Travellers wanting to fly must go through security check points. Electronic surveillance, sniffer dogs and body searches are designed to uncover explosive materials, illicit compounds and dangerous weapons. This is to ensure the safety of others as well as the individual.
The psalmist realised his need to be ‘explosives free’ in his journey through life. “Search me O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts” was his prayer. He wanted God to give him a security check. Why? The reason is quoted by Jeremiah: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? (17:9).
In September 2017 a city in Germany had a number of city blocks evacuated. Why? Because a world war bomb was unearthed on a construction site. It was defused. There are many spiritual bombs often long buried in a person’s heart which one day could explode. The Lord is the ‘Bomb’ unearth-er so as to defuse and destroy the destructive devices of the carnal nature. How sad it is to see lives, relationships, fellowships blown apart because a person has put up a sign to God ‘do not enter.’
Doctor or other health professionals are there to provide us with a report on our well-being, health and fitness. They also can recommend the treatments for any ailments causing us concerns. The psalmist in psalm 26:2 has asked the Lord to “Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.” There are times when we have to summon up our courage to seek a health check. We don’t want to know if there’ something amiss. This can apply to our relationship with God. Such an attitude is self-destructive. We can call Jesus the ‘Great Physician’ but steer clear of His surgery. Trouble with that is, one day we will stand before Him anyway but this time as our Judge.
Christ Jesus also has His health manual for us to do some self-examinations. The Bible is a book for spiritual, moral, mental and relational health and well-being. To disregard it is a sure recipe for unnecessary distress, broken relationships, loss of motivation for worship, witness and walking in truth and righteousness. 2 Corinthians 13:5 challenges us with ‘Examine yourselves, whether you are in the faith; prove your own selves.’ We can be in the ‘the faith’ yet not really enjoying it because of some ungodliness. We can also be a ‘virus’ infecting the life of someone in our family or circle of friends because of our mean spirit and flaying tongue. That is dangerous, especially when we worship the Lord and share in Communion. The account in 1 Corinthians 11:29-30 show the personal and corporate ill-health when a Christian is out of godly well-being. That is why we need to constantly obey 1 Corinthians 11:28 ‘Let a man examine himself. And so let him eat of that bread and drink of that cup.’
There is an increasing tendency for those seeking good health to have a personal trainer. That man or woman will put you through the various regimes to build you up and improve your life. The aim is only achieved as you push through the pain barriers, go beyond what you perceive as your limitations. Your coach is there for your fitness and you must rust him or her. This also applies to our relationship with our spiritual and moral personal trainer. The Holy Spirit has His regime for us to be able to walk the narrow way, stand strong against the forces of evil, and run the race set before us.
That involves kneeling before the Lord in worship, feeding upon His word, drinking of the Living Water, sharpening your relationships with faithfulness. Sometimes the personal trainer will take us through what is felt like ‘the trial of fire.’ Opposition to our faith, hurdles of hardship to jump, mountains of difficulties to climb and valleys of grief and confusion to negotiate. When you emerge from any or all of these you will realise that your personal trainer, the Holy Spirit, has been with you all the way. You may have felt alone but His promise is to be with you all the time, all the way. To use the analogy from Zechariah 13:9, “I will … refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, [you are] my people: and they shall say, the Lord is my God!”
“Lord search me! Examine me! Try me! And equip me to be your witness, to walk honourably, to worship you thankfully, to express your wisdom graciously and to express your winsomeness constantly. Amen”
Copyright Ray Hawkins 1 October 2017.