Spiritual Life Physical Examination
Thank God! Through the touching of the Holy Spirit and the testimonies of our members, the church has recently seen the addition of several new friends who have proclaimed their faith. The writer is thankful for this, because I see the Lord not just at work during the construction of the hall, but continuing to display His handiwork through our testimonies. Therefore everyone should ardently seek the Way of Truth, and not take the Lord¡¦s grace unresponsively.
For health reasons, we submit to annual physical examinations. The writer hopes that for the health of our spiritual lives, we would conduct regular spiritual self-examinations as well. The following are ten questions pertinent to a ¡§Spiritual Life Physical Examination¡¨ that I hope will guide everyone in their own honest reflection:
1. Are you more intolerant of sin? When we become believers, the indwelling Holy Spirit and human conscience will make us more sensitive to transgressions. We won¡¦t sin at will, and if we occasionally fail and commit a sin, the Holy Spirit will compel us to be remorseful for that iniquity and confess to God (1 John 1:9). A person who knows the Lord more will surely be a person who hates sin more (Psalm 97:10).
2. Are you more controlled by the Holy Spirit? In our faith we live by the Holy Spirit, and keep in step with the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:25). A person who is healthy in spiritual life will not live in accordance with personal desires or the traditions of the world, but act by the will of the Holy Spirit. If we let the Holy Spirit control our lives, we attain peace (Romans 8:6) and prominently display the special qualities of the children of God (Romans 8:14).
3. Are you more sensitive to the presence of God? God will be with those who truly believe in Jesus Christ, and there is no need to expressly ask to be with Him (2 John 1:2-3). We can petition God to make us more sensitive to His will and to the work of the Holy Spirit. The more mature our spiritual lives are, the more strongly will be our sense of the Lord¡¦s presence.
4. Are you more desirous of God? We believe in the Lord and follow Jesus Christ because we are attracted by God¡¦s great love. We love, because God first loved us (1 John 4:19). If we earnestly revere God, we will gladly spend time on Bible-reading, praying, listening to sermons and engaging the Truth in order to know Him. Do we continually long each day to see the face of God (Psalm 63:1)?
5. Are you more willing to accept and forgive? The goal of life of a Christian is to be alive in Christ (Philippians 1:21). The characteristic of the life of Christ is His acceptance and forgiveness of those who trespassed against Him. Are we more willing each day to accept others based upon the foundation of the Truth, and to promptly forgive those who have wronged us?
6. Are you more cognizant of the needs of the church and others? The free expression of a spiritual life is concern for the exigencies of members and others, including their needs in the three facets of spirit, soul and body. If we carry the burdens of others, we fulfill the law of Christ, and implement the command of love (Galatians 6:2).
7. Do you crave more fellowship with the members? When Christians live in the light of God, they prefer fellowship with the children of God (1 John 1:7). The intent of the Lord for the church is the growth and maturity of the complete entity. We do not just focus on individual pursuit, but emphasize the building up of each other as well (Ephesians 4:16).
8. Do you enjoy more of the joy and peace found in the Lord? We know that the possession of material wealth does not mean enjoyment of true peace and joy. If we are always in Christ, live by the Holy Spirit, and obey the word of God, the joy of the Lord will suffuse us.
9. Are you more willing to demonstrate your standing as a Christian and pleased to testify for the Lord? The more we experience the bountiful grace of God, the more pleased we are to testify for Him. Having been a believer for many years, has our fervor to testify for God diminished?
10. Are you more envious of the Heavenly Home and concerned for eternal matters? The perspective of life and values of a Christian are based upon the hope of an eternal life. (Titus 2:13) Those who truly know God will set their hearts on and seek everlasting things (Colossians 3:1-2).
¡§Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity.¡¨ (Hebrews 6:1)
By: Daniel To