“See if there is any offensive way in me” may be the best way for us to begin our day with the Lord. Try it!
5 A fool spurns a parent’s [the heavenly Father’s] discipline, but whoever heeds correction shows prudence.
The beginning phrase was written by King David at a time when he was close to God, reading and following the law (it was a king’s duty to read the law every day; he even had his own copy of it. See Deuteronomy 17:18*), and worshiping daily (actually, twice daily: the morning and evening sacrifices. See Exodus 29:38-39 and Numbers 28:3-4). The word, “offensive,” is not about wickedness (having no regard for God); it’s about what is left in our hearts once we have cleaned it out of everything we think ought to go. His love and presence, His mercy and grace, and His righteousness have filled us, covered us, and cleansed us. Yet, our natural tendencies are still there. Jesus wants everything–even what we consider the little things and the sentimental things.
So, every morning, we trade our lives for His life. We can do this trade very specifically:
- My will for Your will;
- My ways for Your ways;
- My thoughts for Your thoughts;
- My speech for Your speech;
- My anger for Your grace and gentleness and mercy;
- My self-righteousness for Your righteousness and holiness;
- My controlling spirit for Your guiding Spirit;
- My lustful thoughts for Your gracious thoughts;
- My _____________________ for Your ________________________ (you can fill in the blanks).
These are the “offensive ways” that we need to give to God. He needs to become our sole sufficiency. We need to be clothed with Him and filled with Him. His Spirit is asking to lead the way in our lives. It is this devotion that attracts the people around us to the Christ in us: our spouse, our family, friends, coworkers, and more.
Let’s look at the entire passage from Psalm 139:
23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
I have a note on one of my notecards that says something like, “and once You have helped me identify an offensive way, help me eliminate it by leading me in the way everlasting.” The promise is found in Matthew 11:28-30,
28 Come to me and I will give you rest—all of you who work so hard beneath a heavy yoke. Wear my yoke—for it fits perfectly—and let me teach you; for I am gentle and humble, and you shall find rest for your souls; for I give you only light burdens.” Living Bible
Why? Because He loves us so very much. My mom had a little crocheted picture of Jesus looking down His arm at me as He hung on the cross. The message under it read, “I asked Jesus how much He loved me. He said, ‘I love you this much…’ and he stretched out His arms–and died.” He died for us; can’t we live for Him? (2 Corinthians 5:14-15).
Abba, thank You for loving me. Thank You for being so patient with me. Thank You for helping me with the offensive ways in my life. I want to be just like You, Jesus. I know I will be when I get to Glory; in the meantime, give me patience with myself as I strive to live righteously. Today, I worship with my brothers and sisters. Inhabit the praises of Your people, O Lord. Amen.
*18 When he takes the throne of his kingdom, he is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law, taken from that of the Levitical priests. 19 It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the Lord his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees 20 and not consider himself better than his fellow Israelites and turn from the law to the right or to the left. Then he and his descendants will reign a long time over his kingdom in Israel. Deuteronomy 17:18