Test Your Faith? [2 Cor. 13]
4For indeed He was crucified because of weakness, yet He lives because of the power of God For we also are weak in Him, yet we will live with Him because of the power of God directed toward you. 5 Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you--unless indeed you fail the test?
I once heard a Pastor tell our congregation not to question our faith. Immediately, the 2 Corinthians verses came to my mind and I knew that what he was saying wasn't Biblical. He wasn't a bad Pastor and for the most part had great things to say, but nobody gets it right all of the time. That's why we need to be like the Bereans (from Acts 17:11) who listened eagerly to the message and then went home to study the Scriptures to see if all that was said was true.
The Bible teaches that it is good to examine our faith now and again, but how do we do that? This is what I do. I periodically, perhaps every six months to a year, prayerfully consider the last six months or year to see if I am growing in my relationship with God and with others and if I am bearing more godly fruit (the fruit of the Spirit) in my life. I am not as concerned with how much growth as I am with just answering the question, "Is there spiritual growth?" In 2 Peter 1, Peter explained that if the fruit of the Spirit was present in our lives and increasing, we would be useful and fruitful to God and be assured of our salvation among several other things.
If I examine myself and see that I am not growing, that's great because I now have an opportunity to ask God to work in my life to boost the growth. If I examine myself and I am growing, that is great, too, but according to Paul, I need to not grow weary of doing well (2 Thess. 3:13) and excel still more (1 Thess.4:1). All growth is caused by God through Jesus and grace. Our only job is to surrender our inability to grow to God and put on His ability. He will do the rest!
God, we praise You that every one of us can grow if we will give You our weaknesses and put on Your strengths because that is why Jesus died and what His death accomplished for us. Cause us to examine ourselves regularly and to seek Your grace to enable us to excel still more.