Test my mind and my heart
Psalm 26 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
Protestation of Integrity and Prayer for Protection.
A Psalm of David.
Vindicate me, O Lord, for
I have walked in my integrity,
And I have trusted in the Lord without wavering.
2 Examine me, O Lord, and try me;
Test my mind and my heart.
3 For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes,
And I have walked in Your truth.
4 I do not sit with deceitful men,
Nor will I go with pretenders.
5 I hate the assembly of evildoers,
And I will not sit with the wicked.
6 I shall wash my hands in innocence,
And I will go about Your altar, O Lord,
7 That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving
And declare all Your wonders.
8 O Lord, I love the habitation of Your house
And the place where Your glory dwells.
9 Do not take my soul away along with sinners,
Nor my life with men of bloodshed,
10 In whose hands is a wicked scheme,
And whose right hand is full of bribes.
11 But as for me, I shall walk in my integrity;
Redeem me, and be gracious to me.
12 My foot stands on a level place;
In the congregations I shall bless the Lord.
In today’s text
the psalmist says: Vindicate me, O Lord, for I have walked in my integrity,
And I have trusted in the Lord without wavering. Examine me, O Lord, and try me; Test my mind and my heart. For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes, And I have walked in Your truth. It is important that David says: Test my mind and my heart. God Himself said of David: ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My heart, who will do all My will.’ (Acts 13:22) David was a man, a man who like all of us made mistakes. In Psalm 51 he says: Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity And cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, And my sin is ever before me. Against You, You only, I have sinned And done what is evil in Your sight. What made David different, was that rather than run from God, rather than trying to hide his sin, he ran to God. He confessed his sin. He truly had a heart after the heart of God. He trusted in God for the forgiveness of his sins. That, more than anything else was the truth David walked in, that because of the loving kindness of God, David could seek Him regardless of his actions, because his heart was after God’s heart.
The text continues: I do not sit with deceitful men, Nor will I go with pretenders. I hate the assembly of evildoers, And I will not sit with the wicked. I shall wash my hands in innocence, And I will go about Your altar, O Lord, That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving And declare all Your wonders. Although there were times David failed, falling into temptation, satisfying the lusts of his flesh, his heart, his mind and his intentions were to do good and to avoid evil. David declared the wonders of God, with a voice of thanksgiving. Sometimes we tend to mute our declarations about God’s goodness, because we know, like David, that we have sin in our lives. We fear that we will be called hypocrites, by the world if we testify of God’s goodness to those who know our weakness. The truth is, if we, like David, have a heart after God’s heart; if we know His loving kindness and His forgiveness, we are hypocrites in His sight, if we do not declare the wonders of God. One of the greatest wonders we should declare is that: God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8) It is one thing to at times fall into temptation, but like the psalmist, we should not walk in sin. We should not gather with evildoers and sit in wickedness. Who having been washed in the precious blood of Jesus, would choose to continue to wallow in sin?
The psalmist says: O Lord, I love the habitation of Your house And the place where Your glory dwells. The best and in truth the only way to avoid evil, temptation and sin, is to walk with the Lord, to dwell and abide with Him. One who like David, has a heart after the heart of God, will love to live and dwell in the presence of God. James 1:13-15 says: Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. The psalmist, on the other hand says: Trust in the Lord and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, and He will do it. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light And your judgment as the noonday. (Psalm 37:3-6) It does take effort on our part to cultivate the faithfulness and trust we need in the Lord. It takes commitment, a determination that, like David, we will make it our intention to avoid evil. The cultivation of faithfulness though, begins in the good ground of a heart after the heart of God. If we will delight in Him, then our hearts desires will be God’s desires.
The psalmist concludes: I shall walk in my integrity; Redeem me, and be gracious to me. My foot stands on a level place; In the congregations I shall bless the Lord. Our integrity comes from a heart after the heart of God, a heart that knows, seeks and trusts His truth. We walk in integrity only as we walk in the fullness of redemption, as we seek to abide with God and walk in His goodness. We stand on level ground, if we stand with Him.
Thank You heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ and precious Holy Spirit; Test my mind and my heart. I shall bless the Lord and proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving And declare all Your wonders, particularly the wonder of redemption, that while we were sinners Christ died for us. Amen.