Self introspection is a very important part of our growth as persons. Are you conscious about the things you do? Do you judge your own behaviour?
Why do we see ourselves in the mirror every day? Most of the time we want to check if we are looking alright, whether we got everything in place and are looking acceptable or good. But many of us have no clue how we look on the inside of us. Many live their lives mindlessly, doing things without any consideration and at times even harming others. Why is it people don’t realize how they really are? The reason is simple, they don’t examine themselves, their thoughts, attitudes and desires to see if they are on track. It is for this reason that we too need to judge ourselves.
A Messed Up David
David messed up big time when he got into an adulterous relationship and arranged for Bathsheba’s husband Uriah to be killed in a battle. When the prophet Nathan confronted him, he repented and sought God’s forgiveness. We see in Psalm 51 that his repentance was sincere. In verses 10-14, David says, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right, persevering, and steadfast spirit within me. Cast me not away from Your presence and take not Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and uphold me with a willing spirit. Then will I teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners shall be converted and return to You. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness and death, O God, the God of my salvation, and my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness (Your rightness and Your justice)” AMP
David was aware that he was guilty and his acts actually deserved severe punishment and even death. He knew only God could save him from the consequences of what he had done. He also realized how terrible it would be for him to be cut off from God. He sincerely sought the Lord’s forgiveness and sought to keep his heart right before God for the rest of his life. God forgave him his grave sin because he repented wholeheartedly. The Bible tells us David lived his life well after this. David has been called a ‘man after God’s own heart’ in spite of his failings and imperfections because he loved the Lord and sought Him with all his heart.
Lessons from David
If David who loved the Lord had to keep a check on himself just to make sure he was right with the Lord, we too need to do the same. In 1 Corinthians 11: 27-30 Paul writes, “So then whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in a way that is unworthy [of Him] will be guilty of [profaning and sinning against] the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man [thoroughly] examine himself, and [only when he has done] so should he eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discriminating and recognizing with due appreciation that [it is Christ’s] body, eats and drinks a sentence (a verdict of judgment) upon himself. That [careless and unworthy participation] is the reason many of you are weak and sickly, and quite enough of you have fallen into the sleep of death.”
“It is important to examine oneself before taking communion.”
Paul writes that we need to examine ourselves thoroughly before we take communion. He warns that many are weak, sickly and have died because they participated in communion in an unworthy and careless manner. Could this be the reason why many people who are praying for healing today are not receiving their healing? We need to get serious about what the Lord says and prepare our hearts before we receive communion lest we sin against the body and blood of the Lord.
A Clean Heart
We have got used to seeing acts listed as sins in the Word of God being become second nature to people in our time. Our generation has reached the crossroads where an alarming majority of people are standing on the precipice of hell where they could easily slip into it for eternity. We have got used to a culture that condones premarital sex, adultery and even murder in the name of abortion. Nothing shocks us anymore, they have become so common.
Thousands of babies are born out of one night stands and given up for adoption by their parents without any remorse. It is sad and tragic for many children born out of these escapades as many of them will never have a real family. Some may not even know their true identity for life. On the other hand abortion is seen as an easy and desirable option by couple who are always in temporary relationships.
An Unwanted Baby
Verse 16 of Psalm 139 says, “Your eyes saw my unformed substance, and in Your book all the days [of my life] were written before ever they took shape, when as yet there was none of them.” A baby is God’s gift to a couple committed to loving each other for life, they see the child as an expression of their love for one another and celebrate its birth. Today there are many couples who conveniently dump each other and flit on to other relationships, throwing the child into a whirlwind of adversity that the little one has no resources or support to get through. They languish in some governmental system care house or at the mercy of care givers.
When these young people stand before God after their lives are over, they will have to answer God for the lives of the children they have ruined or babies they aborted. It is easy to guess what their eternal destination will be if they do not repent and get right with God. The saddest part is millions of people do not even know that hell is real. There are Christians who say they believe in Jesus but do not believe that hell is real. Jesus Himself said, “that repentance [with a view to and as the condition of] forgiveness of sins should be preached in His name to all nations.” Repentance is a condition to receive forgiveness of sins. Without repentance there can be no forgiveness of sin. Without forgiveness, there can be no salvation.
