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Inside Out

Weekly Devotionals

Inside Out

Luke 6:45 (NIV)

45 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

Psalm 1:1-3 (NIV)

Blessed is the one
    who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
    or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
    which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
    whatever they do prospers.

We live in a society that continuously puts pressure on us to conform to its values with regard to money, appearance, success, significance, you name it.  These standards of conformity stand outside of who we are and make their way into us, working from the outside in.  Thus we are very often striving to be and do something that we are not.
The better and more natural way to live is from the inside out.  This is what Jesus refers to at the end of Luke 6:45, “the mouth speaks whatever the heart is full of.”  In other words, whatever is in you will come out.  Somehow.  Some way.  This is the way life was meant to be lived.  Rather than trying to conform to something outside of you, realize you have the Spirit of God living inside of you.  And as you real-ize Him, allow your inner self to be transformed, such that your outer actions and words reflect His presence and your transformation inside.
Think of trees that bear fruit.  They bear fruit when they receive water and sunlight and when their soil is tilled.  Water is equivalent to the Word of God.  We need to be continuously nourished by Scripture.  Sunshine is equivalent to being in God’s presence (prayer).  We need to encounter God and allow His Life to flow into us.  Tilling the soil is equivalent to us making sure that our hearts can soak up all that God has for us.  That means rooting out the weeds that try to choke and distract us.
When we expose ourselves to His Word and His Presence, and when we maintain pure hearts, we will grow strong and bear fruit.  It will happen.  Trees don’t strive.  They don’t work hard.  They just receive water, sun and with good soil they grow.  The same goes for us.  This is inside out growth.
There are many different types of trees.  If you are an orange tree, you will produce oranges, not apples.  If you think everyone likes apples, you may try to produce apples (outside in).  You can fake it, but it will never be natural to who you are.  You will only find frustration and strife.  One day, God will come looking for oranges.  And as He comes to you, what will you offer?  “Here, Lord.  Have some of my apples.”  But God will say, “I don’t want apples right now.  I want oranges.” This is big problem for much of the church today.  We strive to be something we are not.  I say, let’s let the Holy Spirit have His way with us, and let’s live from the inside out.  This way God gets what He wants and our lives become easier.  Not a bad deal!