I’m happy to have Maria Morgan with us today to share In the Word Wednesday. I’m over at Sheri Salatin’s blog sharing about writing and crazy stuff I do! So come by and say hi.
If you haven’t visited Maria’s blog, Life Lessons, you should. She is a woman with much wisdom! She’s inspiring and encouraging. When you leave her blog, you know you’ve been near someone shining with the love of Jesus.
I’d be lying if I said it didn’t matter to me. Every day I spend time preparing myself to face the world. I shower, put on makeup, fuss with my hair, and choose just the right perfume or body splash in order to make a good impression. Looking my best is a good thing, as long as I don’t forget what’s most important – what’s on the inside.
One day last week, I’d gone through my usual routine of getting ready. I felt put together on the outside, but something was bothering me on the inside. I didn’t realize it had begun to affect my mood and even my countenance, until my daughter, Riley, innocently asked, “Are you mad at me?”
I wasn’t exactly mad, but I was frustrated. Conflict bothers me, so I had attempted to deal with my frustration without mentioning anything to Riley. I may have looked the same on the outside, makeup on and hair in place, but what was inside was bound to come out.
Addressing the issue openly and honestly, made a world of difference. By the end of our conversation, we had worked through the situation and our mother/daughter relationship was back on track. I was reminded of the importance of speaking the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). And peace took the place of frustration.
It’s easy to get focused on the outward things, giving little attention to what’s on the inside.
A familiar passage reminds me, “…for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart,” (1 Samuel 16:7b; KJV). My tendency is to give the impression that I’ve got everything together, even when I don’t. Ultimately, what’s on the inside will come out.
God’s work is done from the inside out.
Remember when the Lord gave Moses the instructions for building the tabernacle? He carefully detailed what should occupy the inside of the structure; the ark, the table of showbread, the lampstand, etc. before he went on to describe how the tent should be constructed. Mere coincidence? Definitely not! What’s inside matters to the Master.
The Pharisees of Jesus’ day seemed to be religious giants, yet He saw through their outward appearances, and spoke harshly to them, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness,” (Matthew 23:27). These were the men who made a show of tithing on everything they owned, and doing no work on the sabbath. They certainly appeared to be keeping God’s commandments, yet they were jealous of Jesus’ following and were determined to destroy Him.
As I read God’s Word and pray with a heart that’s open to His still, small, voice, the Lord will reveal areas in my life that need His attention. I have a choice. Ignore His conviction and continue on as if everything is fine, or submit that area to Him and allow Him to do a transforming work on the inside that will affect the outside. Today I’m going to let Him work from the inside out!
Do you struggle to maintain appearances? Identify one thing that needs to change and give the Lord access to what’s on the inside. You’ll find that He’s a Master builder!
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You for caring about the important thing – what’s inside. Help me identify areas that need to be changed, and help me to submit to Your will as You do a transforming work on me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Amen! Thanks, Maria, for sharing your heart and wisdom with us today. I feel so blessed.