The military has a formal practice known as “Inspection in Ranks” where a commander examines each soldier standing at attention in formation. I never enjoyed these reviews if I was the inspectee. The long period of sustaining a rigid posture only made my back and thighs ache. Yet, I did learn some interesting lessons. Formal inspections serve a necessary purpose but they do not always give a commander an accurate assessment of a soldier. A warrior may look good in uniform but be incompetent in battle.
The test of genuineness is often gauged by what goes unseen. We may smile and give the impression that all is well while our mind is full of anger and our spirit is critical. We may say nice things but think mean thoughts. The Bible states that:
For those who liveaccording to the flesh think about the things of the flesh, but those who liveaccording to the Spirit, about the things of the Spirit. For the mind-set of the flesh is death, but the mind-set of the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind-set of the flesh is hostile to God because it does not submit itself to God’s law, for it is unable to do so. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.(Romans 8:5-8)
Ezekiel 11:5-- Then the Spirit of the Lord came on me, and He told me, “You are to say: This is what the Lord says: That is what you are thinking, house of Israel; and I know the thoughts that arise in your mind.
Jeremiah 17:10--I, Yahweh, examine the mind,I test the heartto give to each according to his way, according to what his actions deserve.
Did you know that we inspected daily by our Heavenly Father without our ever having to line up on cement slabs in our best clothing? The One who knows how many hairs we have on our head, also knows our thoughts. In truth, there are many times when I wish this were not so. It’s pretty embarrassing to have God scrutinizing my mind when my focus is selfish. This is why I find King David to be such a remarkable man. He had the guts to say “Test me, Lord, and try me; examine my heart and mind. For Your faithful love is before my eyes, and I live by Your truth” (Psalm 26:2,3).
The test Jesus gives is not the truth of our manner but the temper of our mind. Many of us are wonderfully truthful in manner but our temper of mind is rotten in God’s sight. The thing Jesus alters is the temper of mind.—Oswald Chambers in Studies in the Sermon on the Mount
©1998 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)