Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Inside out!

We come to what at first appears to be a sweet passage of joy this morning.  Josiah initiates the restoration of the temple.  As we read on, though, it becomes obvious that what we see is not what God sees.  In fact, God says Judah is less ‘justified’ that whoring, rebellious Israel.  I hear great warning in this passage.  While they (we, I) spend time looking at the sins of others, they (we, I) slide from the Lord.  There is enough unrighteousness in every one of us to keep us running to the Lord!

 God calls out saying, “Break up your fallow ground. Circumcise your heart.  Let my fire burn away impurities.”  Now, honestly, those don’t sound like enjoyable activities, do they?  Think of the work involved in turning a lawn, a weedy area (or a pathway) into a garden.  Hard digging, stone removal and constant vigilance are part of the endeavor; it is hard, hard work.  Or consider what it means to circumcise the heart…let the Sword of the Spirit strip away the calluses and dead skin of the heart.  Allow the knife to expose the healthy skin below:  painful!  The holy righteousness of God burning away idols and mis-spent time creates ash piles of things we wrongly treasure.  That is some tough stuff—perhaps that is why we prefer to look at the wrong in the lives of others.

Outward rightness, restoring the exterior, matters not a whit if the interior remains a shambles. There is no need for that!  God has done all of the work in Christ Jesus.  We simply need to receive His beautiful life within and allow it to work its way to the exterior.  That transformation happens as we stare into His Word, His Glory.  I’ll leave you with perhaps my favorite verse to rejoice in today:

 2Corinthians 3:18 

But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

What a privilege!  Rejoice and allow Him full reign in transforming. 

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