A Christian’s Spiritual Examination Check List
2 Corinthians 13: 5 – “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?”
It is vital that a Christian learn how to examine their own spiritual condition, rather than waiting for someone else to point out a spiritual problem. By that time, a person may be so far backslidden that they will refuse to tum themselves around.
Why is it so important for Christians to judge themselves in every area of their lives?
Simply because God has placed us in a glass window for all the world to observe how we live. Therefore, we must be willing to judge every area of our lives ensuring that our lives don’t become an excuse for others to do less than their best for the Lord.
In the list below are some very practical things to look for in our Christian lives, things which can be corrected immediately and very simply if we are willing to catch them early.
A- ASSURANCE! (Do I have assurance of my salvation?)
1 John 5:13 – “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”
There are generally 3 reasons why a person will doubt their salvation.
# 1 – They were not grounded properly following their salvation experience! This is the person who got saved, but never got into a Fundamental Baptist church where they could have been taught how to grow in their Christian lives.
#2 – They have sin in their life! Sin opens the door for the devil to start bombarding their mind with all kinds of doubts. Even though a person may have trusted Christ as their Savior, they will question their salvation if they still smoke or have continued other sins that they had before they got saved. Here again, they may not have gotten involved in the right kind of a church where they could be taught how to live the victorious Christian life.
#3 -They aren’t saved! Just because a person has gone to an altar and prayed in a church service or has prayed a sinner’s prayer doesn’t mean that they are saved. There must have been conviction by the Holy Spirit and a genuine desire on the sinner’s part to place their faith in Christ.
B -BIBLE! (Am I reading my Bible consistently and getting anything out of it?)
2 Timothy 3:16-17 – “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”
Most Christians don’t read and study their Bibles as they should simply because they don’t see the value of it. However, these verses tell us that it is profitable for …
1.Doctrine (knowing what is right)
2.Reproof (knowing what is not right)
3.Correction (knowing how to get it right)
4.Instruction (knowing how to keep it right)
And the great benefit to the Christian for consistently reading and studying the Bible is perfection or spiritual maturity!
C – CHURCH! (Am I allowing God to use His church to change my life?)
Matthew 16: 18 – “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
What is so important about the church that Jesus would create it and leave it behind when He ascended to heaven?
It is God’s tool for spreading the gospel throughout the world!
It is God’s boot camp for training His people how to fight in spiritual combat!
It is God’s hospital used to bind up the wounds of those who have received spiritual wounds such as discouragement, apathy or worldliness.
D – DAILY WALK! (Do I have a walk with God on a daily basis?)
Micah 6:8 – “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”
Habakkuk 2:1- “I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved.”
The prophet Habakkuk is here testifying what walking with God is all about.
It is a time of having a conversation with a Person! He was waiting for the Lord to reprove him while also preparing to speak with Him.
Prayer is our talking to God!
Reading the Bible is God’s talking to us!
Meditation is taking the time to contemplate over what we have read in the Bible, allowing it to speak to our hearts. For some, this is best done by having a notepad handy so that we can write down things that God impresses upon our hearts and minds.
E- EXAMPLE! (Am I setting the right example for other Christians with my life?)
I Thessalonians 1:6-7 – “And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost: So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.”
Whether we like it or not, God has given every person influence. And He expects His people to use that influence to help others in their Christian living.
There was a time when sports heroes knew their responsibility as a role model and would alter their lifestyles somewhat because of that influence.
Romans 14:13 – “Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.”
F – FAMILY! (Is Christ the center of our home?)
Ephesians 5:31-33 – “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.”
Ephesians 6:4 – “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”
You can fool people that you work with and you can fool people at church, but you can’t fool those who live with you in the same home!
G – GIVING! (Am I more in love with God than the world?)
Malachi 3:8 – “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.”
There are several excellent reasons why God requires His people to give.
Matthew 6:24 – “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”
H – HOLY SPIRIT’S FULNESS!
