Don’t we often behave as if God doesn’t know what we’re doing, hear what we’re saying, know what we’re thinking? We go right along in our lives sinning away thinking that God isn’t paying attention. We think we’re going to get away with something with God because the guy who lives next door or the spouse who sleeps next to you doesn’t know about it. Yet the psalmist here tells us that God has searched us and known us—and that means in every single moment of our lives, from conception to death.
God knows us more intimately than we know ourselves. And that means we who are His chosen people must examine ourselves and repent of our sins before Him. Christ has paid the price for our sins, He has borne our punishment, He has done all that is necessary for our salvation, but I’m not talking about salvation, I’m talking about being in a right relationship with God during this life. Sin separates us from God even when we are saved. It puts a barrier up between Him and us that keeps us from fully enjoying the grace He shows to us. Repentance is about restoring a proper relationship with God after we have come to faith in Christ and believed in His atoning work.
I suspect most of us have had difficulties with relationships in our lives. We want to have a close relationship with someone, but there is always something that stands in the way. Quite often that something has to do with a refusal to address differences and what seems an inability on someone’s part to repent of that feeling. Central to all sin is the ego of man. We want to be first and best, or at least we want people to think we are first and best. It’s hard to go to someone and admit that you’re a failure or that you’ve not been the person that you should have been. That failure builds walls that separate and isolate us.
Surprisingly, we often have exactly the same problem in our relationship with God as we do in our relationships with other people. We don’t like admitting we are what we are—failures. Certainly we make a confession in all of our worship services, but even then we can hold back a bit, we can’t not bring all of our sins to mind, we can even hope God will be completely satisfied by that once a week statement. But that isn’t really true. God wants you to be honest with yourself about what you have done and to truly repent of that so that you can experience true freedom in your life.