The Explorer

I am comfortable in most chairs . . . just not the dentist chair. Don't get me wrong, our dentist is exceptionally proficient. She is also a long-time family friend. I just get a little nervous when I have to sit in that chair.

I guess when it gets right down to it, it isn't the dentist's chair. It is the dentist's weapon – I mean tool! Dentists call it “the explorer.” When I was a kid, I thought of it as an instrument of torture. “Open wide,” my childhood dentist would say. Then it seemed he dug into every nook and cranny of my chompers. I used to think that if he could not find a cavity, he would make one.

The explorer is a real pain, but in the long run it saves me the grief of a lost tooth, an expensive crown, or the nagging ache caused by tooth decay. Submitting to the explorer may be painful, but it is oh-so-necessary.

I think David would agree. In Psalm 139, he pays a visit to God's office, sits back, and let's the Holy Explorer peer into every nook and cranny of his soul. Listen to his prayer:

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. (Psalm 139:23-24 NLT)

What is David saying? “God, do a little exploration of my soul!"

I’ll be honest, praying that prayer is like inviting the dentist, explorer in hand, to go digging around for cavities. God may reveal a critical spirit, a rebellious attitude, a harm I have caused, a person I have wronged, or some other sin I need to confess. That can sting, but it is oh-so-necessary.  Regularly opening up my heart to God’s careful look will guarantee that I keep short accounts with him and with others. In the end, it will keep the decay of sin from putting big cavities in my soul.

STAY FOCUSED TODAY: Why not pause right now and pray David’s prayer. Then be still and listen for that quiet leading of the Holy Spirit. If God makes you aware of some decay, take action immediately.