Ephesians 5:18 – “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;”
Step #1 – Ask God for the fulness of the Holy Spirit!
Luke 11:13 – “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?”
Step #2 – Obey the Holy Spirit in every matter!
Acts 5:32 – “And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.”
Step #3 – Desire the fulness of the Holy Spirit!
Isaiah 44:3 – “For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground:
I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring:”
Step #4 – Claim the fulness of God’s power by faith!
Isaiah 61:1 – “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;”
I – IMMERSION!
Romans 6:4 – “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”
Perhaps the single greatest feature or meaning of Christian baptism is that it identifies us with Christ!
The Christian’s responsibility to be immersed or baptized is not limited to just water baptism. There are several types of baptisms that apply to the Christian life.
Baptism into the body of Christ!
Galatians 3:26-27 – “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”
This baptism is NOT referring to water or symbolic baptism but rather to a person’s salvation experience! When a person gets saved, they are immersed into the body of Christ, thus assuring them of ETERNAL life.
Acts 8:36-37 – “And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”
This is water baptism and has nothing to do with salvation. In fact, water baptism must be after the salvation experience or else it has nothing to symbolize.
Baptism by fire!
Matthew 3:11- “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:”
What is this baptism with fire?
Matthew 20:22-23 – “But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able. And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.”
Christ is simply promising His disciples the opportunity to experience the same hatred by the world and same problems that He had encountered! His baptism with fire is His giving us the opportunity to share His fellowship of sufferings.
J – JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST!
Romans 14:10-12 – “But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.”
One of the greatest motivating factors in the life of a Christian is the imminent return of Christ, meaning that Jesus Christ’s return for His people could be at ANY moment!
K – KEEP THE FLESH SUBDUED!
l Corinthians 9:27 – “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”
If Paul’s greatest fear as a Christian was that of allowing his flesh to so dominate him that he would be disqualified from fulfilling God’s calling on his life, then it ought to also be of great concern to all of us as well!
The flesh out of control can be the cause of poor health or obesity which could cut a Christian’s life shorter than what God had purposed for them!
The flesh out of control can be the cause of divorce which could cripple a Christian’s effectiveness!
The flesh out of control can be the cause of becoming backslidden to the point of dropping out of church!
Every Christian should take definite steps to gain control over their flesh by doing certain things!
#1 – Realize that the best of Christians can become a castaway!
#2 – Realize the destructive power of the flesh!
#3 – Discipline the flesh by use of a schedule and by actively serving the Lord!
L – LOYALTY!
Revelation 12:11 – “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”
Loyalty is simply faithfulness to a cause or a person!
A Christian who isn’t faithful to church for every service won’t be willing to take a stand for that church when troubles come!
A Christian who isn’t loyal to their pastor won’t stand beside him if and when he is ever falsely accused but will be quick to condemn on hearsay!
A Christian who is not faithful to a Biblical conviction like tithing is one who may be tithing, but with the idea that the time may come when they won’t be able to, i.e. medical bills, etc.
M – MINISTRY!
1 Corinthians 16:15-16 – “I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,) That ye submit yourselves unto such, and to every one that helpeth with us, and laboureth.”
It’s interesting to see the vast difference between how Paul looked at it and how today’s typical Christian sees it.
1 Corinthians 11:31 – “For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.”
N – NUTRITION!
1 Corinthians 6:19 – “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?”
This verse is usually used to condemn smoking and drinking because of the damage done to the body. Smoking does cause cancer and drinking alcohol does kill brain cells!
I think that we need to realize that while God may have the day of our death established, He has allowed us to determine the quality of life up to that time!
Deuteronomy 34:7 – “And Moses was an hundred and twenty years old when he died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated.”
While Moses may have been an old man, he died still. in good health, meaning that God ended his life while the health of Moses was still good!
O – OTHERS!
Matthew 5:23-24 – “Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be-reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.”
