He will dwell on the heights; his refuge will be the rocky fortresses.—Isaiah 33:16
Before we can dwell on the heights, we must be prepared to take an honest look at what is going on beneath the surface of our lives. Doing this, of course, can be dangerous unless it is approached in the right attitude. Some Christians use the process of self-examination as a means of avoiding rather than assuming responsibility. They look at what is going on inside themselves and allow what they discover there to develop into a cynical negativism, which hinders rather than helps their Christian life.
Those who do this fail to understand the purpose of godly self-examination: to bring what is discovered to the Lord so that He can deal with it. Many commentators have pointed out, in the incident when the Israelites in the wilderness were bitten by the snakes, that when they looked at themselves and recognized their condition, they were then highly motivated to look to the brass serpent for help (see Nm 21:4-9).
The purpose of taking such an honest look at what is going on beneath the surface of our lives is to promote a deeper dependence on the Lord and thus contribute to our spiritual effectiveness. Recognition of our true condition provides a strong motivation to look away from ourselves and turn in simple faith to the Lord Jesus Christ. As you take this journey into the core of your being, be willing to face yourself in a way that you have never done before. I cannot promise you it will be painless, but I can promise you it will be profitable.
Father, give me the courage to overcome the fears that would rise within me saying: “I am not sure that I can face it.” Deepen the conviction within me that with You, I can face anything. Amen.
How does Paul admonish us?
How does the writer of Lamentations put it?