Check Engine

The dreaded check engine light.  It is such a small little light, but when the check engine symbol lights ups in your car, then something is not working right.  A sensor in your vehicle has determined that something is not functioning as it should.  The light could mean anything from a transmission problem to a loose gas cap.  Yet, the lighted symbol can create anxiety for the owner as they do not know what is wrong.  And if it is something major, then you know that it can be costly to fix.  However, I think most folks are thankful to have an alert to catch the problem early before more damage to your engine may be done.  If something is wrong, then it is good to know as soon as possible.

What would it be like if we had a check heart light that came on in our lives, when something was not quite right in our relationship with God?  As a person of faith, I realize that there are times in my life in which my walk with God is not what it is supposed to be.  The life that Jesus called me to live often falls way short.  Even as I claim my allegiance to Christ, I still find myself entangled in my sin and stumbling through life.  My Christian walk is anything but Christian and my faith falters.

In Psalm 139, the psalmist prays that God will examine his life in light of his commitment and relationship to God.  The psalmist prays in verses 23-24:

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my thoughts.
See if there is any wicked way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.  

The psalmist prays that God will check his life to see if there is anything in his life that is not pleasing to God.  Maybe there is some sin, a spirit of unforgiveness, a grudge, a prejudice, or ill-will towards another that has settled into the heart. And if there is something wrong, the psalmist prays for God to help him fix the issue and live life in a new way; a way that glorifies God and professes faith in God.

As Christians, we should daily examine our lives and our commitment to Christ to see if there are places in our lives that need God’s touch of grace.  Is there something under the hood of our hearts that needs to be fixed, adjusted, or removed all together?  If we do not acknowledge there is something wrong, then we limit the work of God’s grace and forgiveness.  Yet, when we honestly examine our lives, identify our sin, and ask for forgiveness, then God can make right that which is wrong.  In 1 John 1: 8-9 we read, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  Honesty before God is the best policy when it comes to a healthy Christian walk.  Examining our lives daily is the best way to keep our lives in tune with the life of Christ Jesus.

When we allow God’s grace to do its work, then we will believing the best life possible.  God’s grace can fix that which broken and restore that which has faltered.  And when God’s grace settles into our hearts, then God can lead us in the way everlasting.

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Published by Dr. Philip W. Turner

Since 1991 I have had the joy of serving as Pastor of Pine Street Baptist Church in the community of Oregon Hill in Richmond, Virginia. The people I have met a long the way have inspired me in my daily ministry. I have truly been blessed.

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