It’s interesting to notice in these 2 verses the fact that the Lord put human relationships before serving the Lord!
We must therefore understand that people are more important than things!
Since the Bible places a premium upon our relationships over and above our duties, what should our priorities be with people?
First – God!
Second – Others!
Last – Self!
JOY stands for J – Jesus O – Others Y – You
P – PRAYER!
Luke 11:1 – “And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.”
In inspecting our prayer lives, we should look for some very definite things that are indicators as to the quality of our praying.
Are my prayers getting answered? (James 5: 16) – “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
Am I praying at least 15 minutes every day or is it 5 minutes on a hit and miss basis?
Do I have seasons of prayer in addition to my quiet time?
Do I get enjoyment from my prayer closet?
Can people see a difference in me because I’ve prayed and met with God?
For prayer to be beneficial and have lasting benefits, it will usually consist of 4 major components which can be remembered by the letters A-C-T-S.
A– Adoration (Praise – thanking God for what He is): A-Advocate, B-Brother, C-Companion, D-Defender, E-Everlasting, F-Friend, G-Good, H-Holy, I-Infinite, J-Just, K-Kind, L-Lord of Lords, M-Mighty, N-Never leave me, O-Omnipotent/Omniscient/Omnipresent, P-Precious, Q-Quickened my soul, R-Rock, S-Strength, T-Tender, U-Understanding, V- Victorious, W-Wise, X-Exalted One, Y- Yoke, Z-Zealous for me to do right!
C – Confession (Of specific sins!): Mind (wicked thoughts), Eyes (things looked at), Ears (conversations listened to, music, etc.), Tongue (words spoken), Hands (Deeds done or omitted that should have been done), Feet (walk with God)
T – Thanksgiving (For what God has given): Salvation, Family, Friends, Home, Health, Will of God for my life, Church (GLBC), Christian school or Home School, College (Providence Baptist or Commonwealth), Bible (KJV), Prayer, Soul winning, Ministry, Trouble!
S – Supplication (Actual list of things asked for): A-Help to control fleshly appetites, B-Bills/finances and baptisms, C-church and converts, D-deacons, E-enemies, F-family members, G-gospel preachers, H-members in hospital, I-ill, J-people looking for a job, K-knowledge (to learn the Bible and how to pray), L-love people, M-members, N-nation, 0-opportunities, P-power of God, Q-quitters who have left the church, R-revival, S-staff members and family, T-transfer everything back to the Lord, U-safety for members in uniform/police, V-vision of how God wants to use me, W-wisdom, X-exceptional situations, emergencies, etc., Y-yielded, Z-zealous for souls to be saved this week!
Q – QUICK TO OBEY!
I Samuel 15:20-22- “And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and have gone the way which the LORD sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed. to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal. And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.”
Probably Saul’s biggest mistake was hesitation in obeying the Lord. When he was told to slaughter the enemy and all livestock, he hesitated long enough to allow the devil to talk him into partial obedience!
1.Instead of obeying the Lord in every point, Saul began to justify holding onto the best of the livestock and even sparing the enemy king’s life.
2.The results of Saul’s partial obedience were devastating! He was condemned by the Lord as being disobedient, as being a rebel and was rejected from being king!
R – REVIVAL!
Ezekiel 37:1-5 – “The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry. And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, 0 Lord GOD, thou knowest. Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, 0 ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live:”
Revival can only take place where there has first been death. And there can’t be death unless there was first life. For that reason, a lost person can’t experience a revival because they’ve not yet been born again.
Why is a revival needed?
How does a revival come about?
2 Chronicles 7:14a – “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves,”
2 Chronicles 7:14b – “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray,”
2 Chronicles 7:14c- “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face,”
2 Chronicles 7:14d – “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
S – SUBMITTING TO AUTHORITY!
Hebrews 13:17 – “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.”
It is so vital that a Christian understand this matter of submission, for it affects nearly every area of our lives and is but a reflection of our submission to the Lord.
