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Broken Altar
by Dr. Michael Cochran 
11/11/11
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“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” Psalm 139: 23-24.

God said to the children of Israel, Deuteronomy 18:13, “You must be blameless before the Lord your God.” David was able to ask God to search his heart because he had purposed long before to obey this command when he said, “I will be careful to live a blameless life...” Psalm 101:2.

David was said to have a perfect heart toward God “all the days of his life.” Yet he failed the Lord often. His life was marked with adultery and murder. However, he had a perfect heart that was responsive to the whisperings and warnings and was quick to answer the call of the Lord. This kind of heart says at all times, “Speak, Lord, for your servant hears. Show me the path and I will walk in it.”

In these final days, sin has become complicated, subtle, sensuous, and more sophisticated and has taken on stronger, deeper roots disguising itself in various forms such as art, culture, and education. Our younger generation is being confronted with depths of sin that we never did or can even imagine. How can we help them when much of the Church is entangled in sin that is ongoing in their own lives, and don't even recognize it until they start paying the penalty for it. They live under the notion that they can sin indiscriminately and the Lord is obligated to forgive them. Wrong!

Multitudes of Christians today who hide secret sin do not want to be convicted or searched. They want a blood covering – but not a cleansing! Isaiah 29:15 says, “Woe to them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the Lord, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? And who knoweth us?”

Many believe because they went to the altar and, by faith, received the blood sacrifice for the forgiveness of their sins that now they can boldly go into the Holy of Holies and commune with God face to face without being washed by the water of the Word. Thus, pushing past the commitment of the holy place with sinful habits imbedded in their hearts boasting, “I am the righteousness of God in Christ.”

We constantly hear preaching that says “You don't need to be searched. All your sin is under the blood anyway! All this digging and searching out of sin brings only condemnation and guilt.” 1 John 1: 6-7 reads, “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.” We need to cry out like David, “Search me, O God!”

The Lord's searching is not vindictive but redemptive. His purpose is not to catch us in sin or condemn us – but rather to prepare us to come into His Holy presence as clean, pure vessels.

“Who shall stand in His holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart...he shall receive the blessing from the Lord.” Psalm 24: 3-5.

When we invite the Lord to search our hearts continuously like David. He will dig out and expose all that is unlike Christ. Whether it comes clothed in unforgiveness, or simply things in our hearts that are wrongly motivated. And, when we deal with them with the same sense of urgency admitting that we cannot live our lives without His strength. We will grow more sensitive to our weaknesses and answer His call to holiness.

1 Peter 1: 14-16 states, “So you must live as God's obedient children. Don't slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn't know any better then. But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.”










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