Tuesday, March 31, 2009

An Inside Out Work

For far too long, the story of Christian faith has been wrapped up in what we do not do, instead of what we do. Do not cuss, drink, have sex outside of marriage, smoke, shew, dance with women that do, lie, steal, cheat, etc.

Look, I know that the 10 commandment stand and that there are plenty of "thou shalt nots" throughout scripture, but God has been showing me something about Jesus's approach to discipleship in the New Testament. It looks something like this:

Give me your heart! First! Let me start at the core of you. Your center. From there, I will do an inside out work. I do not want your feet, hands, eyes and mouth first...I want your heart first!

Once I have your heart, and you meet me, and I meet you, and I come inside and make my home, then the outside will begin to change. We've got time for that.

If I can have your heart:
  • You hands will gradually stop touching the same things.
  • Your feet will stop going the same places.
  • Your eyes will stop wanting to see the old things.
  • You mouth will slowly stop saying the old stuff.
  • You bedroom will start becoming a place where sexuality will take on a new purpose.
  • You will see your relationships through a whole new set of glasses.
  • People will start to look at you and do double takes.
I really don't want to be a Pastor or Leader that gets it twisted and backwards. Our job is to give our hearts, the center of who we are over to Jesus. Jesus is the master of cleaning us up.

God has been showing me this very strongly recently as I have been interacting with more seekers at CCF...many who are waiting to "get there act together" before accepting Christ. Why do they feel the need to do this? Because they have been told for far too long that Jesus wants only the perfect and clean. My, how we have missed the message. Jesus came for and died for the sinner. And we can come just as we are and THEN the Lord will begin an inside out work!

6 comments:

Barbara Chandler said...

I won't go in to detail but that was a much needed reminder for me. Thanks.

Glenn said...

This is so right on!

hartslove said...

I love this message. Well stated. It reminds me of something I realized. When someone I care for is "not there yet," instead of focusing only on what is lacking, instead I will focus on God, His word, and what He would have me to do and what work He is doing in me. (which if I am obedient, could be a light to my friend or loved one). All this while continuing to love people, of course. I started reading Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World just this morning, and it has a statement about inviting God to be at home in our hearts. (which you also said) We welcome God, and as we're dwelling with Him, some of the frivolities fall away. Or more accurately for me, the thirst grows and there's so much less time or desire for things that don't matter.

Pastor Noah said...

Good, Barbara!

Thanks, Glenn!

Good stuff, Alexine!

Appreciate you all checking in and joining the conversation.

--Noah

KevinS said...

Trivia: In what book of the Bible does the word 'heart' appear most?

Deuteronomy

Seems even Moses knew it was an inside out work. Funny how so many people have tried so hard to make it something else.

Pastor Noah said...

Kevin, another great observation. Thanks!!