My recent physical examination was performed by an excellent physician colleague. At the end of the examination, we agreed upon a panel of laboratory tests. A week later, I received a fax of the results and a phone call from him. One of the values in the laboratory panel was abnormal. The dilemma we faced was it didn’t make sense. There was no reasonable physiological reason why that isolated value was abnormal. What to do? We both agreed to repeat the test but a week later, the same value was abnormal. We consulted with a third physician who agreed to run the same test in his office, with his own analyzer, hypothesizing that there may be interference from one of the reagents being used for the first two tests. His analysis was spot on! My lab value was normal. If I had blindly trusted the results of the first two tests, I would have subjected myself to further costly and, likely, painful diagnostic testing.
Many health-related decisions are based upon test results that may, in fact, be wrong. From diagnostic medical tests, to radiology results, and biopsy results-life changing decisions may depend upon these results. When confronted with this, we may take the extra step and succor a second opinion, or repeat the test, but as my own experience demonstrated, even these options may not be enough.Physicians and scientists will aver that no test can be 100% sensitive and specific, producing no false positives or false negatives. Thus, to base a life changing decision upon a single test result can sometimes be problematic. Yet, presently, these are most advanced tests we have and one needs to trust the test results, even if one’s instincts are inclined to disagree, or ignore the results and live with the consequences.
What about my spiritual life? I have made many decisions in my life, based upon the outcomes of arbitrary and subjective tests of behavior and relationships, some of dubious merit. These are not analytical laboratory tests, but far more subtle tests. Personality profiles, vocational aptitude surveys-are there additional resources that one can avail that can accurately diagnose me, and make sense of who I am?
I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.
Jeremiah 17:10 (ESV)
No test devised by man can accurately diagnose what truly afflicts each of us. None. Only one test is both 100% sensitive and specific-the conviction of the Holy Spirit. How can we avail of this? If we confess and repent of our sins and accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, God will send His Holy Spirit to dwell within us. He will convict us of our sins and speak and guide our consciences when we are unsure. He does this with perfect insight because God created us; He perfectly knows us! God searches our heart and tests our mind.
When we have surrendered our lives to Jesus Christ, no repeat or additional testing is needed.
God is accurate, precise, and always perfect!
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.