Believers understanding and appreciating the power of self-examination.
Welcome to Anointed Clay our effort to share in hopes of getting you to your greater truth.
“Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; Try my mind and my heart.”(Psalm 26:2)
Most are not cognitively aware of their thoughts and even less aware of the origin of those thoughts. Think of the focus of meditation: to discern the truth or deception of those thoughts, the level of introspection to be vividly aware of your internal man as we are visually aware of our external man. What if our devotional time in the morning started with meditation toward self-examination, followed by a concentration on God as the changing factor? What if we took the same time to examine our soul as some take to prep and primp the outer appearance? Self-examination, in contrast to the righteous standard of the most high, is that mirror for our soul. This level of introspection can be very humbling. Humility is not designed to sabotage your self-esteem, but to build your greater truth. Without an honest assessment of the condition, how can there be a beneficial renovation?
Before a successful introspection, it would help to have a good inventory. Inventory is made easier with sections and categories; an organized condition to make a count of what is actually there. These sections inside of a man can be broken up in the three parts of the heart: will - my spirit, emotion - soul, intellect - mind. By inventory, I mean understanding the distinctions of these areas in our heart and the role that each one plays in my processing of knowing self and coming to harmony with in self. It is also weighing the divide between the natural and spiritual aspect of each. The spirit was made to be spiritual and relate to the spirit of truth, the word of truth, and the love of God. It was also made from and for eternity. The soul, or conscious, was made for the operation of life on earth and has been developed prior to conversion by the condition. As a result it is natural or carnal it is describe in scripture as being wicked by default. The mind is the processor, functioning thought life, and storing of information, both experiential and empirical data.
Understanding the difference in my soul and my spirit as denoted in Hebrew 4:12. In older languages, the words soul, spirit, heart, and mind sometimes have very different positions. A lot of times they are used interchangeably when translated into younger languages, such as English. At first glance in reading, say for instance, King James versions, the text doesn’t really line up with our actual biological make up. There is a clear distinction drawn between the different dynamics of our immaterial man. Seeing them used with clear understanding in scripture gets to be a little complicated. Without going into a lot of Greek and Hebrew and dedicating three chapters to trying to define where each proper position should be placed in scripture. I’ll give a beneficial explanation.
In the inventory process, we’re still learning to hear His voice; we must discern between His Spirit and my emotions. His Spirit speaks to my spirit. In Romans 8:16 it says that His Spirit joins with our spirit to confirm the connection, 1John 3:20 speaks of if your heart condemns you … this can be more readily recognized as your conscience, so we should see the difference between the confirmation of my spirit and the condemnation of my conscience. In Genesis 22:7 But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, "My father!" And he said, "Here I am, my son." Then he said, "Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?" Isaac’s basic question was “what’s going on here?” with the question from his beloved son Isaac. Fear would have spoken, his emotions could have spoken, but faith based in who he was in God by the spirit continued to speak; And Abraham said, "My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering." When speaking of understanding self, internally there has to be a realization of the constant potential for conflict if the right standard is not in view. The willingness to repent should keep the standard in view. It should be our reminder that I can’t trust my logic or my feelings, a reminder of the frailty of my mind and my conscious.
“Born again” should be a clean sheet of paper, but since there is no delete function on the hard drive (of the mind) we come with all of our preconceived ideas experience and a conscience that has been developed by fallen nature. So the conscious (the soul) has to be erased and rewritten repentance helps in the process. This is not only concerning what we easily perceive as bad behavior or transgression, but even more importantly, the wrong truth.
In the right understanding, repentance is like a spiritual laxative to disregard the waste of wrong or flesh based truth. The greater reward of repentance is not just qualification, but maturation to walk fully in the Spirit.
In order for this level of examination to take place, we must lay ourselves on the examination table. This suggests, surrender and submission. This is the idea we strive to convey in an effective worship. What we call voluntary brokenness, so that what is not needed can be removed and then what is needed can be imparted. Let's focus on removal for right now.
God has given the Word and His Spirit as the examiners and surgeon, but we still have the responsibility to yield forth whatever it may be that needs to be removed. I like to look at repentance as yielding forth as the standard of God is revealed. If it does not line up with that standard, I have to let go of it. In David's request in Psalm 26:2, there are different ways that my understanding of what needs to be removed comes to light.
“Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; Try my mind and my heart.”
Let’s first consider the English word used here “try” it is the Hebrew word sarap: A verb meaning to refine, to test. This word describes the purifying process of a refiner, who heats metal, takes away the dross, and is left with a pure substance (Word Study)
Strong’s also says it means to fuse; this understanding changes the perception of the request.