Today’s passage says this: “I have considered my ways and have turned my steps to your statutes. I will hasten and not delay to obey your commands.”
My brother, my sister, have you ever been concerned about a health issue (for yourself or a loved one), looked up the symptoms on the Internet to try and diagnose the condition or visited a health professional to get a professional diagnosis? You see, even if you are perfectly healthy, it is recommended to have periodic check-ups with doctors and dentists to help you take care of your physical health. Now, the same applies to our faith and walk with Christ. Why? Because regular reflection on how we are performing spiritually in the light of the Word of God will help us see where our faith is and what steps we need to take to remedy any areas of weakness to become stronger spiritually.
The Bible shows us through many verses that God encourages us to look inward in order to identify areas of weakness so that we can address them. Now, the year 2017 is about to finish and many believers are angry, frustrated, discouraged, disoriented… My question is simple: why have you allowed the whole year to run without stopping a minute to self-examine yourself? Because God cannot make a mistake and His plans for you throughout this year were not plans for you to feel desperate but “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).
My friend, if you are in a situation that makes you feel lost at the moment, check yourself first as the Bible advises us: “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?” (2 Corinthians 13:5). You see, most of the time the believers think they know too much. Not understanding the things of God will make you miss the targets of God for your life. Maybe, it is time to be real with yourself: the targets of God for your life are in His Word and they are linked to His principles. If you don’t apply His principles with faith, it will be difficult for you to walk in faith.
Let’s look at some of these principles so that we can correct and address them if we missed them now in order to finish the year without missing our blessings or positioning to get all that the Lord has in store for us in 2017. The Bible tells us to seek God’s kingdom first and His righteousness (Matthew 6:25-34) and everything else shall be added to us. Have you succeeded in this target this year or have you missed it?
Let’s go into details with at least two targets that easily be corrected. The Bible says: “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near” (Hebrews 10:25). Is your attendance at work or school or outgoings 100% (except for when justified) while your attendance at church meeting is less? Check yourself and consider what Jesus who established the Church thinks about it.
Another target we can check is the principles of giving, because this is a real issue for many believers of Christ, yet they continuously ask God to give them. Have you given more towards worldly things, to your loved ones, to yourself (buying clothes, food, travelling, going out, etc…) while your balance of giving back to God through offerings and tithing is less than 10% of what you have earned throughout the year? Be honest with yourself, because the Lord does not joke and He is calling you a robber if you don’t apply His Word: “Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’ “In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse…” (Malachi 3:8-9). Sadly, many believers who pray for financial blessings and a breakthrough are those who have also been neglecting His principles of giving in faith. The Bible says: “You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive'” (Acts 20:35). Yes, for the widow of Zareptha to be blessed, she first had to give to the man of God (1 Kings 17:7-16); for Abraham to be blessed with a child despite God’s promise, He first gave to strangers, not knowing they were angels (Genesis 18:2-8); For Abraham to be blessed with material, He first gave a tenth of his gains to Melchizedek (Genesis 14:18).
My friend, when you don’t self-examine your faith in the living God, you are just like a young woman who fornicated (had sex out of marriage) and knowing that, she neglects the symptoms she feels in her womb until one day she finds out she is pregnant… so, when you self-examine yourself, remember that because of what Jesus did on the Cross we are no longer condemned and the only thing the Lord expects today is: “Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord.” (Lamentations 3:40). Stay blessed in Jesus’ name.
Bernārdö Mïnlö and 1 other