Examine Me

Psalm 26:2 Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.

According to the CDC, 20-40% of the 900,000 premature deaths in the United States could have been prevented. One Dr. wrote: “As a doctor, it is heartbreaking to lose just one patient to a preventable disease or injury – and it is that much more poignant as the director of the nation’s public health agency to know that far more than a hundred thousand deaths each year are preventable,”

In the medical field, more than ever, we are reminded of the benefits of preventative care and screening. And yet yearly, up to 360,000 people die unnecessarily by causes that could have (and should have) been prevented. Why is this the case? Many times, we aren’t willing to take the time for a simple screening, a simple doctor’s visit, or a simple examination that can prevent tragedy.

Every year, there are scores of spiritual casualties for the same reason. I wonder the number of spiritual fatalities that are a result of conditions that could have been rooted out early. But because they went undetected or unaddressed, they led to tragedy.

David wasn’t going to chance it. David was a man after God’s heart for a reason. Time and time again, David prayed what he prayed in the Scripture above: “Examine me.” Many times he prayed, “Search me.” “Try me.” “Know my heart.” “Prove me.” David wanted the Great Physician to do a heart check. He wanted the Lord to check his spiritual head (Ps 139:23). If there was something wrong, he wanted to know, so he could fix it!

Nobody I know likes to visit the doctor’s examination room. But it’s necessary for physical longevity. If we want to experience spiritual longevity, then often, we need to go to the Great Doctor and ask what David asked, “examine me.” As a doctor will be up front and say, “your cholesterol is high”, or “you need to shed a few pounds”, so is the Great Physician.

Let’s open the examination tool of His Word, and meet with Him in the examination room of prayer. Ask, and sure enough, He’ll bring our condition to the light. He may say, “your heart condition isn’t good”, or, “your thought life needs some work”, or, “you need more spiritual exercise.” And when He does, let’s work on it!

Let’s not be casualties of preventable spiritual conditions. Let’s get into His Word. Let’s go to Him in prayer. Let’s live lives of spiritual longevity for our good, the good of our families, and for God’s glory.

Revive (Me) Again

Most Christians would agree with this statement: we need revival. But if I ask, “where do we need revival most?”, there will be a plurality of answers. Many would say, “we need revival in our country!” Others would say, “in our schools!” Some would think, “on Capitol Hill.” Yet others might say, “in our churches.”

Psalm 85 tells us where revival must happen first. The Psalmist says,Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee? If revival is to happen, it will not start in our country. It will not in our government, and certainly not in our places of education. The writer understood that a prayer for revival is a personal prayer, and the plea for revival is a personal plea. It isn’t for someone else to be revived. It isn’t for another institution. It isn’t at another location. It’s right here, where I am standing. It’s me, it’s me, it’s me O Lord, standing in the need of prayer for revival.

Do you long to see revival in our country? I do. Do you long to see revival in our community, and in our churches? I do as well. Revival will happen when it begins within you and me, as a child of God. How then, can I begin to see revival in my heart? We find further insight in this chapter. Moses gives us principles for personal revival.

  • The requirement for revival: Ask for mercy. The verse following the Psalmist’s request for revival says, “shew us thy mercy, O Lord”. Has there been a time where my walk was sweeter than it was this morning? Have I allowed sensual thoughts to take up residence in my soul? Do my entertainment choices (like t.v. music, social media, internet) grieve the Holy Spirit? Have I allowed pride to creep in and make me judgmental and condescending? Am I the witness and testimony the Lord wants me to be? Is it something else? If so, I need God’s mercy for personal revival. This kind of repentance- turning toward God’s mercy and away from my sin, always foreshadows revival.
  • The resource for revival: Hear the Word. Verse seven says, “I will hear what God the Lord will speak.” Hearing the Word of God always precedes revival. If we want to see personal revival, we must get back to the book. We must hear it. We must read it. We must meditate on it. And we must be willing to obey when it speaks to us.
  • The result of revival: Righteous living. How will I know that revival has begun? Is it shown in a two-hour alter call at the end of a camp meeting? Is it testimonies of those who have been “revived?” According to this chapter, revival is evidenced in righteous living. Three times in four verses, righteousness, fear of God, peace, holiness is a result. I will know that revival has begun when I begin to live more like Christ- righteously.
  • The reason for revival: The glory of God. Yes, we were created for God’s glory and pleasure, and this is the ultimate purpose for revival. But this chapter shows us that when God’s glory is known, good things happen to us as well! There’s blessing when revival happens. There’s guidance from the Lord when revival happens. God’s goodness is given when revival happens.

Do you want to see revival? I do. Revival must start with “us”. Ask the Lord to search us and reveal where we need His mercy. Get into the Book and allow it to convict our soul, and produce righteous living in us. Then, God’s glory will be evident through us, and it can’t help but make a difference in our realm of influence- our family, our church, our community, our country. Revival is personal. And it starts with me.