Isn’t it interesting how the Apostle Paul told the Corinthians “each man must be careful how he builds” on the foundation which is Christ? He told the Corinthians they were God’s building and Christ was the foundation but they should be careful how they build because the materials were either gold, silver and precious stones or they were wood, hay and stubble. At first glance this may look as if Paul is telling us to examine ourselves to be sure of what materials we are building with but as you read a bit further he also tells them “Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you thinks that he is wise in this age, he must become foolish, so that he may become wise….The Lord knows the reasonings of the wise, that they are useless.”
As you read the first part of 1 Corinthians 4 you see that Paul himself didn’t even examine himself. He said, “For I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by this acquitted; but the one who examines me is the Lord.” Wow, so let me see if I’ve got this straight. He tells us to be careful how we build but don’t think, or reason, the way the world does because things may not be exactly the way they appear. In other words, those things that at first glance may appear to be wood, hay or stubble may in fact be gold, silver and precious stones. The reasoning of man can’t show us this only God.
Walking by faith rather than sight means we can’t always know, or see with our natural eyes, what God is up to. He may take something that we think is insignificant and change someone’s life forever and, on the other hand, some things in which we place our greatest emphasis may simply blow away in the breeze. This is why he says, “wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God.”
While not examining yourself may sound dangerous to some it truly does leave things up to the Spirit of God. In the Psalms David understood this principle therefore he prayed like this, “Examine me, O Lord, and try me; test my mind and my heart” (Psalm 26:2). Once again he says, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way” (Psalm 139:23-24). You see we have to learn to leave the examining to God. When we take it into our own hands we will inevitably have a bias opinion and we will find ourselves justifying our behavior and either blaming others or crediting ourselves. This is what it means by the reasonings of the “wise”.
A friend of mine, Brian Coatney, has said many times he lives his life in green lights. He said occasionally he’ll run into a yellow light and maybe even a red one; but until the Spirit shows him to slow down or stop he lives safely in the green. While this may sound dangerous to some my thoughts are how else are we going to travel? I mean there is no end to the swirling thoughts and ideas that come with attempting to reason these things out. So let’s be done with our reasoning and trust what Jesus said the Spirit would do. He said, “He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment…and “when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come”(John 16:8 & 13).
Either The Spirit will show us or He won’t, but I’m thinking He will. What do you say we learn to look to Jesus rather than ourselves?