Psalm 139:23-24 TPT
God, I invite your searching gaze into my heart.
Examine me through and through;
find out everything that may be hidden within me.
Put me to the test and sift through all my anxious cares.
See if there is any path of pain I’m walking on,
and lead me back to your glorious, everlasting ways—
the path that brings me back to you.
The verb “sift” is a word I rarely hear used, anymore. If something is sifted it is put through a sieve to remove particles that do not belong. Sifting is a very important word when we think about the work of the Spirit and our souls—minds, wills, and emotions. As believers, who belong to God, we are to invite the Lord to “sift” through our souls. That means we accept the spiritual reality that we do not know ourselves the way God knows us, so we trust him to take the things out of our souls that do not belong; not aligned with his character. Therefore, we ask God to examine thoroughly and “sift” or another word would be “isolate” within us that which is fruitful and useful for the Kingdom from that which is not and in time will cause us pain. When God sifts our souls he is loving us and helping us respond more like Jesus who completely trusted and followed the will of the Father. God wants to sift the fear out of our souls and deal with it, because perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18).
Prayer: Lord, I invite you to sift through my soul and remove anything that is hidden or hindering my growth in righteousness as I participate in the work of your Kingdom on earth. I want to remain on the righteous path with you, so fear that seeks to diminish your authority over my life has to go. In Jesus’ name. Amen.