The author of Hebrews is addressing the relationship between pastor and congregation and the necessity to submit to one another.
Husbands and wives are also to maintain this joint submission in the marriage – the wife to her husband and the husband to the Lord.
Ephesians 5:22 – “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.”
While the submission of the wives is stated directly, the submission of the husbands to the Lord is implied since Jesus Christ was submissive to His Father.
Paul was rebuked and was humbled when he behaved improperly towards the high priest when slapped.
Acts 23:2-5 – “And the high priest Ananias commanded them that stood by him to smite him on the mouth. Then said Paul unto him, God shall smite thee, thou whited wall: for sittest thou to judge me after the law, and commandest me to be smitten contrary to the law? And they that stood by said, Revilest thou God’s high priest? Then said Paul, I wist not, brethren, that he was the high priest: for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people.”
Obviously, Ananias was not a good guy, but Paul was not submitting himself to a person but to the position that he held as the high priest.
Peter encouraged slaves to be submissive to their masters.
1 Peter 2:18 – “Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward.”
Instead of fighting against the wrongs of slavery, Paul stressed submission.
Paul encouraged citizens to be submissive to civil rulers.
Romans 13:1-7 – “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.”
Not only are citizens to submit themselves in the matter of obedience to the “law of the land” but also in the matter of taxes.
Paul extended submission into the home as well.
Colossians 3:20 – “Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.”
T – TRAINING OTHERS!
2 Timothy 2:2 – “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.”
It is the responsibility of every Christian to train someone to take their place.
As a person has been trained to lead people to Christ, that person should then train someone else in the matter of soul winning.
As a Sunday School teacher has learned how to teach a Sunday School class, so they need to train their helper to be able to teach their own class.
As a pastor has learned how to preach, he must then work at training others to be able to preach also.
As older wives have learned how to love their husbands and maintain a Christian home, so they are obligated to train the younger ladies to do the same!
Titus 2:3-5 – “The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”
U – USING YOUR SPIRITUAL GIFTS!
1 Corinthians 12:4-11 – “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.”
All of these “gifts” were given to Christians for one person – for the benefit or the edifying of the local church.
Seven of these gifts were temporary gifts, meaning that they existed for a certain time. When their purpose was fulfilled, they then ceased to exist.
These temporary gifts which no longer exist were the office of the apostle, prophecy (foretelling of future events), healing through a person, tongues and the interpretation of tongues.
Why did these “gifts” cease?
Mark 16:19-20 – “So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.”
God used these temporary gifts as “signs” to authenticate the Word of God as it was being written. These gifts were used by God to prove to the Christian world that the newly written, inspired letter was authentic!
Once the Bible was completed, then the temporary gifts were removed.
1 Corinthians 13:10 – “But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.”
The remaining gifts have been passed out by the Holy Spirit as He has seen fit and are to be used for the benefit of the church. These gifts are the office of the evangelist (Eph. 4:11; motivator of soul winning), pastor (Eph. 4:11), teacher (1 Cor. 12:28; ability to clarify Bible doctrine), helps (1 Cor. 12:28; ability to give practical assistance with a skill or ability), rule (1 Cor. 12:28; abilitiy to organize}, mercy (Rom. 12:8; helping the sick in a cheerful manner), exhortation (Rom. 12:8; ability to encourage others), giving (Rom. 12:8; ability to accumulate and give large amounts of money to God’s work), wisdom (1 Cor. 12:28; ability to rightly apply human and divine knowledge), discernment (1 Cor. 12:10; ability to differentiate between the works of the Lord and the works of Satan or the flesh) and faith (1 Cor. 12:9; ability to believe and expect great things from God).
V – HAVING A VISION!
Proverbs 29:18 – “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”
What kind of a vision is here referred to?
A church must have a vision for themselves!
Without a vision, a church will become satisfied!
