I have been posting about ministry standards lately. I found this on Adrian Warnock’s blog–a quote from D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones on the importance of self-examination in Christian living and revival, a timely message for sure:
“It is one thing to believe the truth, it is a very different thing to apply it. We did listen, and apply the truth, initially, otherwise we would not be Christians at all. But it is possible for us … to go on, content with just listening to, or reading the truth, and never applying it to ourselves, or examining ourselves in the light of it. Is this not one of the most alarming possibilities in the Christian life?
… read the life of any man who has ever been used of God … in connection with revival, and you will always find that he was a man who had examined himself, and had become alarmed about himself. It has always been the thing that has led him to God and to prayer — his astonishment at himself.
But if we do not examine ourselves we will never truly pray, and our lives will be lived entirely on the surface. Now, how little we hear about self-examination! Oh, we believe in having a quiet time, a short reading of Scripture, a hurried prayer, and we have done everything. But where is self-examination? How much talk is there about mortification of the flesh? (Colossians 3:5, Romans 8:13)
… allow the truth to search you … apply it to yourself … preach to yourself … talk to yourself … meditate about these things … bring yourself under conviction …[do] not let yourself escape. But …do not stop at that … allow the Scriptures to lead you to the Lord Jesus Christ, and to the cleansing of His blood. In other words, any Christian who is depressed and morbid and introspective is really failing to apply the doctrine of justification by faith only. If you stop in your sins, if you stop in the dust and the ashes and in the sackcloth, I say, you are not scriptural.
You must go on from that and look to Him, and apply again the truth to yourself. You must be certain that you end in a condition of thanksgiving and praise, with a realisation that your sins are covered and blotted out, and that you are renewed, and that you are able to go forward.”
David Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Revival (Westchester, Illinois, Crossway Books, 1987), pp. 80-83.