The 4th Step, taking one’s own inventory, can be quite intimidating. But like many other things in our lives as Christians, it should be approached first and foremost in prayer.
Psalm 139:23-24 KJV
Search me, O God, and know my heart:
try me, and know my thoughts:
And see if [there be any] wicked way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
By literally getting down on our knees and praying, much in the same way as the Psalmist did above, several things happen.
First we open ourselves up to God. Like opening up a book, we open our souls to Him–exposing all the contents of all the pages from beginning to end. We ask Him to search us and know our hearts and thoughts. We ask Him to examine our hidden motives, our fantasies, our personalities and our deepest hidden secrets.
Secondly, by coming to God in prayer we make ourselves available to Him. By doing this we not only ask Him to look at us but we also offer ourselves to Him as children who are willing and eager to learn. We open ourselves up to receive the fullness of His power.
Thirdly, we ask for His guidance, His help. We ask him if f there is any wickedness in us and to help us to find it. On our own we are quite blind. But the Lord can remove the scales from our eyes, just as He did for Paul on the road to Damascus. Instead of seeing things through human eyes we will start seeing them through the eyes of God. We will not be judging ourselves by human standards, but by God’s standards.
Lastly, we become willing to change. We ask that He guide us in His everlasting ways instead of our own crooked paths. We
become willing to look in new directions–His directions; at new possibilities–His possibilities; with renewed spirits infilled with His incredible Holy Spirit.
When you sit down to take your inventory (whether it is for the first time or for the zillionth time) start out with a prayer. If you are having trouble praying, then repeat verbatim the Psalmist’s words. You will find a sense of freedom, purpose and renewal as you proceed with your own inventory.