Lent: A Time For Step 4– A Searching And Fearless Spiritual Inventory
Many Recovery Groups use the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous to overcome whatever addiction may be plaguing their lives. Although Christians are forgiven of our sins, we know that sin continues to plague our lives. The Prophet Jeremiah reminds us that the human “heart is devious above all else; it is perverse — who can understand it?” (Jer. 17:9) The transformation of our hearts so that we might not sin takes time along with the support of the Holy Spirit and the church. Therefore in a very real way, the church is a recovery group for us to contend with the sin that still remains in our lives.
This season of Lent leading up to Easter is intended as a time for us to do Step 4 of those 12 Steps: to complete a “searching and fearless inventory” of our spiritual lives. And a big part of that inventory comes with the assistance of God. The Psalmist pleads: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. See if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Ps. 139:23-24)
I encourage us during this season of Lent to ask God to help us to do such a fearless and exhaustive spiritual inventory of our hearts; to help us see how we are falling short in obeying all that Jesus taught us about living as an obedient child of God.
I think it would especially helpful to inventory ourselves on how well we are doing in expressing the Fruits of the Spirit in our daily lives. Those fruits are: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control. (Gal. 5:22-24). Are our lives regularly characterized by those fruits? If we are unsure, it would be helpful to ask those who know us best to tell us how they perceive our lives and if they see evidence of those fruits in us.
Spiritual maturity can be defined as consistently expressing those Fruits of the Spirit in our daily lives. If any of those fruits are missing in us, we still have work to do to become all that God can enable us to become and to experience the full joy of our salvation.
So I invite and encourage us to take time between now and Easter to ask God to show us our hidden faults so that we can repent again and allow God both to create in us a clean heart and to renew a right spirit within us.
Grace and Peace to you all!
WMU BINGO at the Lancashire
2:00 p.m., March 11th
Yours in Christ,
Suzii Paynter, Executive Coordinator
Cooperative Baptist Fellowship
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