Blood draws, tissue biopsies, X-rays, and endoscopic cameras; the first step for doctors in helping their patients regain health is to subject the body to a battery of invasive tests.
No one wants to hear scary news, but pain or disability tend to change our minds. What is true physically is the same metaphysically. In our family devotion through the book, Claiming Christ, we compared the admonition of Paul and Peter with regard to Christians testing their own faith against the possibility of spiritual corruption.
Many denominational traditions deny the threat of such cancer-of-faith, but as with our bodies, when the debilitating pain of reality expands beyond the point of self-denial, Christians are faced with the sobering truth, as Paul put it, of having “failed the test” (2 Cor 13).
As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so it also applies to the health of our souls. We can deny the possibility of Christians being spiritually choked by weeds, or we can admit the susceptibility of what Paul meant by being corrupted by this world and regularly test our selves.
A wise Christian knows two things in this regard: one, that faith in Jesus remains vulnerable to serious disease of apostasy, and two, that the Doctor has the power to completely heal such periodic invasive disease for those who keep their appointments for regular check ups.
I am reminded of Jesus’ lament from the Mount of Olives as he looked out over Jerusalem. He said he longed to wrap his protective and healing arms around his people, but they refused to come to him. They claimed their health was guaranteed because of their lineage membership, as if that was sufficient to remove their sinful nature, but they would not submit themselves to the Master Physician’s prescription for regular preventative care. It seems that many Christians slip into a similar mindset, by claiming eternal health while refusing to undergo the difficult self-testing of faith as prescribed by Paul.
For sure, some healing is attained by submitting to the surgeon’s knife, while we remain under full anesthesia, blissfully unaware of the organ transfer taking place. However, often times, the doctor’s advice is to start exercising, eat non-processed and nutritious foods , engage in healthier activities, let go of excessively stressful environments, and a host of other self-applied remedies.
Those desirous of healing by revealing, might consider the doctor’s note as outlined by Peter in 2 Pet 1:1-11.
Test yourself by measuring the health within you, your attitudes, your activities, and relationships according to the revelatory internal changes mentioned by Peter. Sustain and enhance those that have clear evidence of growth (or as Peter put it, show that you have “added to” what you had before). And where the self-testing indicates that your character may be a bit anemic (lacking in blood flow), commit to putting the Surgeons words (aka: Scripture) into greater practice.
If you do, you will be assured of the complete healing promised, and will have no reason to be concerned about being harmed by our genetic predisposition as Christians (according to Paul) to being deceived like Eve.
Call for your regular appointment Today. I hear, he has kept an open spot in his schedule, just for you.
What other ways can you “test yourselves to see whether or not your faith is genuine”?