The Lord Jesus revealed in John 4 that God seeks worshippers who will worship Him in spirit and truth. Scripture states that God is Spirit; He is transcendent, invisible to the naked eye, majestic and beyond our understanding unless He reveals Himself to us mere mortals. Yet, in HIs goodness and love, He reveals Himself through the ‘book of creation’ (when we behold the wondrous creation) and through Scripture, and for those who respond in faith, they see His revelation clearer in His Son and through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. It is with this understanding, we see why faith is ‘defined’ as the “assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen’ (Hebrews 11:1). The promises of God are in the category of ‘things hoped for’ and seeing God and His work would be in the category of ‘things not seen’, for God is invisible and His work which He does and is doing is ‘hidden’ in many instances from our ‘vision’ and ‘awareness’. We see the ‘heroes of faith’ in Hebrews 11 as among those who did not receive what was promised in their lifetime but they were nonetheless men and women of faith (with the promise of God and hope still burning in their hearts); they persevered in faith even when they did not see God’s intervention in their persecutions and sufferings, and they continued to trust Him and obey Him even though God’s working was not seen in their lives at the point when they probably needed it most (as human beings who can only see, feel and touch), and yet no relief was forthcoming in certain instances.
As God is Spirit and we are to worship Him in spirit and in truth, we are to live by faith, and to be assured of His promises and faithfulness, and to be convicted of His undertaking and sovereignty, even in situations where we do not ‘see’ His working and intervention in trying circumstances and in difficult spiritual ‘struggles’ in our lives.
In this current pandemic, and when we have many ‘questions’ and ‘concerns’, it is even more important to acknowledge what God requires of us in our faith in Him. And what can truly contribute to this and what is very needful is to allow God (the divine doctor) to examine us and give us a daily and up to date spiritual checkup in our lives.
“Prove me, O Lord, and try me; test my heart and my mind” (Psalm 26:2)
“Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me and lead me in the way everlasting! (Psalm 139:23-24).
In this spiritual checkup, look to God to check the inner aspects of our lives. It is a time of worship, meditation, looking to Him in the Scripture, and receiving the illumination of His Word by His Spirit. True worship of God happens when we put Him first in our lives; when what God says matters more than what others say, and when loving God matters more than being loved. This is the posture we need to take as we come before the divine physician.
Ask the Lord to check our faith. Do we trust HIm as we should? Do we take note of His promises found in Scripture? Or are we overwhelmed by our feelings, fears and doubts about the future, the terrible circumstances, the difficult people and the uncertainties awaiting us?Feelings can come and go. But the Trinitarian God remains forever worthy and trustworthy! In the light of the beauty and loveliness of the triune God, everything else on the horizon takes its proper secondary place. Remember “Turn your eyes upon Jesus…and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace”.
Ask God to check our repentance; are there areas that are negative which we are still nurturing in our hearts? Have we turned away from the false steps in the past and will we allow the light of God to reveal the dark recesses that still lurk in the depths of our hearts?
Ask Him to check our love. Have self-love and unnatural pride been ruling in our lives? Are they keeping us from loving God and others? When God reveals to our conscience our self-absorption and self-centredness, our tendency to focus entirely on our own concerns and welfare, do we recognise that God is putting a finger on our lack of love for Him and for others?We need to remember that we love because He first loved us. Christ died for us even when we were yet sinners and enemies of God!
Request God to check up on our humility – of course humility cannot be fully detected by direct inspection, for trying to inspect our humility is itself a yielding to pride. However, the Lord can help us to concentrate on negating and mortifying various expressions and impressions of pride we are aware of in our inner being and to deal with them accordingly.
The check-up by God is a process whereby the Holy Spirit opens our hearts to what is true about us. It is opening ourselves to God within the safety of His love so that we can seek and experience transformation to be more like our Lord Jesus. Confession embraces Christ’s gift of forgiveness and restoration, setting us on the path to renewal and positive change.
As the Lord God searches our hearts, we need to check the tendency to rationalise, to excuse ourselves and to point the finger at someone else, at the circumstances, and even at God Himself who, we claim, did not help us to change our lives for the better. We need to look intently at ourselves with sober judgement, conscious of our own blind-spots and at the same time to have compassion towards others in their failures. As we sincerely seek God’s grace to change, the Lord is ever ready to do a deep work in our lives.
We can then proceed, from this check-up and examination, onto the path of good and wholesome spiritual health towards the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.