When you examine yourself, what are you looking for?
A healthy, New Testament, grace of God based, self-examination begins not so we can uncover and rectify wrongs with God and man, but so God can show us who we are. It’s not for penalty, it’s for revival—the Spirit’s favorite hobby with you.
There are many ways we think that God’s got something against us, and He wants to draw us into prayer so He can get His prosecution going. It’s not true. When you or I do something that’s not in keeping with our God-given nature, His first effort with us is not prosecution of the deed, but a renewal through what we think about who we are—our nature. In other words, “Who do you think you are?” rather than, “What have you done?”
Colossians 3:9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.
The Spirit renews us—Hooray!—by restoring to us our godly-natured self-image, which is the only one that’s accurate. He reminds us that Jesus’ cross and resurrection made us new, and that puts wrongs done in their proper light—they are foreign to us and harmful to relationships, making them much easier to confess and talk about. We might say, “That wasn’t like me. I’m sorry that happened.” Like shaking off leeches, we’re happy to be free of them because they’re not of us.
So if you’re going for some self-examination, have a really good look. Take your time. You won’t be alone and you’ll like what He shows you, which is God’s form of self-examination.
(This is a transcript of yesterday’s video, “God’s Form of Self-Examination,” and is for those who might rather read than watch. To see the video, go to: https://youtu.be/_wk5uk4xabo, or scroll down this blog page.)