By Ryan Shaw
God is calling His body onward and upward in wholehearted, fervent love for Jesus. He is inviting us to abandon everything that competes with devotion to Him in our lives.
There is talk of revival in various parts of Christ’s body. Such a work of God does not come in a vacuum. It is directly connected with our willingness to identify, confess and forsake areas of sin in our lives.
Covered sin is the great obstacle to the work of the Spirit in our midst. Scripture is clear that God is ready to move, but sin within us personally, as well as our churches, ministries and organizations, hinders Him from hearing and responding (Psalm 66:12; Isaiah 59:12; Hosea 10:2; 2 Chronicles 7:14, Proverbs 28:13, etc).
In contrast, God is seeking hearts that are broken and contrite. People who feel the separation sin causes from God and repent of that sin, putting it away. God is ready to give us that heart when we ask Him for it.
It is not only personal, private sin that is in view here. But also areas we are at fault in personal relationships. The Holy Spirit desires to cultivate holy relationships where forgiveness and restoration is the norm.
So, what are areas that we want to be consistently evaluating in our lives? Consider the following questions. Do not be in a rush here.
Spend time with each one, inviting the Holy Spirit to show you things you may not see. Identify and admit each failing for what it is. Lay them at Jesus’ feet and receive His power to forsake and put that area of sin away, every time you are tempted with it.
(1) Have we forgiven everyone? Is there any hatred, bitterness or grudges in us toward another who has hurt us? Have we taken steps to be reconciled with these people?
(2) Do we get angry? Is it true that we still lose our tempers? Does boiling wrath burn within us? Usually this occurs when someone touches our money, ideas or territory.
(3) Is there any jealousy in us? When another is promoted or recognized before us, does it make us uncomfortable? Do we get jealous of those who can do various things better then we or are farther along in their career then we are?
(4) Do we get impatient or irritated easily? Do little things annoy us or are we gentle and meek in all circumstances?
(5) Are we offended easily? When others fail to notice us, do we quickly take offense? If another misunderstands us or doesn’t give us what we think we deserve, are we offended?
(6) Is there any pride in our hearts? Do we overly rely on our achievements and accomplishments? Are we dependent on our abilities and capacities or on God?
(7) Is there covetousness/ greed within? Do we desire the standard/ style of living of others instead of being content with what we have?
(8) Do we love righteousness and hate evil in ourselves and in the world around us?
(9) Do we spend time daily sitting at the feet of Jesus, enjoying His Word, seeking His face and worshipping Him?
(10) Do we regularly meditate on the greatness of God through reading spiritual books, biographies and reflecting on who He is and what He is like?
(11) Are we neglecting God’s Word? Have we allowed busyness to edge out time as a committed student of the Bible? Are we hearing from God through His Word on a regular basis?
(12) Have we allowed Jesus to be Lord (in control) of all areas of my life? Have I surrendered control and the leadership of my life to Him?
(13) Does our life reflect our great need of God in everything or do we live as if we can get along fine without God?
(14) Have we been dishonest? Are our financial dealings above reproach? Are we honest in what we say or are we prone to exaggerations?
(15) Do we gossip about or slander the character of others?
(16) Do we complain when situations are difficult or are we characterized by gratitude?
(17) Do we criticize others harshly? Do we tend to find faults in others and overlook the same things in our own lives?
(18) Have we robbed God of time that belongs to Him or of money that He gave us to steward in the first place?
(19) Are we guilty of unbelief? Though he has done so much for us, are we still unwilling to believe the promises of His Word?
(20) Are we prayerless? Have we willingly embraced the privilege of fellowshipping with Almighty God in the place of prayer and intercession?
(21) Are we ashamed of Jesus, do we confess Him openly and naturally?
(22) Have we wronged anyone or failed to make restitution? To pay back money loaned to us or the like?
(23) Are we worried or anxious about our daily physical or spiritual needs?
(24) Are we guilty of lustful thoughts? Do we allow unholy thoughts and imaginations?