Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; Try my mind and my heart.
Let us search out and examine our ways, and turn back to the LORD.
There is a place for Scriptural self-examination in the Christian life. We read in 1Corinthians 11:28 “But let a man examine himself.” Self examination is not a focus on self. Self examination is not an unhealthy introspection, but an examination of the inward heart. A searching of the heart, guided by His Holy Spirit : a testing of the mind and the soul : a proving of our attitudes and motives : an examination of our ways and our walk – in case we stray from His chosen path. “Behold, You desire truth in the inward part and in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.” Psalm.51:6
Scriptural self examination starts with submission to the Spirit’s investigations. Consenting to His scrutiny of our innermost thoughts.. desiring His inspection of the hearts deepest secrets.. surrendering to His deep probings in the secluded recesses of our hidden mind – a willing submission to His piercing eyes.. to uncover lurking lusts of fleshly inclinations. It is yielding as He searches the heart to detect any wicked way or wrong attitudes. “Search me O Lord and know me. Discover any evil lurking in my heart.” Psalm 139:23
Scriptural self examination is conducted in His presence – a testing of the heart, presided over by the purer eyes of the Lord. An examination of the soul carried out in the light of His Word. It is a probing of the innermost secrets, examined through His eyes of ‘flaming fire – for we are reminded that we are to examine ourselves and explore our hearts. “For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.” 2Corinthians 11:31 And remember…. Scriptural self examination needs to embrace ALL areas of our lives – both outward and inward.
Our outward conduct, in the daily round needs to be tried and tested. Our walk, our ways and our words..all need to be examined. They should commend us to every mans’ conscience. Our actions, our attitudes and our behaviours need be righteous to others and pure in His sight. And our inward personal life also needs the very deepest scrutiny.. for God looks on the heart. Our thoughts, our re-actions, our emotions and our motives, all need be sanctified in His sight.
This thorough, radical and frequent dealing of God in our hidden places.. this Spirit-led introspection, is the secret of the holy life of many of His saints. No excuses for sins are permitted in the pure presence of the Lord. And while He graciously understands all extenuating circumstances.. we are to avoid pridefully exonerating ourselves. We must not even seek to justify our actions and our attitudes.
Let us allow the truth of God to deal with our whole spirit, soul and body, as day by day we replace ourselves under His microscopic gaze of grace. Such scriptural self-examination – will issue in godly repentance. Such self-searching will occasion a turning from every known transgression. This will not only result in avoiding outward sin which can mar our testimony, but will prevent us entertaining the inward sins, which so easily ensnares us:- lack of faith as well as jealousy, pride, bitterness, lust, un-forgiveness, fear….
Let us permit this scriptural self examination in our lives. Let us submit to His examination of the inward parts. Let us consent to Him exposing each secret sin. Let us seek an inner cleansing and sanctification. Let us draw near to Him with a true heart. “Let us walk in the light as He is in the light, so that we may have fellowship one with another, knowing that the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin.” 1John 1:7 – and so that He may be glorified in our bodies. “Search me, O God, and know my heart. Try me, and know my thoughts and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm.139:23-24
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