Test yourselves [to see] if you are in the faith. Examine yourselves. Or do you not recognize for yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you?-unless you fail the test.2 Corinthians 13:5(HCSB)
In his final words to this group of believers, Paul was challenging them to test themselves and examine their hearts and behaviours, to see if they were truly living the life of faith.
Like so many believers, they were quick to criticise others, and feigned a false spirituality that was self-induced and not from God. These believers were encouraged to examine their hearts to be sure that their faith was founded on Christ and that their witness was true and not counterfeit.
There are a number of ways that each one of us can examine our own spiritual lives, and perhaps the most important is the witness of the indwelling Holy Spirit with our born-again spirit, as we cry out to the Lord: "Search me oh God and know my heart. Examine me and see if there is any false spirituality lurking within my inner being."
We should not be examining the spirituality of others, for only God knows their hearts, but there are many ways that we can examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith.
Are we walking in spirit and truth? Have we come apart and separated ourselves from the world's enticements and the lusts of the fleshly? Is our heart cry, "That I may know Christ," and do we abide in Him? Do we desire that Christ may live in me so that I may walk in His love?
As we examine ourselves, let us not fall into a legalistic 'works based' mindset, thinking 'I need to do this or that.' Rather, let us realise that resting in Him and allowing Him to work through us, to His praise and glory, is what He desires for us.
Heavenly Father, I pray that You would examine me and show me any area in my life that is acting counter to Your desire for me. I pray that my life may show forth the love and grace of the lovely Lord Jesus Christ, shining in and through me. May my life honour and glorify You from this day forward. In Jesus' name, AMEN.