photograph by S M R on pixahive

Psalm 17:1–5

‘Though you probe my heart, though you examine me at night and test me, you will find that I have planned no evil; my mouth has not transgressed.’ (v3)

Our friendship with God is sustained and developed through a continuous conversation (1 Thess. 5:17). Jesus reminds us that it is the ‘pure in heart’ who ‘will see God’ (Matt. 5:8). Such purity, a condition where no malice abides and full attention is given to God, is itself a product of our own consideration of how we perceive our relationship with God.

David, ruthlessly pursued by Saul and in fear of his life, makes his appeal to God on the basis of his purity of heart. Yet, we know that David later sinned, committing murder and adultery. Such purity of heart is not an accomplishment, a position we attain, but subject to a daily review of our life, primarily in three areas: our attitude, our behaviour, and our words.

This examination best takes place when we are most impressionable, uncertain and, perhaps like David, overwhelmed with challenges whilst lacking any security. Yet, from such formless darkness, God created light and shape (Gen. 1:2). The Spirit is present attending to our every heartbeat and the decisions that follow.

Such darkness also provides suitable cover for our enemy, Satan, who invites us to assert ourselves in an attempt to take control of our own lives. Such surrender will leave us lost in this darkness of our own choosing. Confronted with his sin, David chose repentance and received forgiveness and restoration. Life is always God’s gift, and something we can choose – or reject. Let’s acknowledge evil desire and make confession, and choose to be formed in God’s image.

Scripture to consider: 2 Sam. 12:1–14; Ps. 51; Luke 6:43–49; 2 Cor. 13:5–10.

An action to take: How often are you in conversation with God? We are either moving towards or away from Him.

A prayer to make: ‘Lord, I call to You from my darkness and invite Your Spirit to lead me into the light. Amen.’

Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.