I don’t know about you, but I will do everything within my power to put off going to the doctor. If there’s an ailment I’ll try my best to let WebMD and YouTube diagnose my problem and help me with treatment – non-drug related, of course!
There’s just something so uncomfortable about having someone all up in my business that I hate. Not to mention that while I’m waiting for an hour to be seen by a doctor, I’m thinking about all the things that I could be doing with my time. Anyone else feel this way? I see those hands!
Hopefully, this doesn’t hold true for our spiritual health as well. While it’s very important that we take care of our physical bodies, it is absolutely critical that we take steps to ensure our spiritual health even more.
This reminder hit me as I recently read Paul’s words in 2 Cor. 7:1: “Because we have these promises, dear friends, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that can defile our body or spirit. And let us work toward complete holiness because we fear God” (NLT).
Prior to this Paul reminds the Corinthians of God’s grace, deliverance, and even the ministry of reconciliation in which all believers are called to be active. For us to be the best messengers of God’s love and to be productive “fellow workers” we need to submit to regular checkups by the Holy Spirit. I know that sounds crazy, but this is what it takes to carry out Paul’s directive.
To keep this as practical as possible, here’s one example of how to do this. Recently I made my annual trip to the beach to be with the Lord. The purpose of this venture is to deep dive into anything that the Holy Spirit has been pressing on my heart. Usually, this involves reading, praying, and of course, eating shrimp.
This year Paul’s words to the Corinthians echoed in my mind. So I made a list of 5 questions to guide my spiritual checkup:
1. Is there anyone I need to forgive or seek forgiveness from?
2. What sins have I allowed to create walls or barriers between me and God?
3. Are there any barriers or walls that I’ve taken down between me and sin or temptations?
4. What spiritual disciplines have I neglected?
5. What am I going to do in order to move forward?
Let me briefly point out that these questions help ensure health in relating to people (horizontal), relating to God (vertical) and they also help to ensure personal health (internal). When these three areas are in check and doing well, then rest assured you’re on the road to a clean bill of spiritual health.
Obviously to do this doesn’t require a trip to the beach or the mountains (but if you need an excuse: you’re welcome!). Find a quiet place, carve out some time to be alone with the Father for the sole purpose of getting rid of the junk that has contaminated your spirit and body.
You’ve been called to work toward holiness because that’s the only way to be effective in our ministry of bringing others to Christ. C.S. Lewis says in his work, Mere Christianity, “The church exists for nothing else but to draw men into Christ, to make them little Christs. If they are not doing that, all the cathedrals, clergy, missions, sermons, even the Bible itself, are simply a waste of time. God became man for no other purpose.”
So guys, if you’ve been putting off this checkup, make an appointment. Put it on your calendar. Tell someone about your plan and then let them know how it went. Ask them to hold you accountable to question number five. I challenge you to do this soon!