by Holly Newton
Test me, Lord, and try me, examine my heart and my mind. For your faithful love guides me and I live by your truth.Psalm 26:2-3
We note in Psalm 26 David declaring his loyalty to God and that despite the danger he was facing, he remained confident that God would help him securely stand in an even place.
David wrote this psalm in a time of trouble, like much of what He wrote. It opens in verse 1, with his request for God to vindicate him, presumably from his enemies. The invitation itself implies that David wasn’t able to defend himself or that he chose not to; confident that God would answer his prayer. Despite his present difficulty, he had the confidence to say, “I shall not slip”.
In verse 2, David invites the Lord to examine him. He was confident enough in his demonstrated life of faith that he asked God to consider his heart. David had learned through his failures and troubles of God’s mercy, His lovingkindness. He had learned that God can always be trusted.
In this passage, the request to be examined refers to the inward working – the mind and the heart. David knew the importance of both a pure inner life and right actions and deeds. Inviting God into the deepest part of our inward hearts and minds is an excellent path to freedom and victory.
He also knew the value of sustained examination and meditation upon the lovingkindness of God.
Reflecting on the goodness, mercy, kind love of God helps us see Him and His goodness in our lives, which also helps increase our faith and ability to trust Him in any situation and season.
When we let God examine us, it makes room to shift our perspectives to His ways and thoughts. It’s not to control us. It’s about options – freedom. Culture says surrender means defeat and weakness. But in God’s economy, submission is where true liberty begins. It’s a beautiful exchange: Replacing chaos with His order, replacing fear with faith, and replacing worry with worship.
Having a right walk with God meant more to David than just avoiding evil. He had a pure, simple, yet deep love for God and His presence and was able to declare the victory before he experienced it!
This psalm ends repeating David’s resolve of trust in God. Despite the dangers around him in verse 12, he declares, “My feet stand on level ground; in the great assembly, I will praise the Lord.”
God’s lovingkindness is sure, faithful, and goes into the smallest of your details. Dwelling on it is a great place to start each day. Amid adversity is the time to be awake for what the Lord is doing. The rough ground is a picture of life’s trials. We are not immune to them, but they never need to shake us – because our God is unshakeable.
This is an excerpt from Exhale: 90 Devotions For Letting Go And Living In Unforced Rhythms Of Grace by Holly Newton. Get your copy here.
Holly Newton is Founder of She Lives Fearless. She’s a Texas native who has enjoyed living in Nashville and now Orlando. Besides running the SLF ministry, she is an Author, Speaker, TV and Radio segment speaker, and Podcast Host of the SLF Podcast. Married 32 years to Mark, and Gigi to seven Grands. Connect with her here on the SLF website or on her personal website at hollyanewton.com.