I do not like going to the doctor, and I cannot think of too many people who do. Think about it, when you’re at the doctor’s office you often get asked to do some pretty uncomfortable, embarrassing, and even painful things:
- “Strip down completely and put this robe on.”
- “Fill up this bottle.”
- And the worst of all, “Bend over and cough.”
Hey, nobody likes the sound of that! On the other hand, it’s no fun being sick. So, an occasional check-up or physical performed by a good doctor can help keep our bodies in shape. Now, knowing that doesn’t make the visit any more fun, but it does convince you of its value.
Today we are all going to have a check-up. Not of our physical bodies, but of our spiritual selves. Please, do not worry, I promise that you can keep your clothes on, as a matter of fact I insist on it. You will not have to fill any bottles with any bodily fluids, and there will be no bending over and coughing.
However, this check-up may still be a little uncomfortable. You may feel the pressure of some probing questions, and you may even feel the pain of some areas or subjects that you do not like to think about. While taking this physical, there are two things that you need to keep in mind.
- Honesty is important in this examination. The answers to these questions will be between you and God. You cannot fool Him, so don’t try. Be honest, no matter how painful that honesty might be.
- Remember, Jesus Christ is the Great Physician. The Bible says,
He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds. (Psalm 147:3)
Christ is not an uncaring, heartless, cold, impersonal Savior. On the contrary, He loves and cares for you like no other physician can or could. Isaiah 53:5 proves that.
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. (see also 1 Peter 2:24)
Christ isn’t out to harm you. He desires to heal you.
OK, let’s get started, and the place to begin is with your vitals.
I think we would all agree that having a pulse is fairly important. After all, if you don’t have a pulse, you’re dead. So, do you have a spiritual pulse? How do you check for one? The only way is to repent of your sins and trust in Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. If you have not done that, then you do not have a spiritual pulse, and if you have yet to trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior you are spiritually dead. There is a huge difference between a physical pulse and a spiritual one, namely the fact that you are born with a physical pulse. No one is born with a spiritual one. We are all born dead in our sins, and only faith in and on Jesus Christ, His death, burial, and resurrection, can give you a spiritual pulse.
Probing the Heart
Now that we have taken your pulse, let’s probe your heart. The Bible says in Proverbs 23:7 that “as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Your heart is also evidence of what you treasure most. Matthew 6:21, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Are you trying to become more like Christ in your thoughts and motives? Do the priorities of your life bring you closer to God, or do they drive you away from Him? Do you have a heart for God? If you do, then your heart will be:
- Fixed on God – “Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments. He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD. ” Psalm 112:1, 7
- Joyful in God – “And Hannah prayed, and said, My heart rejoiceth in the LORD, mine horn is exalted in the LORD: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation.” 1 Samuel 2:1
- Desirous of God – “My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.” Psalm 84:2
- Broken and Contrite before God – “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” Psalm 51:17
- Obedient to God – “I have inclined mine heart to perform thy statutes alway, even unto the end.” Psalm 119:112
- Completely Devoted to God – “With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.” Psalm 119:10. “I cried with my whole heart; hear me, O LORD: I will keep thy statutes.” Psalm 119:145
- Prayerful – “When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek.” Psalm 27:8
Do you have a heart for God, or do you have a heart for the things of this world? Your words, your thoughts, and your actions will reveal where your heart is.
You’ve had your pulse taken. You have had your heart examined. Now roll up your sleeve and let’s do a little blood work, anyone here afraid of needles?
First, let’s check your red blood cells. Did you know that they carry oxygen through your body and this prevents anemia and sluggishness? What your red blood cells are to your physical body, your devotional life is to your spiritual self. Please answer this question to yourself, but answer it honestly.
How much time do I spend each day studying my Bible?
Please notice that I said studying your Bible and not just reading. The Word of God is not just an interesting piece of literature to read. It’s not just a book of ancient stories. It is the very Word of God. To be spiritually healthy we must spend time in God’s Word. We must study and meditate on the Bible, and just as important, we must apply God’s Word to our lives. We learn it so we can live it! I know a person who was having some serious personal problems, and this person was advised to talk with his pastor. This person said, “I don’t need to talk to him. All he’s gonna do is tell me what the scriptures say, and I already know what they say.”
Well, my answer to that is, you aren’t acting like you know what they say, because just reading the words will not help you, it takes application of the scriptures for this Book to make a difference in your life.
Read Tom Sawyer but study, interpret, and apply the scriptures to your life. Here’s the next question.
Do I spend time daily in prayer with God?
Hey, just bowing and your head, being quiet, and maybe even closing your eyes while someone else is praying doesn’t count. I am talking about some serious one on one time between you and God!
- “Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near” Isaiah 55:6.
- “Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us.” Psalm 62:8
- “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7.
The spiritually healthy will “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) and will understand and live in light of the fact that “the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16).
I know that in my own life when I’m not spending time in God’s Word and praying like I should that nothing goes right. My relationship with my wife and kids suffers. My relationship with the people of my church suffers and strains, and everything is out of kilter. My spiritual growth becomes retarded and my spiritual strength is diminished.
So, how is your spiritual blood circulation? Are you helping the blood to pump and flow like it should by studying God’s Word and spending time in prayer, or are your arteries clogged with things of this world?
So far in this spiritual check-up we have checked your vitals. Tomorrow we’ll finish the examination, and we’ll start with a brain scan!