1998-09-28 - Spiritual Sickness
Psalm 26:2 Examine me O Lord, and try my heart; Test my Kidneys and my heart.
(Yes, the word there is Kidneys, but it is symbolic of the inner part of our being. Substitute, "mind", or "soul", "all of me")
I don't get sick that often, but for the last three days I have been running a fever. I think I'm on the mend, but being sick physically has given me some time to think about spiritual sickness and to assess where I am in that department.
No one, who is honest, can deny that hypocrisy, to a greater or lesser extent, exists somewhere in their lives. David calls out to God that He might search him and know his heart, Ps 139:23,24. The inner conflict of Paul in Romans 7:14-25, shows that a great struggle can exist in a child of God.
Spiritual sickness is described in 1 John 1:6 as walking in darkness. The result is that there can be no fellowship with God. This is also noted in Micah 3:11,12, where Israel rebels against God and yet says, "Is not the Lord with us." The answer was that the Lord was not with them. In fact, God made a promise to destroy them.
We all have a general idea where we stand spiritually. We know the desires of our heart. We know the secret sins that we struggle with. We know the public sins that we and everyone close to us also know about.
Knowing that, the real question, the one I ask myself when I am evaluating my spiritual health, is, "Am I growing in grace?" Is there progress in my spiritual development? Can I honestly say that I am becoming more and more Christlike? Only I can answer that question. My friends, my Fiancée, my co-workers, they can not see my heart, but I know my heart. They can give me hints as to how I am doing (hints I may not like), but they can not answer the question, "Am I growing in the grace of Christ."
If you have a spiritual fever, trust in Christ, and if that doesn't seem to be working, trust Him more. Use every means available, reading the Bible, prayer, the wise council of friends, the hearing of the Word of God preached, but most of all rest in Christ. These things are like the Advil, or Tavist-D that I am taking for my physical fever. I can promise you this also, they work better!
"If cures were to be found for every illness ever known, it would make no essential difference. We should be sick, mad and blind as long as we allowed ourselves to be wholly preoccupied with the hopes and desires of this world." Malcolm Muggeridge
Soli Deo Gloria,