As Christians, we often long for a greater movement of God upon our lives. We desire something more. We want increased intimacy, passionate prayer, renewal and revival within our lives.
Yet for many of us, we don’t stride forward in our faith. We grow stale. Mediocrity creeps in and takes hold. What is standing in our way?
Over the last few weeks I’ve slowly been chewing on Oswald J. Smith’s powerful book The Revival We Need. Amongst the staff at Ellerslie there has been a joke about having a hard time getting past chapter six … and for good reason, Oswald J. Smith has a right hook to the jaw with 19 simple but convicting questions.
A year ago I posted an article outlining 21 questions the Holy Club of Oxford (a group of Godly men) would ask themselves daily to encourage themselves not to settle or allow compromise in their lives.
Oswald J. Smith’s questions are of the same ilk.
If you find yourself struggling to gain ground in your Christian walk or desire greater intimacy with Jesus, these 19 questions will reveal areas of your life that you are not fully surrendered or have allowed sin to gain access in your life.
Oswald J. Smith says that one of the evidences of revival throughout history was the conviction of sin and the willingness to confess our sins to God (and others if necessary).
Would you allow the Spirit of God to use these 19 questions in your life to convict you?
Oswald J. Smith’s 19 Questions
Smith begins this section by saying: “Now let us take our sins one by one and deal with each transgression separately. And let us ask ourselves the following questions. It may be we are guilty and God will speak to us.”
- Have we forgiven everyone? Is there any malice, spite, hatred or enmity in our hearts? Do we cherish grudges; and have we refused to be reconciled?
- Do we get angry? Are there any uprisings within? Is it true that we still lose our tempers? Does wrath hold us at times in its grip?
- Is there any feeling of jealousy? When another is preferred before us does it make us envious and uncomfortable? Do we get jealous of those who can pray, speak and do things better than we can?
- Do we get impatient and irritated? Do little things vex and annoy, or, are we sweet, calm and unruffled under all circumstances?
- Are we offended easily? When people fail to notice us and pass by without speaking does it hurt? If others are made much of and we are neglected how do we feel about it?
- Is there any pride in our hearts? Are we puffed up, do we think a great deal of our own position and attainments?
- Have we been dishonest? Is our business open and above reproach? Do we give a yard for a yard and a pound for a pound? Are we honest in our statements. or do we exaggerate and thus convey false impressions?
- Have we been gossiping about people? Do we slander the character of others? Are we talebearers and busybodies?
- Do we criticize unlovingly, harshly, severely? Are we always finding fault and looking for the flaws in others?
- Do we rob God? Have we stolen time that belongs to Him? Has our money been withheld?
- Are we guilty of the sin of unbelief? In spite of all He has done for us do we still refuse to believe the promises of His Word?
- Have we committed the sin of prayerlessness? Are we intercessors? Do we pray? How much time are we spending on our knees? Have we crowded prayer out of our lives?
- Are we neglecting God’s Word? How many chapters do we read each day? Are we Bible students? Do we draw our source of supply from the Scriptures?
- Are we burdened for the salvation of souls? Have we a love for the lost ? Is there any compassion in our hearts for those who are perishing ?
- Have we failed to confess Christ openly? Are we ashamed of Jesus? Do we keep our mouths closed when we are surrounded by worldly people? Are we witnessing daily?
- Are our lives filled with lightness and frivolity? Is our conduct unseemly? Would the world by our actions consider us on its side?
- Have we wronged any one and failed to make restitution? Or, has the spirit of Zacchaeus possessed us? Have we restored the many little things that God has shown us?
- Are we worried or anxious? Do we fail to trust God for our temporal and spiritual needs? Are we continually crossing bridges before we come to them?
- Are we guilty of lustful thoughts? Do we allow our minds to harbor impure and unholy imaginations?
Oswald J. Smith continues:
These are the things both negative and positive that prevent the work of God in the midst of His people. Let us be honest and call them by their right name. “SIN” is the word that God uses. And the sooner we admit that we have sinned and are ready to confess and forsake it the sooner may we expect God to hear us and work in mighty power. Why deceive ourselves? We cannot deceive God. Then let us remove the obstacle, the hindering thing before we take another step.