I thought I could just kick this little sickness with a few vitamins and a few of those immunity boost additives, but nope. I got hit with this flu again with a vengeance. So this past Monday I headed up to the doctor. Once there they took my temperature (just a little below normal…that’s telling!). They took my blood pressure (a little high…maybe cause I’m SICK!). Once with the doctor he poked and prodded and listened to my heart and breathing and asked me a bunch of questions. He was doing his best to determine what’s going on inside of me so he could prescribe the best course of action to get me back to being myself.
As the doctor was doing all of this I thought about our current spiritual growth campaign, “More Like Jesus” (I know, it’s weird for me to think about such things at the doctor’s office but according to my temperature, I’m a little off normal!?!). Anyway, I thought that the elements of this campaign are a little like be examined by a doctor. We have submitted ourselves to listening to sermons, participating in a small group, and interacting with the Lord during our daily devotions…all to learn and grow to be more like Jesus. What we are doing is what the Apostle Paul encourages in 2 Corinthians 13:5…
2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you– unless, of course, you fail the test?
The word ‘examine’ means to take the initiative to do some extensive testing, to learn the nature of our character, to submit ourselves to a thorough assessment so we can see how we are growing and being more like Jesus. To both celebrate good godly traits and notice areas of improvement. So, what has God shown you as you have been participating in this campaign or as you have been submitting yourselves to the instruction of God’s Word – The Bible?
You see, that’s the beauty of God’s Word
2 Timothy 3:16 – 4:1 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
But for us to really gain from exposure of God’s Word, we have to have an attitude we want to, the willingness to be open to learn, and the desire to grow. That’s why humility is such a key element of growth.
Trials and difficult times are also great times to examine ourselves. Someone once described these times as being ‘squeezed.’ That these tough situations put pressure on our character and tend to squeeze out what really is in there, exposing it so we know our strengths and weakness. That’s why James says this…
James 1:2-3 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.
The testing reveals both those strengths and weakness so we can do what is needed to keep strong and deal with where we need to be more like Jesus.
One way to negate the helpful revealing of any examining is to play the victim or blame game. You know, when we focus mainly on our crummy circumstances and how bad life is, or how tough things are for us, or how hard and difficult our issues are, and that all this is someone else’s fault. Sure, life is tough and some seem to face adversity a lot more than others, and yes, we need to and should talk out how we feel, but we must remember God is with us and He will do His work.
Philippians 1:6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
So continue to submit yourself to some good examinations and listen to the Holy Spirit as He prescribes the best course of action so you will be all God designed you to be.
So after the doctor was through checking me over he prescribed some meds, and it is working! I am getting better.
Seeking to Stay Healthy and Growing in the Lord with you,
P.S. We are nearing the end of our More Like Jesus campaign. If you missed any part of it, please check out our web site http://www.cypresschurch.net.