The Consequences of Sin
David repented sincerely and was forgiven by God. David said, “Deliver me from bloodguiltiness and death, O God, the God of my salvation,” because he knew his sins deserved the worst punishment and only God could save him. Our youth, our children do not know the consequences of their sins, that have become second nature to them because no one taught them about it. They have no clue that it will lead to their eternal destruction.
Many people joke and say that heaven will be a dull place because there will be no fun. They say that they would love to go to hell if their favorite celebrity or family member is there. In Luke 16:19-26, Jesus tells us about the rich man and Lazarus. He reveals that hell is a place of torment. The rich man cries out saying, “Father Abraham, have pity and mercy on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.” But there is no relief for him. He learns that heaven and hell are separated by “a great chasm, and that those who want to pass from heaven to hell cannot do so, and no one can pass from hell to heaven too.”
If we wouldn’t in our right mind allow a tiny finger of ours to be kept over a burning flame for a few minutes, imagine what the whole body burning for eternity will feel like. I shudder to think about the great number of people who reserve their place in hell after believing the lies and deception of Satan. Satan deceived Eve in the Garden of Eden saying that eating the forbidden fruit will not lead to death. Eve, Adam and every single human being born since then died and this proves that God was right and the Devil was lying.
The only way to escape hell is to repent sincerely as David did. It is very urgent and essential that you judge yourself before God judges you. Judge yourself after reading the standards that God upholds in the Word of God. This is why Paul writes in Philippians 2:12, “Therefore, my dear ones, as you have always obeyed [my suggestions], so now, not only [with the enthusiasm you would show] in my presence but much more because I am absent, work out (cultivate, carry out to the goal, and fully complete) your own salvation with reverence and awe and trembling (self-distrust, with serious caution, tenderness of conscience, watchfulness against temptation, timidly shrinking from whatever might offend God and discredit the name of Christ).“
Grieving the Heart of God
Reading Hebrews 10:22-31 is very sobering. Verses 26-27 say, “For if we go on deliberately and willingly sinning after once acquiring the knowledge of the Truth, there is no longer any sacrifice left to atone for [our] sins [no further offering to which to look forward]. [There is nothing left for us then] but a kind of awful and fearful prospect and expectation of divine judgment and the fury of burning wrath and indignation which will consume those who put themselves in opposition [to God].“
“How much worse (sterner and heavier) punishment do you suppose he will be judged to deserve who has spurned and [thus] trampled underfoot the Son of God, and who has considered the covenant blood by which he was consecrated common and unhallowed, thus profaning it and insulting and outraging the [Holy] Spirit [Who imparts] grace (the unmerited favor and blessing of God)?For we know Him Who said, Vengeance is Mine [retribution and the meting out of full justice rest with Me]; I will repay [I will exact the compensation], says the Lord. And again, The Lord will judge and determine and solve and settle the cause and the cases of His people. It is a fearful (formidable and terrible) thing to incur the divine penalties and be cast into the hands of the living God!” Verses 28-31
Going back to the Lord
No one on this earth, no power, no money or wealth, no power, fame or worldly privileges can save a person who has grieved God through sin and not repented. True repentance is our only hope.
Jesus said in Luke 13:24, “Strive to enter by the narrow door [force yourselves through it], for many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able. When once the Master of the house gets up and closes the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door [again and again], saying, Lord, open to us! He will answer you, I do not know where [what household—certainly not Mine] you come from. Then you will begin to say, We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets. But He will say, I tell you, I do not know where [what household—certainly not Mine] you come from; depart from Me, all you wrongdoers!”
We must remember that the Lord is speaking about Christian believers in this verse. We need to take a decision to examine our hearts according to the word of God and get ourselves to be aligned with God’s standards so that we can draw close to Him and escape eternal death.