A 3 Point Spiritual MRI

mriRecently a close friend went to a diagnostic center and had an MRI.  The doctor wanted to see “the details under the surface.”  The amazing Magnetic Resonance Imaging device scanned the entire body and revealed anything that called for greater physical scrutiny.

I’ve been thinking that it is probably a good idea for each of us to occasionally undergo a Spiritual MRI to take a closer look at what’s under the surface in our walk with Christ.

While meditating on Colossians 1:10 I re-read the interesting phrase, “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord.”  This could sum up my desire to, by my actions, give Christ all the glory for the blessings He has given me as I’ve gone through the daily path of my life.  I had read that verse scores of times and always stopped my consideration at that single phrase…“walk in a manner worthy of the Lord.”

The idea of that kind of living could be extremely intimidating.  Just what does walking through life in a manner worthy of a loving, gracious, sacrificing Savior look like?  How do we look closely at our lives and decide if they are “worthy” of the Lord or not?  We can’t just look at what’s obvious.  We need to go deep under that outward appearance and deal with potentially sobering details.

We need a spiritual MRI… which in this case stands for “My Relational Intensity.”  This examination should reveal what’s under the surface and perhaps uncover, what has been until now, unknown areas of our lives needing greater spiritual scrutiny.

If we ask the question, “How do I evaluate if my life is being lived in a manner worthy of Christ,” all we have to do is read the rest of the text verse.

so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;    Colossians 1:10

Here we find three self-examining “MRI” questions we need to ask.  The first is a not-so-simple query.

“Do I please Christ in all aspects of my life?”

That’s ALL aspects!  Do I please God in my marriage, my family, my job, my church, my friends, my use of the internet, my diet, my hobbies, my reading, my writing, and my thought life?  Wow!  This first question alone gets to below the surface of a life.  You can’t pretend if you’re honestly looking.

The second question is just as revealing.

“Am I producing spiritual fruit in every one of my “good” activities?”

Many of us are very busy doing exactly what we like to do and not what needs to be done.  By examining our activities and asking if they are “good things” or are they the “best things” we could be doing, we can get into real challenges.  Am I busy doing the spiritually most fruitful things – producing spiritual fruit in other men and women and/or fruit in myself?  The devil is satisfied if we fill our schedule with stuff that is “good” as long as we are too scheduled to accomplish the “best” things God wants us to achieve.  Hmmm!

Lastly we come to a relational question between us and the Lord.

“Am I continually getting to know God better?”

I have a friend who regularly asks me what I’m doing to spiritually grow my knowledge of my Savior.  No matter how long we’ve been Christ-followers we should never stop learning.  So, in “My Relational Intensity” examination, what am I reading?  What am I studying?  What am I watching?  What services, meetings, seminars, or classes am I attending in order to grow in my knowledge of my Lord?  OR am I content to just go to church and sit unchallenged, uninvolved, and comfortable?

Now I know what my friend felt like when the MRI results came in.  There is nothing hidden.  Everything is clearly revealed.  And there are some issues I need to address to achieve spiritual health.  Along these very lines, while reading through Psalms, I discovered what I consider the most dangerous prayer in the Bible.

Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.    Psalm 139:23–24

This prayer actually asks the Great Physician, God Himself, to run us through the Spiritual MRI, discovering any hidden anxious thoughts and hurtful ways.  In answering that prayer request the Lord could be revealing some very private, under-the-surface kind of things we’ve stashed way down deep.  But that’s just the kind of examination we need to deal with issues standing in the way of living our lives in a manner worthy of Jesus.

I recommend a “My Relational Intensity” exam to any believer who wishes to live a life that counts for Christ… a life that glorifies the Lord.  After that examination what would God find?  A life walked worthy of the Lord… or something else?

Think about it…

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