Life has a way of testing us, tying us up in knots and challenging our faith. We come up against countless battles in our everyday lives. Words are hurled in our direction like fiery darts; circumstances occur that take our breath away and cause us to question our beliefs. When insults and accusations are spewed at us, we want to strike back, we want to retaliate with like insults and say what’s burning on our tongues in that moment. It’s only through our faith and the Holy Spirit within us that can prevent us from reacting in this way. We need to ask ourselves in those tough moments, “What would Jesus say or do?”, “What would I do if Jesus were physically standing next to me right now?” Sometimes these thoughts can change our perspective or cause us to question our responses or motives. Typically it’s not the situation that changes; it’s a change that occurs within us. The Lord brings about these changes by transforming and stretching us. He knows the areas in us that need pruning and shaping.
We go the doctors when we are sick or just need an overall physical. Maybe we need to assess our spiritual lives to see if we need changes or growth in certain areas? I think we tend to follow along in our old patterns and habits, immune to the idea that they may no longer be healthy. Oftentimes these old behaviors harm us more than help us. We all get stuck in our familiar ways of handling conflict or facing overwhelming circumstances. Maybe we need to take a step back and look through the Lord’s lens and see if we are following through in faith and in His will?
Sometimes we truly need a spiritual overhaul, getting in there with our bare hands and analyzing our inner workings, weeding out the sources of how we handle things. I think our perspectives can be inaccurate; they get skewed by our past experiences and emotions. We get all tangled up in the past, present, and future, lost in the why’s, how’s, and where’s.
There’s a saying that if we continue to tackle things in the same way, we are most likely going to get the same result. That can be good and bad. If we approach our life issues in a faith-based manner, armed with Gods word, this can only bring good results. If we face circumstances reacting and responding out of old habits, operating from past hurts, the results tend to follow accordingly. Is it time for a spiritual check-up?
When we respond with what’s comfortable or familiar for us it can work against us.What worked in the past may not necessarily be what’s appropriate in the moment or in our current circumstance. Sometimes we have to step out of our own way and just let God take over and do what He does best. Actually, this is true ALL of the time. His ways are ALWAYS better than ours. We all live in a fallen world and still have to face everyday life. We are human, we will sin, and we will fail. Yet the Lord loves and forgives us anyway, despite and because of our shortcomings.
So how do we know we need to implement a spiritual checkup? I’m no authority but I feel my life has given me numerous occasions to test this theory. When I keep getting the same negative results from the same type of problems that is a warning sign. When I am being attacked and it becomes escalated by what is coming from my mouth that is a warning sign. If I’m walking away from conflict feeling worse than how it began or my joy and peace are being robbed from me, these are also signs. When I feel hopeless, lost, alone and overwhelmed by life, this tells me I am needing help. Like the comedian Bill Engvall says, “Here’s your sign!”
As far as how often we should implement spiritual checkups in our lives, I don’t think we can do them enough! We all live in a world filled with pain, dysfunction, inconsistencies, doubts, fear, anger, and daily challenges. That being said, we can encounter numerous occasions in one day that can bring us to our knees. And that is right where we need to be! On. Our. Knees. Looking up to Jesus. Calling out His Name. Asking for His guidance. His forgiveness. His wisdom. His will. Crying out to Our Father, Abba, please help me! He will never turn His back on us, no matter what!
He will never forsake us!
And then there is the really tough part for us all, being patient (because of the quick fix world we live in). Waiting. And waiting some more. Waiting until our knees are trembling beneath us from the wait upon our knees. This is not because the Lord wants to torture us or cause us further distress. NO! It’s because it’s all about HIS timing, not ours. Some things are answered spontaneously, some happen quicker than we expect, and others cause us to grow weary in the wait. We need to dig in and remain steadfast just as Jesus did. Steadfast. According to Merriam-Webster dictionary steadfast means; (a) constant, staunch, resolute, firm adherence to whatever one owes allegiance; a steady and unwavering course in love, allegiance or conviction. Steadfast literally means fixed in a place! Steadfast in one’s faith! That’s where we need to be. Steadfast, on our knees, looking up to Jesus.
He is the promise. He is the answer. He is the way. He is our go-to source.
