422. Examine Carefully; Don’t Just Glance

“As he does if I will just pay attention,” Stan began, “I saw this morning where the apostle Paul laid out the perfect foundation for my walk with God; the perfect way for me to keep on the path of the relationship with God that He intends.”

“What did you see?” I asked.

“Near the end of Paul’s first letter to the church in Thessalonica,” Stan replied, “he says that the readers are to examine everything carefully.  And after that examination, they are to hold on to what is good and get rid of that which is not good.  He actually described those things as ‘evil’.”

Continuing, Stan said, “The vital part of this for me in the first instance is what Paul says about examining carefully.  Too often it is too easy for me to just glance at something that wants to come into my life.  It is too easy for me to not really consider the potential ramifications of letting something come into my life.”

“No,” he added, “the apostle states an essential warning for me to examine carefully.  Then comes the second vital step.  After doing the examining, I am to keep the good and get rid of the evil.”

“But,” I replied, “if you take the time to examine everything, won’t you be spending all of your time examining and not do anything else?”

“I don’t think so,” Stan responded.  “With most things that the world, the flesh, and the devil want to bring into my life, the difference between the good and the evil is immediately clear on examination.  But, while the choice is easy and evident, it is still a choice I have to make about what I am, and am not, going to allow into my life.”

“However,” Stan continued, “there are all sorts of things that want to come into my life that need more thought and more careful examination.  Those things I deliberately give to the Holy Spirit to lead me in accord with His wisdom that leads as only He can.”

“Usually,” he added, “those things involve matters where the contrast between good and evil is not so apparent.  It is often what is ‘good’ against what is ‘better’.  For those things, I need the leading of the One who knows a whole lot more than I do about examining and deciding what to keep and what not to keep.”

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But examine everything carefully; hold fast to what is good; abstain from every form of evil.  1 Thessalonians 5:21, 22.

Prayer:  Thank you, Father, for what you want and what you do not want in my life.  Thank you that you know best and that you give instructions, such as to examine everything that wants to come into my life.  I confess that too often I only glance at such things, rather than really looking at them to see what they could mean for my walk with you.  Please forgive me.  And please, Father, lead and help me to follow in examining everything and choosing the good and getting rid of the not and less good.  Lead me in giving all to you for your leading.  Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

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