““Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.”
Matthew 23:27-28 NASB
As I have written earlier, we are being observed by people burdened by sin who are desperately wanting change. They are awash in darkness and are being consumed by appetites that cannot be satisfied.
I remember my early days in the faith. I had my big shiny Bible, my dangling silver cross and all the outward accouterments that identified me as a Christian. I even had the lingo down.
Inside was a different story. There was a war raging, a battle for supremacy between my sinful appetites, childhood trauma, and the Holy Spirit seeking to break stuff and rebuild.The process was messy and, despite my best efforts, the carnage could be seen by passers by.
As the Holy Spirit worked in my life, His fruit slowly began to show. The Lord uses circumstance to bring about change. I had a series of demanding jobs where I was stretched. In those jobs I dealt with truly broken people, just as broken as me. The strain pushed me hard and I had to pray some days just to get out of my car and go into work. In those weak times I am sure that the picture of what it means to be a christian was distorted by my hypocrisy, my sinful attitudes and inconsistencies in my walk.
In my hard jobs I encountered harder people. I began to see the contrast between my life, increasingly under God’s control, and the lives of those being consumed. I became burdened for them and desired that my life would reflect Jesus. I prayed some tough prayers around this time. I prayed that God would bow me into hell so that I could be more aware and concerned for what awaits the lost. My heart became raw and I began to see others in a new light. Then I asked Him to lay His heart on mine to that I would see as He sees. Suddenly there was an urgency to proclaim the Gospel.
I also learned to be careful what I prayed for. He honored those prayers in ways I did not expect. God started with the interior, reforming me from the inside out. The demolition was gruesome.
Ironically, I have found myself less concerned with outward presentation of my faith. These days one wouldn’t know of my faith from the outside. But, I have become a very leaky vessel. Like an infuser, the fragrance of Christ just pores out.
My biggest battle now is feeding myself the spiritual sustenance I need to maintain a consistent walk that glorifies God and makes that fragrance increasingly alluring to draw people to a salvation and a deep faith in Jesus.
Pray the Lord make you leaky! THE PRAYER CHAIR IS OPEN! Send me your requests.