I am certain one of the very first things we learned to say in English was, ‘How are you?’
People will probably ask you this question A LOT! It’s a question that is really easy to respond to and most of the time, this question is a polite way to say hello without having to say anything about how we are really feeling.
But hey, how are you? How’s your spiritual health? How are you holding up? Giving one long look at your heart, can you allow God to search your heart and life?
Over time, we become too comfortable and complacent that we begin to assure ourselves that we are doing well when in reality, our spiritual lives have become stagnant and lifeless with every kind of unholy things welling up in our hearts and in our lives.
David was well aware of the need for a constant check-up when he prayed in Ps. 139:23-24: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the paths of everlasting life.” (NLT)
The decision to follow Christ places every one of us under intermittent check-ups! Just as in our physical bodies, it is safer to know if one is in a good place than continue in an unhealthy cycle of ignorance; the same is valid for our spiritual lives.
• Be Vulnerable. Vulnerability is a death process. By implication, it is painful and pain brings along with it some level of discomfort. In being vulnerable with the Lord, our failings and weaknesses will be laid bare before us. At this point, we have a choice to either accept the result of our examination or reject it. A humble heart will accept the results because this heart understands that the purpose of a searched heart is correction, healing, and growth (maturity) but a self-righteous heart will become puffed up and ultimately destroyed.
• Make Atonement. To atone is to repent, that is, to stop and recognise the right direction. When the Lord points us to things that must be done away with, there is no room for negotiations – it ain’t buying and selling, is it?
• Refocus. The dealings and examinations of the Lord should provide for us new perspectives about sustaining a healthy spiritual heart. For if we are vulnerable and repentant but come behind in sustenance, we would still be stagnant and unproductive. Therefore, there is the need to refocus: making the necessary adjustments where necessary.
In closing, there is no gainsaying that the state of our hearts determines the quality of our lives, and by extension, our walk with the Lord.
At the end of David’s life, when God would have His spiritual stethoscope upon David’s heart, He found the virtues (character traits) of humility, repentance, trust, and worship (Acts 13:22, 1 Chron. 29:28). May it be said of us at the end of our lives that we departed into glory leaving behind legacies of these four character traits and that among the honours given us will be the greatest honour of all, the honour for being a man and woman after God’s own heart.
When was the last time you went for a spiritual check-up?