My favorite genre of movies, TV, and literature has always been mysteries. I love the thrill of figuring out “whodunnit” and why they did it. I remember watching Perry Mason on our black and white TV after school when I was young. He was a defense attorney who always represented the person everyone else thought had committed the crime. The prosecutor, Hamilton Burger, and the chief detective, Lt. Tragg, were always convinced they had caught the right man/woman. Perry, however, always came through in the nick of time and proved the innocence of the client, much to the chagrin of the guilty one who buckled under the pressure of Perry’s cross examination. Since then I have loved many other shows and books because of the thrill of figuring it all out.
Spiritually, we need to be even more eager to figure out our own story. Because we live in a fallen world, we have all “dunnit” (Romans 3:23) — sinned — and we all have emotional scars from past hurts. Many of our injuries are the result of our own choices, but we all have layers of guilt and shame because of the actions of others as well. The question is this: Are we content to live our lives as if nothing is wrong, or are we willing to dig a little deeper so that we can be healed and forgiven?
In Psalm 139:23-24, David invited God to help him figure out what was lying beneath the surface in his heart and life. “Search me, O God and know my heart. Test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.”
It takes a lot of courage to open yourself up to God for this type of investigation. The Holy Spirit convicts us, of course, but I believe some of the really core — I’m too scared to look at it — issues in life require us to invite God in to clean us out. We need to issue a search warrant, if you will, and allow God to look in every room of our hearts and minds. This process sometimes takes time. Sometimes it is painful. The end result, though, is that we will end up living more joyful and victorious lives as we leave the enemy’s accusations behind and walk forward, enjoying the declaration of “innocent” because of the blood of Christ.
I invite you to let your defense attorney, Jesus Christ — our advocate — show you how to be released from jail and to live your life to the fullest extent as you give Him the glory for it all.