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Examine Yourselves


Last week, I jokingly asked a health club acquaintance whether he would change his mind about his choice for president if presented with sufficient facts that contradicted his present beliefs.

He responded with utter confidence. "Absolutely not," he said.

"No new facts will change my mind because I know that these facts are correct."

I was floored.

In his brief rebuttal, he blindly demonstrated overconfidence in his own ideas and the inability to consider how new facts might alter a presently cherished opinion.

Worse, he seemed unaware of how irrational his response might appear to others.

It's clear, I thought, that carefully constructed arguments and presentation of irrefutable evidence will not change this man's mind.

 

We are Emotional Creatures

"Let's make sure that there is certainty during uncertain times."
September 22, 2008 George Bush

Each one of us is created by God to be a creature of some emotion.

We have a heart and we have a very powerful "feelings department" within our soul or psyche.

Those feelings are not particularly subject to reason. That is a well known fact.

The fact is, we are not entirely rational in what we believe. Our "feelings" play a very big part in what we decide is "true"- true for us.

In other words, it is like we believe in something we might call "my truth".

 

What about "my truth"?

Well, this is something "I like," and "it works for me".

Our heart is often cross wired with our rational mind. And so our mind is loaded with presuppositions we have not checked for accuracy. They are what we believe are Biblically well established facts.

But they are not.

They are our notions, really just our own fondly held, and often false, pre­suppositions.

This is why the process of deciding what we believe can play tricks on us. We don't want to "hear" some hard truths. Nor do we want to "see" some things.

We might think we have all the issues in alignment with God, and our beliefs are consistent with God's Word. But there are Pied Pipers out there, and we have been paying them to play our tune. So what they tell us is often what we "want to hear".

Of course seeker-friendly religious salesmen are just like other salesmen. They are close by our side. They know what we "want". And like good salesmen they are very keen to sell us what we want to hear.

We must face the brutal truth here. Jesus said that "where our treasure is there will our heart be also." This is an exceedingly difficult matter for us to address.

Bible teachers who teach a false issue are usually sound in every other way. For the most part they are our dear evangelical brothers and sisters. But the false issue becomes a well entrenched corporate belief.

There is a huge amount of false-issue traffic on the air waves. And the peer pressure involved here is past knowing.

When we finally see the error of this false issue then it suddenly becomes exceedingly difficult for us. It is hard to accept that we have been entangled in error and confusion for many years of our Christian lives. It is also very hard for us to believe that we have been deceived...
  • by well meaning Bible teachers.
  • And by ourselves.
We have not done our homework in the Holy Scriptures as we should. And we are creatures of habit who live and breathe in the status quo.

But here are the awful questions we must face:
  1. What if we are wrong?
  2. What if our judgment is off?
  3. What if we are still largely living on the carnal side of our nature?
  4. Does our lower nature and our ego lord over the spiritual side of our nature?
Our mind is like an iceberg, with the rational part of our being just the tip. The real workings of our mind are submerged and hidden beneath the surface.

So just what is going on deep down in our subconscious mind?

Are we Holy Spirit led, Bible believing overcomers?

Or is the fleshly side of our nature on the throne of our hearts and calling the shots?

Could it really be possible that our carnal religious desires can actually rise up and trump out Biblical truth?

Could this be what is happening deep down in our heart with our belief in a false issue?

 

These are awful things to have to consider

Most of us don't bother. We just drift along with the crowd.

It is not just our teenagers who are giving in to "peer pressure". It seems our false opinion on an issue will not change until the opinion of the crowd and our peers’ change.


Can it really be this bad?

The Bible repeatedly alludes to human beings being like sheep.

The prophet Isaiah said,
"All we like sheep have gone astray.We have turned every one of us, to his own way." - Isaiah 53:6

And he was right.

The prophet Jeremiah lamented;
“And the priests rule by their own power; and my people love to have it so.
But what will you do in the end?" - Jeremiah 5:31

Sometimes the truth really hurts.

I know others who have had the same experience. It is a tough initiation into the Way of the Cross. But it is a necessary one if we really want to be "sold out" for God.

And the Holy Spirit is with us. He is our Comforter as well as our Guide.

Here is another pointer; It is quite normal for saints to cry out to God in their distress. We need His covering in such times. It is even normal to cry or even become broody or moody for a season. We can even get angry at God for a time as we pass through these straits.

 

We serve a gracious God.

He understands what we are going through, and has promised to lead us "in Spirit as well as in Truth".

The Shepherd of the sheep is with us. He does not just hit us with data, or "sock it to us" with the cold facts.

His spirit dwells in us; He is our Comforter as well as being our Guide. He empowers us to walk in truth. The Holy Spirit also helps us to walk in the graces of His love, joy, and peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control.

Now is the time for us to take a long hard look at our attitude to Christian witness and the Bible. God has given us time for peaceful reflection and preparation in the Holy Spirit. And that time is now.

 

Now is the time

...to allow ourselves to be led in quietness deeper into the heart of the Shepherd..
  • Let us get to know His voice. (John 10:3-4)
  • A dark and cloudy day is coming. (Ezekiel34: 12)
True believers will need to stay very close to the Shepherd of Israel.

Let us join our Apostle Paul and affirm our faith to the end.


"For the which cause I also suffer these things:Nevertheless, I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day." 2Timimothy l: 12

The highway of holiness leads onward and upward.

We as Christians really desire to live in truth. Each one of us needs to examine ourselves. 

The final truth we are all seeking for is found in God's holy word.

Look in your Bible and let it have priority over everything else.