“Who perceives his unintentional sins? Cleanse me from my hidden faults. Moreover, keep Your servant from willful sins; do not let them rule over me. Then I will be innocent and cleansed from blatant rebellion. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to You, LORD, my rock and my Redeemer.” (Psalms 19:12-14)
David knew where it was at. The thing about sin is, it starts on the inside. And though I might not be sinning by my actions, unintentional sins or hidden faults also need to be removed before what is inside makes its way out. (Proverbs 27:19)
This year I have been seeking God and asking for His will and direction in my life. When I began asking God for a pure heart, over and over again situations would arise and thoughts that I’d rather not brag about would surface. Jealousy, pride, bitterness, or anything that was the opposite of Philippians 4:8. Through these situations – we’ll call them tests of faith – God was allowing me to see my weaknesses and reminding me what I needed to work on most.
And the thing about testing is, God always provides a way. “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)
So while I’m sure I will always fall short, I am also sure of His grace. Thankfully, my job is to listen and be obedient. He is the one doing the hard work within me. “I am sure of this, that He who started a good work in [me] will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6) “For it is God who is working in [me], enabling [me] both to desire and to work out His good purpose.” (Philippians 2:13)
I am a constant work in progress, but through Jesus I can accept God’s grace and forgiveness and embrace his power that is at work within me. (Ephesians 3:20)
I know that through each test, each situation, God is pruning me and fine tuning me into exactly who He wants me to be. Each time I have a chance to respond with more wisdom and discernment than the last. Each time I can continue to grow and through this process my heart is becoming more and more like His.
“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12