Forgive my hidden faults. Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression.Psalm 19:12b-13
Forgive my hidden faults. Is that your prayer? Do you know what will happen when you pray that way? You might think that God will take a sponge and wipe around inside you so you will not even know what those hidden faults were. But God does not do that. His way of dealing with hidden faults is either to send somebody to point them out to you or to bring them out through some circumstance in which you are suddenly confronted with what you have done or said and you find that it is ugly and you do not like it. That is the way God cleanses us from hidden faults. He opens up the secret places.
Usually he does it through other people because, as God well knows, we cannot see ourselves, but other people can see us. These faults are hidden to us but not to others. They see them very plainly. And we can see their hidden faults better than they can. You know that you can see the faults of somebody you are thinking about right now better than that person can. You say,
I don't see how that person can be so blind. Someone is thinking that very same way about you. That is why it is always proper to say,
Lord, cleanse me from hidden faults. Help me to see myself through the eyes of a friend who loves me enough to tell me the truth.
Keep me from willful sins. Willful sins are those in which you are confident that you have what it takes to do what God wants. Self-confidence is presumption. God never asks us to do anything on that basis. If we depend upon ourselves, we are acting presumptuously, and any activity that stems from self-confidence is a presumptuous sin.
Whatsoever is not of faith is sin. For me to act as though there is anything that I can contribute is to be guilty of this kind of sin. The cure for this is dependence upon the activity of God in you as a believer. So David is praying,
Lord, let me realize that without You I can do nothing. Help me to depend upon You to work through me. Then I will be blameless and innocent of great transgression.
Lord You speak to me through the world You have made and the Word You have spoken. Give me a teachable heart.
What are two crucial areas for our lives that need exposure? Are we open to praying about them and to allowing God to answer our prayers in His way?