If you are feeling stuck, if you are overwhelmed by life situations, or you are getting the same results over and over again, maybe it’s time to give yourself a spiritual checkup.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Am I depending on God’s strength or my own?
- Am I being obedient and following according to His will or my own?
- Am I getting the same result, over and over, with life issues?
- Am I trusting the Lord to intervene on my behalf?
- Am I responding as Jesus would?
- Am I speaking out His truths or the words that I think best fit the situation?
- Am I waiting for His answer, no matter how long it may take? And in the wait, do I trust Him to follow through?
- Am I holding my tongue? Am I aware of the words that come out of my mouth? Do I need to put a guard over my tongue at times?
- Am I stuck in old patterns from past hurts? Am I feeling bitter and resentful? Is there someone I need to forgive? Seek the Lord for help in forgiving others.
- Do I need to do some soul searching to weed out behaviors and/or reactions to circumstances in my life? Am I implementing old patterns to current situations?
Here are some things to consider and reflect upon:
- If Jesus were physically standing next to you would you still respond or react as you did in a particular situation?
- Do you believe that no matter what, the Lord will never forsake you and loves you unconditionally, for eternity? The Lord does not condemn us.
- Do you need to spend time with your Heavenly Father and just release all your pent up emotions, cares, concerns, and pains? He is there waiting with open, loving arms.
- Do you need to arm yourself with Biblical scripture, adding to your spiritual arsenal of weapons against the attacks you face? The answers all lie within the pages of the Bible.
- Do you need to get on your knees and wait, trusting, full of hope, that in His perfect timing He WILL make any wrongs right? Do you believe that He loves you so much that He’ll protect you from any harm that comes to you? He does and He will.
If you have answered yes to any of above questions then we have established a few things:
1)You are completely normal and human!
2) You are not alone! We all have the same struggles!
3) You have a God that loves you unconditionally, more than anyone on this earth possibly can!
4) You don’t need to lose hope because the Lord is waiting with open arms for you to run into them seeking His shelter and comfort!
5) We are forgiven. We have all sinned. We have all fallen short of His glory. And that’s why He loves us so!
6) If there are things you need forgiveness for, confess them and you WILL be forgiven. You never need to think about them again. IT. IS. FINISHED! Jesus took all the past, present, and future sins upon the cross FOR US!
We all need spiritual checkups. We live in a fallen world. We are faced with tragedy, confusion, loss, fears, and unimaginable pain. The Lord is NOT the cause, He is the answer! He is the healing balm to our wounds! He makes the impossible possible! He is a God of miracles!
I pray these words have given you some spiritual food for thought. Nothing else in our lives is more important than the state of our souls. If you’re in need I pray that you create the time to search your soul and seek your Heavenly Father. I pray that old behaviors are transformed and you develop a new way of living, imitating Jesus, at peace and full of joy. I pray that you walk each day, knowing that He’s walking right alongside you. You’re never alone! Rest and trust in His love, grace, peace, hope, and forgiveness!
I would like to pray for us;
Dear Heavenly Father,
We thank You. We praise Your Mighty Name. We have sinned and fallen short of Your glory, yet as we speak this, we are forgiven. We don’t deserve the love you unconditionally and eternally pour out on us; You love us because of it. We are facing evil, anguish, fears, anger, doubts, and chaos upon this fallen world. Yet we never need to feel alone in any of this Father, because You promised that You would never forsake us. We are never alone. We thank You for not condemning us for our times of mistrust, doubt, fear, and worry. We thank You for being patient while we run off and try to accomplish that which only You can accomplish. We thank You for being our strength when we are depleted and worn out. You are our strength and without You, we have none. We thank You for answers to our prayers and the hope that You provide us with each and every day. We honor and glorify You Dear Lord. Let our actions, reactions, responses, words, thoughts, and our souls magnify You and Your truths! We love you, Lord. We praise and thank You with unending gratitude. We pray this in Your Holy Name. Amen.
James 1:5 (ESV) If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given to him.
Hebrews 11:1 (ESV) Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
Ephesians 2:8 (KJV) For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God:
- a) Resource: http://www.merriam-webster.com
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