“Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith;” – 2 Corinthians 12:5
I was driving back from a cookout at some friends last Saturday night when suddenly a warning light came on in my car. An orange light on my dash lit up and the car’s computer indicated that one of my rear tires was low on air. It wasn’t an emergency, I made it home safely, and put air in the tire the next day. I’m glad for the warning light as it helped prevent a bigger problem down the road. Thank God for “high tech” cars!
Whether you realize it or not, God has designed each of us with “warning lights.” There’s a “system” within you that begins to light up or even blink when something is wrong deep in your soul. Looking at things from the outside, most people would never know that anything is wrong on the inside. In fact, you might not even be aware that something is wrong on the inside! But God has designed us with “an indicator” that tells us there’s something that needs attention, something that needs care.
That indicator is the Holy Spirit. Jesus said in John 16:7-8: “I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment.” Jesus is talking here about the Holy Spirit, the Counselor whom he would give to all believers after he ascended. This same Spirit acts as a “warning light” of our soul’s condition.
Funny how just the other night, I woke up around 3:30 AM with something “burning” in my heart. (No, it wasn’t indigestion!) It was the Spirit telling me something that I needed to address in my life. At other times, I’ve awakened with insights for sermons, leading a meeting, or revelations about people I know. In fact, the Spirit often comes to us in the early hours of the morning when our defenses are down, when our minds are clear, and when our bodies are rested. All these promptings, restless feelings, and insights can be “warnings” from God. Sometimes, something is wrong, needs changing, or needs some care and attention in our lives.
What do you do with these promptings? Do you ignore them or heed their warning? Surely, not everything you think and feel in the middle of the night or day is a word from God. But what I have learned is that when these “voices” and promptings are persistent over time, there’s a pretty good chance that it’s the Holy Spirit convicting you and God trying to tell you something. What might the Spirit be trying to tell you?
Are there some “warning lights” going off in your soul? Maybe they’re not just lit up but are blinking urgently! There’s an issue that needs addressing. There’s a relationship that needs mending. There’s a sin that needs confessing. There’s a conversation that needs to happen. There’s an apology that needs to be extended. There’s a change that needs to be made. There’s a habit that needs to be broken. What is it for you?
Taking time to examine our hearts and lives – to take an inventory of what’s going on in the inside of us – is a critical part of becoming self-aware and a growing maturity in God. The Bible commands us to examine ourselves in 2 Corinthians 12:5. Would you take a moment today to pay attention to the warning lights blinking in your heart and soul right now? What will you do to heed the warning? Let’s be real and honest to God and others. And, may we avoid the brokenness that comes from ignoring the warning lights given us by the Holy Spirit!
Sincerely in Christ,
Pastor Dave Van Netten