Wednesday, March 4, 2009

"What's Your Temperature?"

By Gwen Smith

Today's Truth

"Search Me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting"
(Psalm 139:23-24, ESV).

Friend to Friend
I got a phone call in the middle of a workday from my son Preston. He was calling from the nurse's office at the school. Here's how the conversation went:

"Hey mom. It's Preston. I'm not feeling well, and I have a temperature of 96.5. Can you come get me?"

"96.5 degrees?" I asked. "Honey, that's below normal! That doesn't sound right."

"I know," he said, "but I don't feel well. Can you please come pick me up?"

"Sure honey. I'll be right there."

I chuckled the whole way to the school at what he had said. Surely he misread the thermometer! A normal temperature is 98.6. Something was off. I got to the school in a North Carolina minute and headed straight to the nurse's office. While Preston packed up his bag to go home, I spoke privately to the school nurse. With a grin on her face, she explained to me that Preston was resistant to putting the thermometer under his tongue as she had instructed him to do. He wasn't comfortable with that. "So," she said, "he held the thermometer between his lips." The nurse and I exchanged chuckles and amused glances as I thanked her for helping my son.

Although Preston knew something wasn't right with his body, he didn't get an accurate temperature reading because he didn't place the thermometer in deep enough. He didn't let it probe past the surface.

Later that night, as I thought back on the day, the Lord spoke to my heart. He showed me that there are times when I'm resistant to an accurate reading of my spiritual wellness. Times when I won't let Him probe past the surface of my heart, my actions, my attitudes, and my perspective to allow Him to reveal an accurate spiritual temperature for my life. Times when I'm not comfortable with deeper-level stuff. Times when I don't sit still to listen.

I was disturbed by that thought. I needed to be disturbed by that thought. By that truth. I'm in full time ministry, but that doesn't mean that I'm always in perfect spiritual health. To the contrary...the more I learn about God's holiness, the more I realize how much I need His grace and strength every minute of every day.

You might not "feel well" today. Perhaps you have spiritual indigestion from your marriage, your children, your friendships, your finances, your singleness, your conversations. It could be from the shows you watch, the internet relationships you've developed, the gossip you allow to pass from your lips, the jealousy you feel in your heart. You haven't allowed your heart to be probed. You are resistant to an accurate assessment of the hurt---resistant to a true assessment of your own heart.

What's your spiritual temperature? Are you hot or cold? Is the flame of faith in your heart fading or raging? Have you sat still long enough lately to ask God to search your heart? It's time for an accurate reading.

"For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him." 2 Chronicles 16:9, NIV

Let's Pray
Holy Father, as the psalmist prayed, I ask that you would, "search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting" (Psalm 139:23-24, ESV). In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Now It's Your Turn
Take a spiritual inventory today. Spend a few moments considering your spiritual wellness. What is your quiet time like? Is God a top priority in your life? Do you set aside time regularly to read your Bible? Ask God to probe your heart and reveal areas in your life that need to be made right.

Read John 15:1-11, then write a prayer response.

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