Search Me O God And Know My Heart

Before I go on and explain this diagram would you take a minute to look at it? Try to make sense of it without my explanation. There is not much to it yet, I admit, but there will be more added regularly until it gives a complete picture with references of the work that God does in each of us.

The battle with self that every one of us faces is real. And yet it is internal and cannot be seen or measured. It is only something you yourself can ‘see’ looking inward a bit and thinking about your motives and your thought life as it pertains to your actions and plans. Sometimes it is so well hidden by busyness, or for some by self-deception, that only the Spirit of God searching within can make it ‘visible’. For some it is already blatantly obvious.

Why Are People Self Centered

As I mentioned in the last post, God is altogether altruistic. He is always looking to the good and welfare of all of us. Altruism is a divine attribute and not a human one; at least not human in our fallen state. Please understand that in saying God is ALWAYS altruistic, I do not elevate His mercy and grace above His truth and holy sense of justice in any way. His attributes are inseparable. Nor am I excluding our responsibility to acknowledge and respond to Him in all our ways. If anything, His altruism intensifies our responsibility to respond but that is not my aim here. All I am doing here is making a clear distinction between God’s thoughts and ways and our own. This visual helps me to see it. I hope it helps you to see it too. We will be building out this diagram in future posts. I will explain the line going down the middle of this diagram also in future posts.

Every one of us falls somewhere on this vertical bar (image above); somewhere between Narcissism and a point not quite attaining to the always altruistic ways of God which are untainted by selfish motives or a self focus. We can use whatever ‘self’ terms we wish to use in order to describe it. Self preservation, or self focus, or egocentric. The point here is that the battle with the self-life in our attempts to be more selfless is real.

 

Define Self Centeredness

The journey to Higher Ground starts with a recognition that God’s thoughts are not our thoughts and neither are His ways our ways. Our journey has to begin with a recognition of where we stand presently. We need to define self centeredness for ourselves as it pertains to us personally. Paul described (and it is recorded for us in Romans 7:18-24) the battle with self concluding with, “When I would do good, evil is present with me.” Here he describes the battle with self that every one of us faces (none of us excluded). He actually concluded with. “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” And we can almost feel how deeply he wrestled with this. We must wrestle with it as deeply.

So herein is my challenge. Begin to pray and think about the inner life as it pertains to others, as it pertains to self, and as it pertains to ‘self in relation to others’. Pray David’s prayer, “Search me oh God.” Ask Him to reveal any hidden ways in you. You may be in a place of faithful service to God, serving others faithfully, but I am willing to wager (if I were a betting man) that there are some things that God will show you if you will begin to pray this daily.

For some this will be a revelation of some disturbing truths about self. For some it will just be an affirmation of things they already knew about themselves. Please join me in this self exposing prayer. I say ‘self exposing’ rather than self searching because it is God Who does the searching. Will you ask Him daily to search you?

One final note; although each of us are on the vertical bar somewhere, our place there is fluid. By fluid, I mean that it changes up and down with external stimulus and as we grow and mature it progressively hovers closer to the altruism of God. Our goal is to get closer, and closer, and closer to genuine altruism as we grow.

Definitions of terms used here or related terms:
Altruism, Egoism, Egotism, Egocentric, Narcissism defined as ‘self-love’.

As always — please comment, PM me, share, communicate.

I will not know you are there and benefiting from this without them.

Thank you always.

Carl

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6 Comments

  1. Thank you Carl.

    I’m finding more and more that it is very difficult to carry on real conversations anymore. Seems people only want to talk about themselves and what is important to them. God has been very good to me in giving me a gift of encouragement, but if I in turn mention a concern of mine (or even a joy) the other side gives no response, but goes on and on about their issues, like they can’t wait until I finish talking.

    This is a large part of why I left the IC – hypocritical and phony sentiments which were never backed up. SIGH!

    • Thank you for this comment. You’re very welcome.

      I have come to the conclusion that if I am thinking about what I am going to say next then I am not really listening. I have had to train myself to listen intently. The only way I have to discovered to do this is if I forget about what I think is so important to say and really listen. I would not necessarily call this hypocritical. Some times it is just poor listening skills. I have had to work at this intentionally.

      Thank you for joining me in this study! I will be sending the next lesson soon.

      Carl

  2. Hey, Carl!

    Yeah, I get the diagram. I didn’t at first of course, until I read the post, but it is a great illustration of human nature as it relates to selflessness versus selfishness!
    I’m glad you directed me toward this link. It definitely helps illustrate the message you’re trying to get across.

    Great diagram! Great post! Thanks!

    Your brother in Christ,

    Donnie

    • I intended to add the link to the previous post but it slipped my mind. I will be updating and adding to the diagram over time. Thanks for the quick update from your last comment brother.

      Striving for others,

      Carl

  3. Hi Carl,

    I like that you pointed out that God is the one doing the searching, as well as the exposing. Our responsibility is to cooperate with Him, allowing Him to do His marvelous work, as we trust faithfully.

    I’m joining you in this daily prayer and I would suggest a small addition based on Deuteronomy 30:6…
    “The LORD your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love Him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live.”

    My prayer:

    Dear Father, here we are, a handful of Your children, agreeing on this posture of heart to ask You to search us and expose any hidden worthless ways; strengthen us and edify us according to Your perfect will through this process; circumcise our hearts Lord, that we may love You and serve You with all of our hearts and soul; in the name of Jesus, Amen!

    • What more can I say to that Edwin but a hearty Amen!
      Thank you for that. And thank you for sharing Deuteronomy 30:6 also.

      We’re in this together brother,

      Carl

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