Psalm 26:2 Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.
According to the CDC, 20-40% of the 900,000 premature deaths in the United States could have been prevented. One doctor wrote: “As a doctor, it is heartbreaking to lose just one patient to a preventable disease or injury–and it is that much more poignant as the director of the nation’s public health agency to know that far more than 100,000 deaths each year are preventable.”
In the medical field, more than ever, we are reminded of the benefits of preventative care and screening. And yet yearly, between 180,000 and 360,000 people die unnecessarily in the US by causes that could have (and should have) been prevented. Why is this the case? Many times, we aren't willing to take the time for a simple screening, a simple doctor's visit, or a simple examination that can prevent tragedy.
Every year, there are scores of spiritual casualties for the same reason. I wonder the number of spiritual fatalities that are a result of conditions that could have been rooted out early. But because they went undetected or unaddressed, they led to tragedy.
David wasn't going to chance it. David was a man after God's heart for a reason. Time and time again, David prayed what he prayed in the Scripture above: "Examine me." Many times he prayed, "Search me." "Try me." "Know my heart." "Prove me." David wanted the Great Physician to do a heart check. He wanted the Lord to check his spiritual head (Ps 139:23). If there was something wrong, he wanted to know, so he could fix it.
Nobody I know likes to visit the doctor's examination room. But it is necessary for physical longevity. If we want to experience spiritual longevity, then we need to go to the Great Doctor often and ask what David asked: "Examine me." As a doctor will be up front and say, "Your cholesterol is high," or "You need to shed a few pounds," so will the Great Physician.
Let's open the examination tool of His Word, and meet with Him in the examination room of prayer. Ask, and soon enough, He'll bring our condition to the light. He may say, "Your heart condition isn't good," or "Your thought life needs some work," or "You need more spiritual exercise." And when He gives His diagnosis, let's work on it!
How can we follow through and see God do a great work in and through our lives?
As it made sense for the One who was the Word of God to follow the Word of God, so too does it make sense for His followers to do the same.