Taking Spiritual Stock

He walked into the doctor’s office a little apprehensive, not knowing what to expect. His body was beginning to fall apart and he had quite a few years behind him, many more than what was in front of him. However, he expected this condition given his age. Although thinking about old age at 30 was a lot different than going through it at 75. X-rays, MRIs, and EKGs now replace the yearly exam of thermometers, stop watches, and cold stethoscopes on the chest [1].

As we travel through life, it behooves us to take stock in our bodies because God only issues one per customer. That body is our responsibility. We therefore make periodic appointments for physical exams to make sure that our body is running smoothly. However, more times than not, we take better care of our car than we do of our body, let alone taking care of our spiritual health. When is the last time we took stock of our spiritual well-being, rested in God, tested our temperature, pulse, and the condition of our soul? Do we even know how?

v5 Test and evaluate yourselves to see whether you are in the faith and living your lives as [committed] believers. Examine yourselves [not me]! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves [by an ongoing experience] that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test and are rejected as counterfeit? [2 Corinthians 13:5 Amplified]

When we are at the doctor’s office standing at the receptionist’s desk, what is the first thing they have you do upon arrival at your appointment? I’ll wait for your answer. . .(Jeopardy them song playing in background.) LOL. That’s right, she asks you to sit. So, you sit. . .and sit. . .and sit.. .and sit. . .and sit. . .

Analogous to the physical exam from above, as I take stock in my spiritual life, the very first thing I do is sit and be still before God. His Word says, “. . .Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth [2].” Therefore, I get by myself to be alone with God. He is my standard. I do this to get direction from Him and to fellowship with Him, shutting out the world that surrounds me. He will be exalted and we should exalt Him. Enjoy this time of fellowship with Him for as long as it takes. There WILL be a release, so wait for it.

The next thing I do is take my temperature. Am I hot, cold or Luke warm? If I am not on fire for God; if I do not have a mighty hunger for Him; if I do not make Him priority one, then I need to reassess my position and priorities. Has the vicissitudes of life been an anchor to my fellowship with God? Have I fallen short in an area of my life that is displeasing to Him? Have I offended someone with whom I should ask forgiveness or worse yet, have I offended my God in some point? Have I neglected the Lord in either prayer, church attendance, following Him, or in sharing the Gospel? If I have, then the Bible says, So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth [3].

After taking my temperature, I take my pulse. I search out anything that I focus on more than Christ and repent. This is how we spiritually die, by putting something above Christ. When I think of something (anything) more than Christ, that thing becomes my god. I am NOT saying that we shouldn’t have a balanced life or have other interests, and be focused on that one thing while actively involved. What I am saying is that I have chosen the good thing [4] and keep Jesus at the forefront of everything I do, say, or think, even those things that I enjoy doing and my works.

If I do not make Jesus the number one priority in my life and involve Him in everything I say or do, then like stated earlier, I will become spiritually dead. This is what Christ was telling the folks of Sardis when He said, “I know all the things you do, and that you have a reputation for being alive – but you are dead [5].” That is a serious statement of accusation. The daily living and the things of the world grabbed ahold of the people of Sardis and wouldn’t let go. They neglected Christ and became Sunday Christians.

Finally, what I do is have a conversation with my soul through the Holy Spirit. Thought, cognition, emotions, intellect, reasoning, self-will, personality, and choice; these all come from the soul. The soul is a self-conscious entity and bases its decisions on either the spirit’s God-consciousness or the body’s world-consciousness. Given my personal definition of the soul, we could say then that the soul and the mind are interchangeable terms, however, with one caveat; our heart drives the mind. I cite Proverbs 23:7a: “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he. . .

Don’t forget, that the Bible is a spiritual book. Therefore, we are talking about a spiritual heart. The Bible is saying in Proverbs that the essence of a man is his heart and what’s in it. His integrity, character, and self-consciousness makes up his heart. God looks on the heart [6].

One last thing, I just don’t take stock and think on these things and go about my day’s activities, I make plans to rectify any and all iniquities I have found in my character. We should all expect to find something that we have done wrong or some point in which we have offended God [7]. We are in the world, but not of the world [8] and as such it is easy for the world to rub off on us. In addition, we have the sin-nature with which to contend.

The foregoing is how I take spiritual stock and should not be construed to be all inclusive and dried in cement. They are just guidelines to help you get started on renewing your mind [9] and just in case you don’t have a personal plan or regimen. There are as many plans and procedures as there are Christians. The important thing is to make time to take spiritual stock in yourself so that you do not hear the Lord say to you, “You give the appearance of being alive, but you are dead.

[1] Although they still use these instruments, you get my point.
[2] Psalms 46:10 KJV
[3] Revelation 3:16 KJV
[4] Luke 10:42
[5] Revelation 3:1c NLT
[6] 1 Samuel 16:7
[7] Jeremiah 17:9; Isaiah 64:6; Romans 3:10
[8] John 15:9; John 17:14, 15
[9] Romans 12:1, 2