Examining yourself is a painful process because you have to admit things about yourself that you might not like, are ashamed of or have been secretly hiding for so long you don’t even know it’s there.
Job 13:23(ESV) How many are my iniquities and my sins? Make me know my transgression and my sin.
Transgression-A violation of a law, command or duty, rebellion. Sin-an act against the Lord regarded as a serious or regrettable fault, offense, or omission.
I like the way this scripture lays out for you that we need to check our own transgressions and sin. The difference between the two if your wondering (because I was) is that Transgression is against laws and commands not necessarily against the Lord where Sins are against the Lord. We need to be clear on both and have them revealed to us.
Those are hard questions to ask the Lord because he will show you.. Be ready to confront it.
Although going through the process is hard and painful for your flesh, it is worth the pain and discomfort, because when you come out on the other side you will be transformed.
Haggai 1:1-4 (NET) 4 Is it right for you to live in richly paneled houses a while my temple is in ruins? b 5 Here then is what the Lord who rules over all says: Think carefully about what you are doing. a 6 You have planted much, but have harvested little. You eat, but are never filled. You drink, but are still thirsty. You put on clothes, but are not warm. Those who earn wages end up with holes in their money bags.
Some questions to ponder;
Do you always think of yourself first before you think of the Lord and His house?
Are you making sure all of your needs are met before you think of the needs of others or the Lords house? What do you think represents the Lords house? You? Your family? Your church? I believe it’s all of the above.
If God puts it in your heart to help someone out with time, finances, patients, and/or love, do you think first of what it will cost you? what you have to do first for yourself? If you have the time to spare? Will you be uncomfortable?
Look at your knee jerk reaction and check your heart. Don’t run away from your reaction, if it’s a negative one, great, then you will know that and deal with it head on. If it’s a positive one, great, make sure you keep that heart in check.
Vs. 6 you have planted much but harvested little. Is the ground your sowing on not good ground? where are you spending most of your time, money, energy and emotions? If it’s not giving you a positive return you need to look at that closely…. is that reality TV show more important than helping your neighbor for example?
Things will always come up short for you if God is not the priority and you are…
You might eat or drink but it’s not enough. You clothe yourself but it’s not warm enough. You work and work and work and it’s like your putting your whole paycheck in a bag with holes in it.
The reality is that putting God on the back burner of your life is never satisfying, you will always feel empty and try to fill it with things that always dissipate out of your life and your left feeling void again so the cycle starts all over.. Eating but its not enough, shopping but it’s never satisfying, working but don’t have anything to show for it… Sound familiar? It does to me!
vs 5 Think carefully….(consider your ways) take a look deep inside yourself and see who it is that you really are serving. More God or More Yourself? This answer is not for the world to see its for your clarity and freedom from the harmful cycle we create.
Psalm 4:4 (NET) Tremble with fear and do not sin! Meditate as you lie in bed, and repent of your ways!
Lay quietly on your bed or comfortable place and let God minister to you, just be still and listen! Things will start to come up, it’s ok to be angry, sad, disappointed and many other emotions, just let this time be a time to reflect, meditate, repent and sin no more in these areas. If the temptation comes back up again to sin, God will be there to help you navigate.
Psalm 119:57-59 (NET)57 The Lord is my source of security. I have determined to follow your instructions. 58 I seek your favor with all my heart. Have mercy on me as you promised! 59 I consider my actions and follow your rules.
This is a powerful scripture because it shows trust in the Lord first, then determine to follow His instructions, to please Him. vs. 59 I consider my actions and follow your rules….
This means you have thought about all you are, you examined your life, your thoughts, your relationship with God, with the Church and you realize your sins and transgressions. Now you are prepared for the work God will do and the blessing of you becoming a new creature in Christ.
Galatians 6:4-5 (NET)4 Let each one examine his own work. Then he can take pride in himself and not compare himself with someone else. 5 For each one will carry a his own load.
Examine yourself and let every man/woman prove their own work. You will rejoice in yourself. You must change because you want to change, you have to do it yourself no one else can do it for you nor is anyone responsible to do it for you. And you are not responsible to do it for anyone else, you may be able to lead and influence people but deep down you cannot change anyone.
1 John 1:9-10 (NEV)9 But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous, forgiving us our sins and cleansing us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar and his word is not in us.
Give it to God! Confess your sins so that you can be forgiven and cleansed. God already knows the sin, He just wants you to recognize it so you can be free from it. Don’t sit there in your mess saying “I don’t have any sins, I live a sinless life”. Then His word is not in you because we ALL have sins, the only difference is how long do we want to live in it.
I do believe that we can “sin no more”, because His word does say that, we just have to make sure we are always searching our hearts so we are not fooling ourselves because we don’t want to deal with it or we don’t want to give it up.
1 John 3:18-22 (NEV)18 Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue but in deed and truth. 19 And by this we will know that we are of the truth and will convince our conscience in his presence, 20 that if our conscience condemns us, that God is greater than our conscience and knows all things. 21 Dear friends, if our conscience does not condemn us, we have confidence in the presence of God, 22 and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do the things that are pleasing to him.
Condemn- express complete disapproval of, typically in public; censure
Well what happens to me and what will probably happen to you is that we condemn ourselves and not forgive ourselves for our sins, therefore we beat ourselves up, eat emotionally, have empty relationships, take it out on our love ones, you know what I mean. Especially when you examine yourself and find there is much more junk than you thought and your more of a hot mess than you thought. BUT GOD!! God is bigger than our sins, bigger than our un-forgiveness and condemnation. HE WILL NEVER CONDEMN YOU! That is the tool the enemy uses against us to keep us from being free!
God Convicts us so that we could change and transform our ways for ever to have a fulfilling life. To convict us is to show us where we are guilty or have gone wrong so we can be redeemed.
What’s your take away from this?