Psalm 26:2 (NKJV) Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; try my mind and my heart.
When I gave my heart to Jesus completely, finally surrendering ALL of my life and not just the parts I was comfortable with, it entailed a different kind of worship than that of my family. My husband and I were attending a full-gospel church. For the first time in my life, it all made sense. The Word of God and the Spirit of Truth finally made up my mind. I wanted all of God. I engaged in a full pursuit to know Jesus – spirit, mind, heart, soul, and body. Every facet of me in agreement to live for the Lord…finally. Although my family was glad to see me finally settle down and surrender my life, they were concerned with my choice of doctrine. Raised Southern Baptist, they were cautious about my choice to become charismatic or Pentecostal. I was hurt. I was disappointed as the newfound zeal and enthusiasm for Jesus seemed to be somehow discounted or discredited. I knew the transformation I was experiencing but could not seem to express it to those whose opinions mattered most. After months of radical change in our life, but continued questioning all I could ask was that they examine my fruit, the productivity of my life and decide if it truly was of the Lord.
There are honeymoon periods in life when something is new and exciting. Obviously a marriage is followed by a honeymoon which can last a few days or even a few years for some. This is followed by the reality of commitment. Love is not the fuzzy feeling or enveloping emotion at the first sight of someone or deepening intimacy. It is the commitment that after initial passion cools or appearances fade who can continue in covenant when the getting becomes giving. Love is an extension of us. It connects us with the outpouring of self to accept another and give them our all. Anything less is not love. Every new thing in life comes with anticipation and excitement but as we engage in the operation of life called obedience – it is remaining faithful and true to all that is promised which challenges the wavering heart and indecisive mind. Any oath taken, promise made or commitment agreement is laborious. It is contrary to human nature. It will require patience, endurance and perseverance. This is when we no longer can rely on the five senses or emotions to get us through but must examine our heart and mind to prove our commitment.
We must examine ourselves. We must invite and allow the Holy Spirit to assist us as we do. Other people are not the most credible source for evaluation of self. No person is above sin or has achieved perfection. Only Jesus can give us clear insight of what needs to happen to take one more step in the journey to eternity. Only I know the real and raw contents of my heart and mind including every doubt, fear, hurt, disappointment, bitterness, strife, malice, anger, sin and more that keeps me from moving deeper into the Presence of God whether I will admit it or not. This partnership with Christ must be one that is examined daily for reality, credibility and true or our life as a Christian is nothing more than a farce. A self-established title for this life without any benefit beyond our natural life.
2 Corinthians 13:4-6 (NKJV)
For though He was crucified in weakness, yet He lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God toward you. Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified. But I trust that you will know that we are not disqualified.
Examine yourselves as to whether you in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you? How do you respond to the testing and challenging of your faith? Are you the only one who knows that you are a Christian? Are you sure that Christ lives in you? Are you experiencing manifestations and demonstrations of God’s Power in natural life? All of these are valid points of faith in full operation. We cannot live as a life of godly authenticity and not experience God’s Power in our life. Obedience and faithfulness beginning in our heart and mind in agreement with Christ will yield supernatural results whether invited, welcomed or acknowledged or not. We are weak in the natural but the Strength and Power of God is ours in our weak inabilities. When we decide to live a life committed to the Lord, His Power is released in us and through us.
Faith is not blind though we cannot see what we can believe. It is the knowledge of God exalted in our life as we live by what is unseen rather than relying on what we do see. Successful Christianity is not dependent on what another person pours in our life, but what we receive from the Lord directly. It is not our pastor or Sunday school teacher’s responsibility to grow, develop and mature us but rather equip us. It is what we do with the knowledge give that determines if we will live in God’s Power or remain in human weakness. We must test ourselves. Our faith must be genuine. It is personal. It is intimate. No one can make our faith stronger or determine it validity but us. We must examine our life daily.
I Corinthians 2:10-12 (NKJV)
But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.
You know your heart. You know your mind. You know what you believe. Now whether or not one is willing to admit the longings, thoughts and truth behind these entities is up to the person. Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit to partner with us in the soulful and heartfelt development of our faith and commitment to Him. He is our deepest confidant and closest companion until our Savior and Lord returns for us. He comforts us and convicts us to fully commit our heart and mind to Jesus. He searches us and offers us knowledge and understanding to use as wisdom in our life. But no one can examine ourselves but us. People at the leading of the Holy Spirit may confirm in us something that the Holy Spirit has expressed but God is our confidant and will never tell them something outside of what He has already been whispering to us. Our relationship is intimate and personal.
Many couples who have problematic relationships will give a hundred and one excuses as to who is to blame and why the partnership is failing. It can be finances, careers, family, kids, responsibilities, unmet expectations and the list goes on and on. When our life and ALL our expectations are firmly rooted and established by our faith in God’s Love for us, we can live our lives without need, want or expectation in anyone or anything else. The bottom line in any relationship is our commitment to one another. Love covers a multitude of sins. Our natural spouses, partners, family, friends and coworkers are all imperfect. They all have their own needs, wants and desires driving them. They have weaknesses just like us. Our life and happiness is not dependent on any other human being. Our true confidence, joy and peace is found only in Jesus.
I Corinthians 11:27-32 (NKJV)
Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood[ of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.
What is communion? It is not the symbolic gesture in a church service when we sip on grape juice (or in some cases wine) and break a tiny wafer that tastes like paper. This is strictly symbolic of our relationship with Jesus Christ that should be our lifestyle. Religiously this act means nothing without a heart committed to Jesus. The Word of God is the Bread of Life. His Spirit is the Living Water rushing in us. When we eat or drink in an unworthy manner it is judgment. Stop. Process and repeat. When we eat (the Bread of Life) and drink (in His Spirit) without a true desire and longing from our mind and heart to live in complete commitment to Jesus Christ it is worthless and unfruitful act of self not surrender.
Communion is association and fellowship with Jesus. It is to share our thoughts, emotions and intimate communication with the Lord. We sharing and hold everything in life in common and participate in life together. Communion is our daily life engaged with our Savior withholding nothing. It is this kind of life that opens the windows of Heaven in our life. Our life will become a demonstration and manifestation of the Power of God when our heart and mind agree with Christ choosing to live in an intimate partnership of love, trust and commitment. It is then and only then that we will be able to examine our heart and mind to find real faith and confident hope.
Revelation 3:19-21 (NKJV)
As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
Jesus is standing and knocking on our hearts today. He can only walk as far as our faith allows. As we examine our heart to repent, we allow the Lord to come in closer to us. By seeking Him each day through His Word and Spirit, the building process continues as He moves closer and closer in our life. One day, it will be like Enoch and we will find ourselves living in the Presence of God. This doesn’t necessarily have to be when we meet Him face-to-face but by daily communing with Jesus. Asking Him into our heart requires a pure heart and made up mind that nothing less than the sweetest intimacy will do. Forsaking all others, Lord I want you!
If the honeymoon is over and reality setting in, maybe you don’t feel the same warm fuzzies as when you first fell in love with Jesus. This is a natural human reaction when the excitement of first love wanes and the rubber hits the road. Faith is born of commitment. It is the genuine and real part of love. It leads to a road less traveled that is quite narrow. It can be a lonely place at first as we begin to leave people behind or they leave us, but then we can focus on the One who loved us first, loves us the most, and always loves us the best! He is knocking today. Will you answer?
I John 4:18-19 (NKJV)
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us.