Thursday, August 26, 2010

Diagnosing Your Spiritual Health

Don Whitney's 10 Questions to Diagnose Your Spiritual Health, from the book of the same name:

1. Do you thirst for God?
2. Are you governed increasingly by God's Word?
3. Are you more loving?
4. Are you more sensitive to God's presence?
5. Do you have a growing concern for the spiritual and temporal needs of others?
6. Do you delight in the bride of Christ?
7. Are the spiritual disciplines increasingly important to you?
8. Do you still grieve over sin?
9. Are you a quicker forgiver?
10. Do you yearn for heaven and to be with Jesus?

(HT: @Joel_Lindsey)

Just to add: These questions help diagnose. But "trying harder" is not the prescription.
Behold and believe.


Kevin C said...

I really like this list. Usually whenever I see a "Ten Things/Questions..." I tune out. But, I like this cause it's not a list of do's but rather a list of be's.

Roberta said...

Yes, I do but it is only because God brought me to the end of myself.

victoria said...

Can I be real honest here? (I guess I can; it is the internet) I don't like lists like this, and most of my answers are more along the lines of "no." I can even handle that, but then you say "trying harder" is not the prescription; that to behold and believe.

What if.... you are a Believer. You believe but have doubts, but still emerge knowing you believe but not quite content with the answers? "Behold and believe" sounds so good but what does it really mean? I do believe, and yet I'm still at a place of spiritual disconnection. "Behold"..... not quite sure what that means.

Right now I'm reading Lloyd-Jones book The Kingdom of God and it is all about the Gospel and keeps saying what God has done. I know all this; and yet..... it bothers me when I keep hearing that we need to let God to the work of transformation in our lives because I don't feel transformed yet and keep thinking that there must be something I have to *do*. I know it is "all God" but isn't it OUR obedience and actions?

Okay, I know I made no sense and please, feel free to delete this. I'm sure this is not "proper etiquette" on a blog.

Jared said...

Victoria, good questions.

"Behold" means, in my view, to look long at the vision of Jesus in the Scriptures, see who he is there and what it says he's done, and hold on to that vision.

My friend Ray says to "Stare at the glory of God until you see it." I like that.

Yes, you're supposed to obey. But I have found that when we start with obey rather than behold/believe, many often end up carrying the weight of their own sanctification.

So believe. And obey. And when you disobey, go back to the cross for assurance and strength. And repent into obedience.

But never trust your obedience. Trust His obedience and his promise that the Spirit bears fruit in the lives of his friends.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jared:

I have two questions. Can you define, "Are you more sensitive to God's presence?" and "Spiritual Disciplines".

Thanks :)

Jared said...

EM, I can try.

"Being sensitive to God's presence" I believe is a combination of "praying continually" and being more mindful of the Spirit's comfort/conviction/counseling in our lives, along with being less "self"-conscious. I might ask it this way: Are you growing in the ability to "take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ" and "devote yourselves to prayer and be alert in it"?

The Spiritual disciplines are traditionally:
Bible study

Michael F. Bird said...

Jared, but this accentuates the point I'm making. There is nothing wrong with "Behold and Believe", but why does that disqualify "try harder". Why shouldn't we try harder to be good, kind, merciful, holy, and full of good deeds. How on earth does this reconcile with James? This is precisely the disjunction between the indicative and the imperative that I'm complaining about!

Jared said...

Michael, it doesn't disqualify "try harder." It precedes and empowers it.

It reconciles with James the way evangelicals have traditionally reconciled James: we are saved by faith alone, but not by faith that is alone.

We must keep indicative and imperative distinguished -- although not really "disjoined" -- lest we muddle grace and law. There is no power in the law to fulfill its demands.