My Shut-in Examination
Posted on April 1, 2020 by Catey Stover in Freedom Fighters
“Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith.” 2 Corinthians 13:5 (NLT)
So, I get the news on a Saturday night that a co-worker has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. By the following Sunday morning, it has been highly recommended that I stay home for fourteen days to make sure that I’m not gonna show any symptoms…Oh Goodie! For those that know me, know that fourteen hours for me is too long to be shut-in. But even the job has done the shutdown thing, stores apparently are an insane place to be AND there are threats of being in a Marshall Law kinda shutdown from government officials. So, what’s a boy to do during all this uncertainty?
Well, there have been so many suggestions made by the social media guru’s, the folks on the zombie cable news networks and my wife (who has been eagerly awaiting such a time as this) that I eventually settled on getting some much needed Bible school homework done, however, my wife and I have made an arrangement (she thinks). It is during this that I’ve concluded that I need a spiritual examination.
So, as I have gone through much in the way of Scripture, I have also concluded that my spiritual condition is in worse shape than my physical condition. Being busy about the Lord’s business, I think, is a great spot to be in. Interacting with folks about God’s Word and His principles are stimulating but if you forget that every so often you need to give yourself a checkup, eventually you’re doing the Lord’s business in your own strength and ministering to others becomes a struggle.
The thing the exam brings me to is what am I actually desiring, are they the things of God or are they things that make me feel good about myself. If A.W. Tozer were my accountability partner I think he would take me through the following seven steps because, as he states, “True spirituality manifests itself in certain dominant desires.”
- First is the desire to be holy rather than happy.
- A man may be considered spiritual when he wants to see the honor of God advanced through his life even if it means that he himself must suffer temporary dishonor or loss.
- The spiritual man wants to carry his cross.
- Again, a Christian is spiritual when he sees everything from God’s viewpoint.
- Another desire of the spiritual man is to die right rather than to live wrong.
- The desire to see others advance at his expense.
- The spiritual man habitually makes eternity-judgments instead of time-judgments.
Now you can take a look at that list and conclude, like I did, that you deserve the quarantined situation you’ve been handed and you should stay outta the company of other Christians and the church building. It’s this “woe is me” approach that kinda blasts against God’s judgment and His grace for calling us and having us deal with difficult situations like the one we’re all in now. But it could go the other way and we tell ourselves we got these seven things down to a science. Hmm…check out what the apostle Paul says about that.
“Oh, don’t worry; we wouldn’t dare say that we are as wonderful as these other men who tell you how important they are! But they are only comparing themselves with each other, using themselves as the standard of measurement. How ignorant!” (2 Cor 10:12)
It’s so easy to look around in the chaos, right now, and really believe that self-justification is warranted and we are actually in a better position than those residents of Secularland, right? I mean, let’s face it, we’re God’s people and if we were to do our self-examinations by our codes, standards and theologies, we would come to conclusion that God’s got this and in our smugness we would sit back and watch it all burn to the ground. That may be a severe statement to make but I bet ya there’s a few of you out there where this has crossed your mind. After all, we live in a fallen world, we understand that this kinda stuff is coming.
To finish up today, any one of us who falls into one of these two categories is not exhibiting faith in God. We’re telling God that the example of Jesus Christ means little to us and that forgiveness is outta reach. Might as well whip our backs like Martin Luther did but I digress. Resurrection Sunday is on the horizon and our hope should rest on knowing that the payment for our sinful lives has been paid through Jesus Christ. That the grace of God that justifies and sanctifies us has happened through the shed blood of the Spotless Lamb. Now we can be about His business…Amen?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) has been married for 25+ years (Kathy), has a married son (Kevin) and a daughter in college (Karen). He has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Think About This: “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” — A. W. Tozer
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His [a]mercy endures forever. 2 Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy –Psalm 107:1-2
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the doctrinal and theological views held by America’s Keswick.