“the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7
Covering The Stink
The other day I was in home-ware aisle of one of our local supermarkets, looking for bin liners. On the same shelf I saw something strange, but oddly attractive looking – giant stickers for decorating wheelie bins! There was one in particular that was quite nice, with big bright sunflowers all over it. At first I thought, “a wheelie bin isn’t the nicest looking thing, I suppose it wouldn’t be a bad idea to dress it up a bit.”
Then the thought struck me that our bin really stinks. I mean, really! It’s hard to get rid of that smell. No matter how we were to decorate the outside of it, even if I put pictures of lovely pink roses all over it, nothing is going to change the fact that when we open the lid of our bin, that stink wafts out from the inside!
The only way to really get rid of the smell is to get a power hose, some disinfectant and thoroughly clean the inside of the bin.
God Changes Us From The Inside Out
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
1 John 1:9
So it is with our lives. If we try to be clean by changing what’s on the outside, we miss one of the great, wonderful truths of God’s Word!
The change needs to come from the inside. And Jesus is the only one who brings about the miraculous change in us – it isn’t about us or our performance.
Paul put it simply: “And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory.” Colossians 1:27
No more Striving to be Good
If you are a Child of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, then He lives in you. He is changing you from the inside out, day by day, moment by moment.
We don’t need to strive to be good, better, nicer. The “I must, I must” trap is a very subtle one that can we so easily step into and then get caught in. I know I definitely find myself headed down that road sometimes, do you? What we “must” do though is surrender to Jesus, who lives in us; present ourselves to Him, trusting His leading. He is the one who brings the change, from deep inside, and this then begins to show on the outside
* Do you feel as though you can’t face tomorrow? Jesus can! He holds all your tomorrows in the palm of His hand, and He dwells in you. How incredible is that?!
* Are you struggling to forgive someone who has hurt you badly? You can’t do it. Not in your own strength. But Jesus Christ who lives in you can!
* Do you need self-control? It’s a fruit of His Holy Spirit who lives in you, therefore self control is yours, not in your strength but His.
I believe God looks at us, His children and in His great mercy says, “Why are you striving to look lovely on the outside, while neglecting the inside?”
Let’s allow the fragrance of Jesus to be released from us today, when the ‘lid’ is opened on our lives.