From the Inside Out

Continuing from yesterday, I was thinking about transformation and our fascination with how things change, become, evolve. I wonder how many organisations use the imagery of a chrysalis and a butterfly? I confess to speaking to Optimus Prime when I see a huge truck – I don’t really expect it to be an Autobot (I promise) but the imagery of that franchise is that strong. People show before and after pictures, sometimes with many in-between, to show how they have transformed their physiques. How many self-help books describe the journey of ‘becoming’, people transforming themselves through meditation or exercise or disciplines?

I ended yesterday with the recognition that I too often have difficulty giving God my reasonable essential worship. I recognised that the reasons for that were my arrogance (thinking it’s unreasonable to  give myself to God) and my pride (thinking it’s not essential but that I am doing God a favour). Thinking is the key word there, as in so many sins, and Romans 12:2 is precisely placed to help with that.

Do not allow this world to mold you in its own image. Instead, be transformed from the inside out by renewing your mind. As a result, you will be able to discern what God wills and whatever God finds good, pleasing, and complete.

Romans 12:2

It’s my mind that thinks, it’s my mind that plays slippery games to make me feel good, it’s my mind that justifies the things I do. It’s my mind that sees the things the world does and decides that those things look interesting so I let my body paddle in the water. I can justify anything if you let me think about it long enough. There are things my body does automatically, such as breathe, pump blood, digest food, and things my body needs permission to do; things such as eat too much, lie in bed all day, gossip, and swear. My mind is the part of me that gives permission, lets my body do those things.

Paul says there’s another way. Refuse to let what is outside you shape the way you do things. He says you can be transformed from the inside. The only power that can properly change me from the inside is the living power of God. The Holy Spirit lives in me, I learn what God wants by reading His Word, by prayer, by listening when Holy Spirit speaks to me and that means when those shiny world things flaunt themselves in front of me I can choose to look away; to just say no.

I’ve been reading Proverbs and Lady Wisdom has a lot to say about understanding, read chapters 8 and 9.

Lady Wisdom: Come in. Come, eat my bread,
        and drink my spiced wine.
    Give up your gullible ways, your naive thoughts, for true life.
        Set your course for understanding.

Proverbs 9:5-6

My mind says ‘who’s she calling gullible?’ But the Spirit says, ‘You, and you know you are. Have a drink and a bite to eat and let’s talk this over.’ There’s no hoodwinking the Spirit with fancy arguments and ‘but she does it’. It takes time, it takes time immersed in God’s Word,  time spent with Him but He is only too happy to give me whatever time I need, whatever attention I need. His attention is focused on me 100% of the time. The fact He is God makes it possible for Him to focus on you and me equally, 100% of the time btw.

I need His attention, His voice 100% of the time because it is an ongoing process not once and done but daily, moment by moment, listening, following, choosing.

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