“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. NASB.
Many in the Church today focus on outward behavior rather than the matter of the heart. By heart, we mean the emotional, thinking, value-center operating system which makes you, you.
We point to Adam and Eve who committed the first earthly sin. For most people that sin was disobedience toward God. Yet, my argument is the sin was committed even before then. For the outward behavior of sin is really the result of a deeper inner problem.
The real sin was separating oneself from God. Instead of leaning on Him and partnering with Him, Eve began developing a relationship with the Serpent. It was the Serpent who came between God and Eve. He came to divide and lead one astray from the Center of Life. He does the same today.
Sin occurs even before the behavioral act is displayed. Jesus himself throughout the Gospel books emphasized the heart of the matter rather than the physical act itself. The outward act is only the symptom of an inner problem. The problem is a heart empty of God’s presence.
For it is from the Holy Spirit living within you that strengthens you, coaches you, and leads you away from destructive behavior. Jesus was born by and with the Holy Spirit from the beginning of his earthly life. For the rest of us, we allow the Spirit to enter into our inner self only after we have accepted His authority in our life. The Bible identifies this as being born again.
Jesus also refers to the Kingdom of God beginning from within you. When the Spirit is married with your spirit and you learn to cooperate together, you will find the inner attitude and confidence to handle any temptation with the same faith Jesus employed against Satan in his wilderness temptation.
You will also begin to experience life dancing with the Almighty through your daily routines. Life becomes more than judging each other’s outer performance. Instead, it becomes life in the Spirit preparing you for eternity while training you to be more effective each day glorifying Him through your work, relationships, and struggles.
So, don’t focus on the symptom. Rather identify the problem and you will quickly arrive at a solution to move you toward your objectives.
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