Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know your-selves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified. (2Cor. 13:5) NKJV
Did you know that all aircraft in the United States are required to have an annual inspection to confirm they are airworthy or safe to fly? The Federal Aviation Administration says: “No person may operate an aircraft unless, within the preceding 12 calendar months, it has had an annual inspection and has been approved for return to service by a person authorized by FAR 43.7.” The aircraft must be approved to return to service, or fly, by a person authorized by federal aviation regulation 43.7. That is the law.
The person that does this inspection actually becomes a representative of the FAA and is given the title of an FAA Inspection Authorized (IA) mechanic. There are FAA approved airframe and power plant mechanics. They may perform the work, but only under the supervision of the IA mechanic. The IA mechanic is the only person authorized to sign the aircraft logbooks that legally returns the aircraft to service. When he does this, he is saying the aircraft has been throughly inspected and is safe to fly.
If mechanical issues or airframe issues are found that would make the aircraft unsafe to fly, the IA mechanic would not give permission for the aircraft to fly until the issues are repaired. It would be illegal for any pilot to fly the aircraft. He could face serious consequences if he did. It’s possible that he could even get killed if he flew it because a part could fail. The annual inspection could be a matter of life and death, and is to be taken seriously.
Spiritual Annual Inspection
We should have our own annual inspection/examination as the Apostle Paul told us. He said to examine yourself as to whether you are in the faith. This is speaking of every area of the Christian life. Of course, we walk with the Lord daily, but carefully examining ourselves will pay great dividends. We must press into the perfect will of God, if we are going to fulfill His will.
Examine Your Plans In Prayer
I start each year by seeking the Lord about His plans. It is easy to come up with a plan that is not the will of God. I know, I have made that mistake. I learned many things from Dad Hagin about how to examine yourself, in prayer, that I want to share with you.
It is so important to examine ourselves and to wait before the Lord. We must pray out the mystery of God’s plan for our lives. One way we can do that is to pray in other tongues. The Bible says when we pray in tongues, we are praying mysteries to God: “For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries” (1 Cor. 14:2). Moffatt’s translations says we are praying “divine secrets in the Spirit.”
Praying in the Spirit takes you beyond the educational and mental realm into the realm of God.
Many of the bad things that happen to us — or the good things that should have happened, but didn’t – are a result of our failing in the past to pray out God’s plan. You see, God has planned many things for us in the future that as we pray in the Spirit we will be praying out ahead of time. We can pray in the Spirit both in tongues and in our native language when we pray by the unction of the Holy Spirit.
In fact, what is happening in your life in the present, whether good or bad, is a result of what you have or have not prayed out in days gone by. And what will happen in your life in the future will be a result of your present prayer life.
At times, the Holy Spirit will impress you to pray about certain things that concern His plan for your life. You’ll have an anointing or unction of the Holy Spirit to pray. But if you ignore the Holy Spirit’s promptings and busy yourself with natural affairs, that anointing will leave, and you’ll wonder if you ever sensed it! If you keep ignoring the Holy Spirit’s promptings, you’ll grieve the Holy Ghost, and He won’t deal with you anymore about that issue.
I know from experience that you can convince yourself that it is God’s will to do what you are doing. That occurs as you live your life only in the mental/educational realm. It also comes from listening to other people or copying what other people are doing.
Many fads and cultural trends in the church today have come from following someone else – not the Spirit of God. It is time for all of us ministers to get on our knees and examine what we are doing in our services. We should remove everything that is not of God because it grieves the Holy Ghost.
Be determined to always stay sensitive to those gentle promptings of the Holy Spirit. Take the time to wait upon the Lord in prayer and in the Word to discover His guidance and direction for your life. Wait long enough before Him until your mind becomes quiet and is no longer active. Wait long enough in prayer for all of your physical senses and emotions to be brought into captivity so they no longer dominate you. Then you’ll be able to hear from your spirit.
Don’t Be Lazy
Don’t allow yourself to become spiritually lazy and stop short of hearing what the Lord is saying to you in your spirit. If you become spiritually lethargic, you could end up following your own soulish desires, thinking all the time you’re following God’s plan.
Sometimes it takes a considerable amount of time staying in the presence of God for you to know God’s will. You can’t always do it in one session of prayer. Sometimes it takes long seasons of waiting before the Lord in prayer in order to get your motives pure and your priorities sorted out according to the Word so you can distinguish between the clamorings of your soul and the voice of your spirit.
It takes a good while to inspect an airplane. It will take you some time to inspect yourself also.
Follow The Word Of God
Becoming established in the Word will also help you learn to recognize the voice of Satan as well. The devil will try to speak subtle lies to your mind to deceive you (John 8:44; Rev. 12:9).
However, remember that God speaks to your spirit, and what He says to you will always line up with His Word. So always examine your leading in the light of the Bible. God will never lead you one step beyond the principles in His Word.
We get off when we don’t follow the principles of the Bible. Anyone, who is just a little bit spiritual can see things that need correcting in the Christian world today. Those things do not agree with the Word or Spirit of the living God, and should be laid aside.
Don’t Move Until You Know
Many Christians miss it by remaining in the mental and physical realms. Forgetting that the spiritual realm is the root, the stem, and the ground out of which all else grows, they get all agitated in their mind and emotions. And they run here and there, seeking for someone to give them mental, natural counsel.
But if they’d only stop, get quiet on the inside, and fellowship with the Lord, they’d begin to hear Him speak to their heart. Peace, contentment, and satisfaction would flow out of their spirit into their mind and emotions. All of their questionings would simmer down and become as nothing, and even their bodies would respond in joy and health.
Someone may say, “Well, I’ve been praying a long time, and I haven’t heard anything yet.” Then don’t make a move until you do! Keep on seeking the Lord in the Word and in prayer. Someone else may say, “I’m going to give God only this long to give me an answer. If He doesn’t, I’ll have to do it my way.” No, it doesn’t work that way!
You can’t give God your deadline! If you try, you’ll be going the wrong direction for sure! You must wait before the Lord in faith that He will answer you in His time and in His way. If you want to be led by the Holy Spirit, always be willing to respond to His leading, even if it doesn’t agree with your own human reasonings, expectations, or desires.
Don’t hinder your ability to discern His guidance through wrong thinking or selfish ambition. Stay teachable and open in your heart to anything the Lord may tell you. And as you do, He will teach you His ways and direct you into His plan for your life.
Don’t Let Satan Stop You
Satan will do his best to thwart God’s purpose for your life and ministry. As you pray and seek God, the Lord will show you the devil’s plots and you can stop them. Use the mighty name of Jesus Christ and bind his actions. Notice, this annual inspection is performed through the Word of God and prayer. Your future is bright and you are filled with His power and might! God is with us!