(1) The first stage of a church losing their vision is to have the mentality of “us 4 and no more” where they are not bothered by strangers coming in and trying to change “tradition.”
(2) A church must be willing to see itself from God’s vantage point – it is His tool for reaching the world with the gospel!
(3) (Mk. 16:15-16) – “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”
(4) Any church that feels like it has done its job and has grown as big as God wants it to become has forgotten the size of their ministry- the world! Without a vision, a church will become stagnant!
The second stage of a church losing it’s vision is when stagnation sets in, meaning there are no conversions and no baptisms! This occurs when there are no new people being brought into it because there is no soul winning.
To appreciate the proper vision that a church should have, one would need to look to the first church in Jerusalem.
It started with Jesus. Then grew to include the 12 disciples. From there they became the 120 in the upper room on the day of Pentecost.
From 120, they became a “multitude” (Acts 4:32) And then they became “multitudes” (Acts 5: 14).
The growth and outreach of the Jerusalem created quite a stir and is best seen in their unintentional compliment to Peter: (Acts 5:28) – “Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.”
Without a vision, a church will diel
This is the 3rd and final stage in a church gone blind.
When they reach the place where they have lost sight of their purpose, Christ removes Himself!
Revelation 2:5 – “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.”
Basically, this means that a church must either recapture their vision of getting people saved or they will cease to exist as a church!
W – WAITING ON THE LORD!
Two of the best people in the Bible who illustrate the 2 ways of waiting on God are Saul and David!
When a problem came up in Saul’s life, he waited on God until he FELT that he could wait no longer – and then he took over the situation!
1 Samuel 13:11-12 – “And Samuel said, What hast thou done?
And Saul said, Because I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that thou earnest not within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered themselves together at Michmash; Therefore said I, The Philistines will come down now upon me to Gilgal, and I have not made supplication unto the LORD: I forced myself therefore, and offered a burnt offering.”
Saul’s attitude is basically that he had no other choice!
When David ran into trouble, he chose to let God handle the situation completely!
Psalm 27:1, 14 – “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.”
David had his faults, but one area of his life that seems to be a very strong area was his patience! He put up with Saul’s antics for 6 years and he waited for God to deal with him – and God did!
In fact, David felt so strongly about letting God take care of Saul, that he had a person killed who claimed to have killed Saul on the battlefield!
This is a huge reason why I feel that it is WRONG for a married couple to separate, divorce or agree to either one!
Separation and divorce are nothing more than impatient people trying to bring about a solution in a hurry!
But those problems didn’t develop overnight – and God is usually not going to solve them overnight either!
X – LIVE EXPECTING
Titus 2: 13 – “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;”
One of the clearest facts about Jesus Christ is that He’s coming back- in 2 phases!
Phase #1 – Rapture!
1 Corinthians 15:51-52- “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”
Revelation 3:10- “Because thou hast kept the word ofmy patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.”
This “rapture” is imminent, meaning it can happen at any moment and does not require the fulfilling of any “signs.”
Because of its immanency, every lost person must be aware that they would be left behind while every Christian must be ready to face Jesus Christ face to face.
Phase #2 – Second Coming!
Revelation 19: 11-14 – “Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God.”
The latter phase of Christ’s return comes at the end of the Tribulation when He returns with the redeemed of all the ages.
The most important point of concern for the Christian is that this final return is the “point of no return” for their lost loved ones!
Y – BE YIELDED (go to the altar)
Romans 12:1 – “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”
Every Christian should make a total yielding of their life to the Lord on a daily basis, asking Him to help them to die to their flesh, wants and dreams so they can do God’s will or wish for their lives.
Z – HAVE ZEAL WITH KNOWLEDGE!
Romans 10:1-2 – “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.”
Paul here sums up Israel’s tragedy and condition in that they are zealous for their religion – but are ignorant of their true Messiah!
Christians need to be careful to have a good balance between zeal and knowledge. That doesn’t mean to reduce our zeal – but to INCREASE our knowledge!