a) seeking to be humble before Him.
b) handing over control of our lives.
Do we sing "Jesus is Lord" and then shrink back from the demand of a changed life He brings ? God is more concerned with the state of our hearts than of our feelings.
If God is to search us, then we are recognizing that He has a rightful place as Judge. God is not only a loving Father, but a Judge who cannot tolerate sin. So often, I have to confess with shame to treating God with little respect by the way we lead our lives. How willing are we to be laid open before God ?
Yet, the judgement to death and hell lies behind the Christian -we were judged at the throne of Calvary for all time. The judgement seat of Christ lies ahead for us. Are we faithful ? self controlled ? Generous beyond the demands of the Law ? Seperated from the world ? Cross carrying ? Search us O God and know our hearts today.
3. HOLINESS (1 Peter 1)
Holiness of life involves both worship and obedience. The apostle Peter outlines three evils which beset a Christians life.
1) Slackness - similar to laziness - ie: failing to move at all. "prepare your minds, be self controlled". Search me O God and help me to repent.
2) Being haphazard - moving off in all directions - "I think I’ll go there, or should I do this, or should I go another place?". Be purposeful. Search me O God and help me to repent.
3) Double minded - ie: wanting to move into heaven, whilst staying here on the earth and worshipping it’s attractions. How often we look too hard at that which will pass away and not hard enough at the prospects held out for us in heaven.
Peter admonishes us - do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance - each of us has to hear and respond to that word - special responsibility of preachers before God.
Over and above the power of hope, we should have two more motives for holy lives.
1) Our sense of privilege (v18-21) springing from:
a) Preciousness of blood
b) concern God has shown for our redemption, even before the creation of the world.
c) our adoption as God’s heirs through the new birth.
2) Our sense of reverence for God as judge.
For those who take these things seriously, tell God it is your desire to be holy at any cost and ask Him to make your joy grow dim when your holiness becomes tarnished...areas for God to search - lay before Him now at this moment - make your peace with Him, perhaps you want to be restored to that fellowship you had -perhaps you don’t know Him...(invitation to prayer)