The Cross-Examination

by Joanna Pierce on November 14, 2018

Any time I receive a letter in the mail from our local county, my heart leaps in my throat and there’s a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. A silent prayer goes forth regarding the envelope’s contents. After slicing open the seal with a letter opener and sliding out the folded piece of paper, there are two words in all the English language I don’t want to see: jury duty.

I’ve been blessed thus far in my adult career to receive a jury summons only once. But, that experience was one I’ll never forget. It was a heart-wrenching murder trial of a young college student, full of long days, grueling testimonies, and very persuasive attorneys.

To ensure I upheld my end of the bargain in my court-appointed civic duty, I was highly attentive during every court session, scribbling page after page of notes. In the opening remarks, the defense attorney had me captivated and even convinced right out of the gate that the defendant was not guilty. But, then the cross-examination began…

After a week of eye-witness accounts, pieces of evidence, coroner reports, and gruesome photographs, the seeming truth of the defense attorney’s case dwindled in front of my eyes, along with the rest of my fellow jurors.

The first to speak in court sounds right—until the cross-examination begins (Proverbs 18:17, NLT).

I don’t know about you, but my walk with God is a lot like this court-case experience. No, I haven’t killed anyone, but I’m presented daily with the choice to do the right or the wrong thing; act like my Lord and Savior or to act in the flesh.

The many times I’ve acted in my flesh I feel the Holy Ghost convict me. Still abiding in a fleshly mindset, I don the role of a defense attorney. Reflecting on the situation, I present a slew of “facts” to justify my behavior. It appears as if I’m in the right and whomever else in the wrong.

But, then I find an altar of prayer, and that’s when the true trial begins. God begins His cross-examination and compares my actions with His Word. He pokes holes in what I thought was a rock-solid defense case, and lays my heart bare and exposed. It’s in this process, I always discover the real truth of the case: I was truly in the wrong.

As Scripture tells us, the first to speak—our flesh or the devil—can always sound right. We (or the devil) can present a pretty convincing argument. We can even use Scriptures to defend our position. If we’re in alignment with one Scripture, we can be justified, right?

We must remember that God is the ultimate judge, and He is the discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Hebrews 4:12). His ways are higher than our ways, and His thoughts higher than our thoughts. He knows His Word more perfectly than we do! We can sound right initially, but when God comes on the scene, He’ll expose our sin and poor judgment.

If you’re in a circumstance that’s “on trial,” I encourage you to find an altar of prayer. When God beings to cross-examine you, you’ll need to repent and receive His correction. This process is never easy, but now is the time to repent and get right with God. Don’t wait until the final judgment to hear God’s final verdict. You don’t want to hear, “you’re guilty,” but “well done.”