July 13, 2017
What’s Your Temperature?
Search Me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139:23-24, ESV)
Friend to Friend
I got a phone call in the middle of the school day from my son Preston. He was calling from the nurse’s office at the middle school. Here’s how the conversation went:
“Hey mom. It’s Preston. I’m not feeling well and I have a temperature of 96.5. Can you come get me?”
“96.5 degrees?” I asked. “Honey, that’s below normal! That doesn’t sound right.”
“I know,” he said, “but I don’t feel well. Can you please come pick me up?”
“Sure, honey. I’ll be right there.”
I chuckled the whole way to the school at what he had said. Surely he misread the thermometer! A normal temperature is 98.6 degrees. Something was off.
I got to the school in a North Carolina minute and headed straight to the nurse’s office. While Preston packed his bag to go home, I spoke privately to the school nurse. With a grin on her face, she explained to me that Preston was resistant to putting the thermometer under his tongue as she had instructed him to do. He wasn’t comfortable with that. “So,” she said, “he held the thermometer between his lips.” The nurse and I exchanged amused glances as I thanked her for helping my son.
Although Preston knew something wasn’t right with his body, the nurse didn’t get an accurate temperature reading because he didn’t place the thermometer deep enough into his mouth. He didn’t let it probe past the surface of his lips.
Later that night, as I thought back on the day, the Lord spoke to my heart. I realized that I’m often as stubborn as Preston because there are many times when I resist having an accurate reading of my spiritual wellness. Times when I won’t let God probe past the surface of my heart, my actions, my attitudes, and my perspective … when I don’t allow God to reveal the accurate spiritual temperature of my life. Because I’m not always comfortable with deeper-level stuff… so I don’t sit still to listen.
I was disturbed by that thought.
I needed to be disturbed by that thought. By that reality.
Just because I’ve been a Christian for a long time does not mean that I’m always in perfect spiritual health. In fact, the more I learn about God’s holiness through the Bible, the more I realize how much I need His grace and strength every day to lead me in His wellness.
You might not “feel well” today. Perhaps you have spiritual indigestion from your marriage, your children, your friendships, your finances, your singleness, or your conversations. You could be “sick” from the shows you watch, the internet relationships you’ve developed, the gossip or harsh words you’ve allowed to pass from your lips, or the jealousy you feel in your heart. Maybe you haven’t allowed your heart to be probed recently... you’ve been resistant because you don’t like to feel uncomfortable, convicted or exposed.
The Bible tells us that the kindness of God leads us to repentance, and repentance leads us to restoration. To wellness and holiness in Christ.
What’s your spiritual temperature? Are you hot or cold? Is the flame of faith in your heart fading or raging? Have you sat still long enough lately to ask God to search your heart?
It’s time for an accurate reading, friend.
“For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” (2 Chronicles 16:9)
Holy Father, as the psalmist prayed, I ask that you would, “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24).
In Jesus’s Name I pray,
Now It’s Your Turn
Take a spiritual inventory today. Spend a few moments considering your spiritual wellness. Ask God to probe your heart and reveal areas in your life that need to be made right as you answer the following questions:
What is your quiet time like?
Is God a top priority in your life?
Do you set aside time regularly to read your Bible?
Read John 15:1-11, then write a prayer response.
Click here to LISTEN to a song called Restore that connects with this devotion beautifully.
More from the Girlfriends
FREE EBOOK: Gwen Smith is a speaker, worship leader, songwriter, and author of the book, I Want I ALL, which includes a Bible Study Guide right in the back of the book; no extra purchase required. I WANT IT ALL is easy to read yet contains compelling and challenging content. You'll connect with the stories, probably dust off a few heart dreams, think bigger thoughts of God, laugh and smile a lot, search your soul, and even cry a little ... because each page lovingly directs you to the personal grace and truth of JESUS.
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Originally published Thursday, 13 July 2017.