Earlier this year a temporary exemption was granted for MOT tests, to enable vital services to continue. Surely in the light of the disruption concerning some fellowship activities; a spiritual MOT is in order. I speak for myself here in that whilst we might get away without cleaning our car in between tests; checking the oil and the tyre pressure and water levels regularly are important for our vehicles to function properly. Yesterday, before part-exchanging a vehicle, it was a scramble to transfer the insurance, find the service book and clean the old car, inside and out.
Maybe our car habits reflect our spiritual lives. Some people maintain their cars with plenty of care and attention whilst others do not. Yesterday, I found a Bible behind the passenger seat. David Jackman used a brilliant analogy asking the question as to whether the Bible is in the driving seat in our lives, the passenger seat, the glove compartment or whether it has been left in the boot? A high view of Scripture will inevitably affect how influential God’s word is in our lives.
In various places in Scripture we are called to examine ourselves and to ask the Lord to examine us. In Psalm 139:23-24, David was striving for purity and asked the Lord to search and know His heart. Of course God knows us better than we know ourselves and the full extent of our motives. Even our consciences need to be aligned to God’s revealed truth (Genesis 6:5; 8:21; Jeremiah 17:9). The Lord also searches the mind and tests the heart and gives to every man according to his ways and according to the fruit of his doings (Jeremiah 17:10). Man looks at outward appearance, but the Lord sees the heart (1 Samuel 16:7).
When we partake of the Lord’s supper, we are called to examine ourselves before we eat of the bread and drink of the cup. We do this so avoid eating and drinking judgement upon ourselves and to share the communion in a worthy manner.
We are also instructed to examine ourselves as to whether we are in the faith and to test ourselves (2 Corinthians 13:5). Do we desire to meet with the Lord and to please Him and to meet frequently with God’s people? Are devotional times an important aspect in our lives? Are we trusting in Him or ourselves? Are we trying to justify the abundance of our good actions, or increasingly be thankful to the Lord for His grace which we do not deserve?
If we were hypothetically able to meet safely without distancing tomorrow would that bring joy to our hearts or would that be an inconvenience to our other plans? Would we be comfortable watching and listening to what is on television, the radio or internet if the Lord were visible and sat with us in the same room? Are we keen to remove sin in our lives and to become more like our Saviour in our character? Do we have a concern for others to know the Lord? Are we looking forward to the Lord’s return?
A spiritual MOT is a good practice e. We can confess our sin to the Lord and enter into close fellowship with Him. We can ask the Lord’s help in making changes in our lives, adjusting our time and habits to that which would please God. We can draw close to Him and He will draw close to us. We can ask Him to lead, guide and teach us by His Spirit and to help us remember the things we have learnt.
One last point. There is much to be gained by not leaving it a whole year until the next MOT.