Examine the Heart

July 1st, 2018

July 1st, 2018

Next Steps


Psalm 26:2 (LESSON 5) July 1st, 2018

“Test me, O LORD, and try me, examine my heart and mind.”

Psalm 26:2 NIV

OPENING (PICK ONE OR MORE): When was the last time you asked the LORD for an examination of your thoughts, feelings and behaviors?  What did you learn about yourself and your relationship with the LORD?

TEXT: Read Psalm 26 in your favorite translations. IF TIME PERMITS: read Psalm 139:23-24.

1.          How would you describe David’s prayer in Psalm 26?  What questions do you have regarding this Psalm?  Why do you think David prayed for the Lord to examine his heart and mind?  David was confident he would pass the test of examination; how confident would you be if you were tested?    

2.          HEART AND MIND: Heart and mind was a figure of speech for thoughts, motives and actions. What types of thoughts might conflict with the way of the Lord? When it comes to motives, how can we be sure our motives are pure and honorable? What types of actions did David believe would cause harm to his relationship with the Lord and his reputation towards others? 

3.          VINDICATE ME. What do you think David was accused of before he prayed this prayer request? Why do you think David wanted to be vindicated by the Lord? What does the word “vindicate” mean to you? Why does the Lord judge his people (Psalm 35:24; 43:1)? Practically speaking how does the Lord vindicate us today as believers (see also Jeremiah 11:20 and 12:3)?   

4.          EXAMINE. Why does the word “examine” appear to be translated and expressed in wide variety of ways (prove, search, test, try, know)?  What exactly do you think David wants the Lord to do?  Does David appear to feel confident or afraid about the process?  How about you, how would you feel?   Which examination would be the most helpful to you today a) examination of thoughts b) examination of motives or c) examination of behaviors?   


5.          DIG DEEPER: Read Psalm 139:23-24. David wasn’t just open to the Lord’s evaluation, he invited the Lord to search and know his HEART.  What areas of your life have you invited the Lord into: your past; your present; your future; your hopes; your dreams; your motives; your shame; your fears; your anxieties; your marriage; your sexuality; your passions; or your reputation? What is your strategic next move in making sure that thoughts, motives and actions are true?  

6.          OPPONENTS: In this psalm David faced opposition. He faced it from deceitful men; pretenders; evil doers; wicked individuals; sinners; men of bloodshed; wicked schemers and lastly though who offered bribes. Where does your opposition come from in trying to live a life of integrity? What steps did David take and what steps do you need to take to experience spiritual victory and health? 

NEXT STEP:  Read Psalm 26 and 139 this next week. Spend time in prayer, reflection and journaling. Ask the Lord to examine and evaluate your mind and your heart. Find a spiritual partner and do this together.