Monday, March 02, 2009

Have You Taken Inventory Lately? (Part 1)

“Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.” (Psalm 26:2).

There is in every man or woman who desires to be truly successful and effective in life, an intuitive sense that requires of them a personal commitment to self-examination so as to insure they will have what it takes to deliver the goods when the moment of opportunity knocks. (Hey, you should read that sentence one more time; seriously, it's that good!)

Indeed, inherent to every significant advance in life is a time of individual introspection; a season when we take inventory and honestly assess who we are, what we’ve got, where we are headed, and how we plan to get there.

Inventory. Webster’s defines it as “an itemized list of current assets; a catalog of the property of an individual or an estate. A list of goods on hand. A survey of resources. A list of traits, preferences, attitudes, interests, or abilities used to evaluate personal characteristics or skills.”

Have you taken inventory lately?

There are defining moments in life when we each need to take inventory; not so much as it pertains to material wealth or other tangible possessions, but rather as it concerns the condition of our souls. We need to take stock on the welfare of our spirit; a real heart examination – not of the cardiovascular pump, but of the deepest interior of our very selves.

In other words, we need to ask God to take stock of our heart’s true state – and then face up to what He says. Left to ourselves, our inspections can be misleading. For our self-perceptions are not always trustworthy. “I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing,” was the boast of one sad lot of Christians who lived long ago in a town called Laodicea.

But when Christ took inventory of their lives, His report was altogether different. “You don’t know how bad off you are,” Jesus said, “you are pitiable like a blind beggar, poor like a miserable wretch, threadbare and homeless like a poverty-stricken outcast” (see Revelation 3:17). We tend to see ourselves as we want to be, rather than as we are.

Thus, to insure that our lives may truly excel, we must pray, “Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.”

If we will -- then He will. And when He does, He will sort us out and set us up so that all things work together for our good!

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