Mark Affleck

I Slammed The Door SHUT When God Said OPEN It

March 31, 2021
Spiritual Growth

What’s the best way to CLOSE out this month’s series on “Recognizing Our INADEQUACY Without God?” With a message on our need to OPEN up.
God tells us to OPEN UP and examine ourselves regularly to discern which direction our faith walk should take.
“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.” Psalm 139:23
Getting our response to that mandate is far from automatic. God wants it raw and honest. Open and vulnerable. Teachable and moldable.
God wants us to be TRULY OPEN.
“Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?” 2 Corinthians 13:5
But it is common for Christians to take one of two (or both) DETOURS that can compromise our connection with Christ: 1) INCORRECTLY OPEN; and 2) NAIVELY OPEN.
Being INCORRECTLY OPEN to God’s direction is unhealthy introspection. This form of self-examination is fueled by LIES from Satan. Being incorrectly open produces an examination that is over-the-top and deflating.

You’ve no doubt heard the soundtrack to this tune: “I’m no good. God will never bless me. The sky will eventually fall.” As that song continues to play, our flesh-driven nature will hijack the lyrics and turn us against ourselves.
Early in my faith walk I thought my life was open to God. But I can see now that my goal was to avoid being confronted with God’s truth about how I was—or was not—walking with him. It’s comical to look back at that time now. What was I thinking? That God wouldn’t find out if I “kept it a secret”? Unbelievable.

I learned a valuable lesson from that experience of being NAIVELY OPEN. I learned that we cannot hide from God. We need to be truly open.
We will never be truly open to GOD’S examination if we are focusing on OURSELVES. The goal is to look at Christ MORE than we look at self (2 Corinthians 3:18).

Take ONE step toward self and TEN steps toward God.
I ask God to help me set down my pride, admit my sins, and expose my weaknesses to him. To examine my heart, Lord, and prompt me to bring to him those areas of my life that must be surrendered.
Is your self-examination in front of God TRULY OPEN?
But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup.” 1 Corinthians 11:28

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