Summary: We must have a spiritual diagnostic check done frequently!
Search me, O God
"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." (Psa.139:23-24)
Just as David asked God to search him for any sin of omission or commission so we need to allow God to run a diagnostic check on our hearts and minds. When we allow the Lord to do a thorough examination of our motives, perspectives and shortcomings then we are able to grow up in all aspects in to Him who is the head, even Christ. (Paul Fritz)
Illustration: We all have blind spots in our life that unless dealt with can lead to breakdowns. A couple of weeks ago my “check engine” light came on in my car. I waited a few days and brought it in when I had the time. The mechanic told me that I was lucky and that it was only a minor repair, but if I had waited longer it could have been major. We need to frequently bring our lives into God’s garage and let Him examine our lives before something major happens. We often put off talking to God about our trespasses and they turn into major problems. If we don’t get a diagnostic check done on our lives regularly, we might beak down.
1. The Holy Spirit convicts us of trusting in anything other that Jesus Christ. There are so many that trust in good works, religion, self righteousness, money, and other idols. Jesus said to the Pharisees, "You hypocrites; as it is written: ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men. You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men." (Mark 7:6-8) Ask the Lord to help you remove any dependence on rules, regulations or traditions that hinder your walk with Jesus Christ.
Illustration: When we think of the worship of idols our thoughts automatically think of foreign lands, where shrines and images are worshipped and people bowing down to their gods of wood, brass, or stone. But we do not need to travel abroad to perceive idolatry. Whatever one puts in first place of his life is a his god, and it may be pleasure, money, appetite, fashion, ambition, or any one of many things. Some of us may readily discover our god by looking in the mirror.
2. The Holy Spirit exposes any reliance on culture as an excuse for yielding all our rights to God. When Jesus healed the blind man, the Pharisees asked him how he received his sight. Some of the Pharisees said, "This man (Jesus) is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath. But others asked, ‘How can a sinner do such miraculous signs? So they were divided." (John 9:16-17) Ask the Lord to help you be willing to put aside your cultural assumptions to allow the Lord to open your eyes for ALL He wants you to see, believe and accomplish in His name.
3. The Holy Spirit leads you to put aside the mask of power, position or pride in order to humble yourself under the mighty hand of God. Resist the temptation to use your power, position or pride to manipulate people for your own advantage. Peter wrote, "Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time." (I Pet. 5:6) Ask the Lord to help you put aside your dependence on your power, position or pride enabling you to humbly trust the Lord to promote you in the best ways.
4. The Holy Spirit chastens us when we try to hide behind the mask of super spirituality. Jesus said to the Pharisees, "You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight." (Luke 16:15) Ask the Lord to teach you how to be more responsive to the chastening of the Lord when you drift into a defensive Pharisaical spirituality.
5. The Holy Spirit refuses to give us a sense of satisfaction when we try to hide behind the mask of frenetic activity. Paul wrote about the Galatians, "If, while we seek to be justified in Christ, it becomes evident that we ourselves are sinners." (Gal. 2:17) Ask the Lord to find your satisfaction in obeying His will, instead of trying to impress people with your frantic activities.
6. The Holy Spirit takes away His blessings from those who try to hide behind the masks of intellectualism. Paul wrote, "Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments." (Col. 2:3-4) Ask the Lord to help you avoid pretentious intellectual fronts that attempt to cover up insecurities, weaknesses or secret sins.