Being Searched by Carl Miller

When Being Searched is Good

During my experience working in the child welfare field, in particular my time with residential treatment programs, I saw many interesting things. One program that I worked with was primarily for teens. Many of the kids in the program thought that they had it all together and knew everything. Working with kids that had this type of attitude brought its share of challenges and rewards. I really enjoyed the kids I worked with! Many of them did very well in the program. For some of these kids, however, deception was the name of the game. Whatever they could sneak in, or sneak out of the home was a challenge to them. They were energized by the risk of getting caught. Some kids were better at this skill than others. When they were caught, staff were required to do a search. Staff would search their person and belongings. If you were to ask these kids whether they would volunteer to be searched, the answer would be, “No”. Being searched reveals truth, and sometimes people desire for the truth to stay hidden. Revelation of the truth could bring exposure, negative consequences, shame, guilt, or pain.

However, being searched is good! I love what David says in Psalm 139:23-24: “Search me, O God, and know my heart. Try me and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

David doesn’t hide from God. He asks God to search him. Note that this search is not external, but internal…to the depths of his heart. David knows he is a sinner. He knows there is wickedness in his heart. But he also knows, through faith, that God loves him and will convict him of that wickedness, lead him to repentance, and lead him in the way everlasting.

Hebrews 12:6 says, “For whom the Lord loves, He chastens, and scourges every Son whom He receives.”

To recognize that being searched by God is good, is truly a work of the Holy Spirit. We know that being exposed before the Righteous and Holy God isn’t comfortable. However, to beseech the Lord to not only search you, but to cleanse you from the wickedness He finds, is a mark of an obedient believer.

Remember God’s promise in 1 John 1: 8-9 “ If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Have courage Christian! Like David, we don’t need to run in fear from being searched by God. We need to welcome it, because it is a blessing. It is for His glory and our good, as He grows us in grace, and He leads us in the way everlasting.