When Is the Last Time You Checked?
It was a sad and sordid discovery in an otherwise serene neighborhood park. A mother was found pushing her already-dead three-year-old child in a swing. She had been doing so for “an unusual amount of time.”
Once discovered, loving people quickly stepped in to assist her. But it was too late. It quickly became obvious the mother was not in a healthy condition herself.
As I tried to digest this tragic occurrence in the physical realm, I couldn’t help but think of how often I am not fully aware of my own needs in the spiritual realm. Yet I keep right on pushing ahead as if nothing is seriously wrong.
When I don’t take time to identify my spiritual needs, I become blind to reality. So the daily routine of going through the motions can easily continue, even at length, while things are sorely amiss. Typically, the results are deadly, to my own vitality and to people around me.
When is the last time you conducted an examination of your spiritual life? Honestly, most of us hate getting a physical examination. It takes time. It’s intrusive. And it could reveal that something is not right. There is only one reason we do it: We know we should.
Because we are stewards of God’s creation, we care about fulfilling God’s purposes, and we care about how our physical health impacts others, especially our loved ones. So we gather up courage, invest the necessary time, and spend good money to be thoroughly searched. And I mean thoroughly. My doctor literally asks me fifty questions before the physical portion of the exam even begins!
But he doesn’t stop with diagnosis. He sets up another appointment to talk about solutions. He reminds me that it’s not enough to identify areas of need. We must work to make corrections. That tells me he cares.
Fitness organizations are predicated on the idea that members first identify their need and then submit themselves to coaches and regimens that push them toward measurable change. In a sense, Life Action is based on the same dynamic.
Our in-church conferences are designed to help people take a Complete Spiritual of their souls. This often involves a series of about fifty questions designed to identify spiritual needs. This follows the biblical pattern of Psalm 139: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you” (vv. 23-24 nlt).
After this examination, our teachers walk through practical principles of life transformation—biblical solutions related to the diagnosis. A bitter heart? Here’s how to forgive. A stingy heart? Here’s how to grow in generosity. A me-first marriage? Here’s how to love your spouse as Jesus loves you. A prayerless faith? Here’s how . . .
When is the last time you evaluated your spiritual life, or allowed the Holy Spirit to take the temperature of your soul? Where are you with God right now? What will it take to move in His direction?
Humility is always the FIRST STEP toward any substantive spiritual change—the first step on the road to revival.
Humility gives us a right view of God and of ourselves.
Once we begin thinking and acting in humility before God, we’ll be ready to look into other key areas of spiritual vitality.
Once we are willing to admit our needs, we can more honestly understand our hearts and even hear the solutions God’s Word offers.
Humility gives us a right view of God and of ourselves. It bends stiff knees and softens hard hearts.
So let me ask you: Are you ready for a spiritual examination? A checklist to determine if you are living in pride or in humility? A heart checkup? Will you let your heavenly Doctor take a look?