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Saturday-Inside Out


My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you, how I wish I could be with you now and change my tone, because I am perplexed about you!


Galatians 4:19,20


Life moves from the inside out. It’s just the way things work. The way life is lived. The way people live, act, and speak comes from within their heart and soul.


When we speak, it always comes from the inside. No one can really force you to say anything. Yes, they can threaten or actually inflict pain to force you to say something. But in the end, it’s still you doing the talking. It still comes from the inside.


Actions are the same. We do things because we chose to do them. No one forces us. We may have a certain kind of personality that leans towards doing certain things. But we still have a choice about what we do.


It works this way even in the digital world. The things that people write, their blogs, their texts, their pictures, their videos are the result of what’s going on in the inside.


And I think that’s what scares us so much. We see all the hatred, violence, and rough language, and realize that has to come from somewhere. It just doesn’t pop up from nothing. It doesn’t just appear out of nowhere.


And you’d be right. It does come from somewhere. It bubbles up from within us. It rises up and then comes out in all sorts of ways. And that place where it comes from isn’t a pretty place. It’s a place that we don’t let people into very often.


That place, deep down inside, is where life comes from. Where our words, thoughts, actions, and attitudes are born. It’s the place where we feed and encourage the kind of life that we want. It’s also the place where we starve and kill off the kind of life we don’t want.


It’s that place that the Apostle Paul wants to talk about within the Galatians. That’s the place where real change in a life happens. What does he want for these people? What’s his deepest desire for their good? How does he want them to change?


He wants Christ to be formed in them. The goal is for Jesus to be living inside of us so that he comes out of us. His life in us is to lead us to do and say the things that Jesus would. To live a Jesus kind of life in our home. In our community. In our job. While driving. While shopping.


But how does that happen? How is Jesus formed in us? It takes three steps.


  • Power. God’s power from his Holy Spirit living in us is the motivating and energizing power. We want to life like Jesus wants because he died for us.

  • Practice. We need to live like God wants us to live day after day. Because it doesn’t come naturally, we have to continually learn new ways of living, living it in front of God.

  • Play our part. Eventually, it has to come out of us in our daily lives with other people. We were never meant to live alone with God, it’s always been with him and a community of people.


God’s goal for our lives is that we’d live, act, and speak like him without thinking about it. It should come naturally. It needs to flow out from us like it’s part of us.


When in a game, an athlete doesn’t think about how to throw, kick, or hit a ball By then, it’s too late. They learn to do it through hours of practice, doing it over, and over, and over. So, when they come to doing it in a game, they don’t need to think about it.


It’s just like my Grandmom. She’s sit there talking a mile a minute about all sorts of things while crocheting. She didn’t have to stop talking in order to crochet. She’s done it so many times, for so long, that she didn’t have to think about it.


Her fingers were almost a blur as they moved back and forth. Hooking the thread just right, she pulled it through and made the smallest knot. And then she did it again. And again. She’d turn the pattern and keep on going. And then, without saying a word, it was done.


None of that came easy. It took time. It took practice. It took money to buy the equipment and materials. It even took, dare I say it, failure. There were times when she had to undo the knots she’s just made, and then try again.


We were made to have Jesus formed in us. To be like him. To act like him. To speak like him. To love like him. This never comes through outside controls or rules. It only comes from inside, where God’s Holy Spirit does business with us in that secret place that no one else sees.


Are you letting God into your secret heart of hearts? And then giving him permission to change you from the inside out?


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