New Wine for New Wineskins August 2013

By , August 1, 2013 9:24 am

Inside Out!

In a world where external beauty is generally valued more than inner beauty, people tend to be more critical of how they look on the outside, and so they often see themselves as being less beautiful / attractive than they really are even though they can look in the mirror and get an accurate picture of how they look.  On the other hand they are usually less critical of how they look on the inside and so they can often see themselves as less ugly than they really are.

The same people who are critical of their outward appearance will normally be a lot less critical of how they are on the inside.  They will say things like, “I’m not a bad person” or “I am very kind and generous” or “I always try to help people”, etc.  However, if you were to ask those they live with, work with, interact with while shopping or fellow road users, etc they might have different things to say – things that may cause the person to be shocked to hear that someone sees them that way.  They might hear observations that could possibly offend them and that they could become quite defensive about.

Jeremiah 17: 9 (AMP)

9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and it is exceedingly perverse and corrupt and severely, mortally sick! Who can know it [perceive, understand, be acquainted with his own heart and mind]?

That is some indictment!  If you were to make similar statements about how people look on the outside you could be accused of being very cruel.

Here are some examples from the “Urban Dictionary” of insulting statements regarding someone’s outward appearance:

So ugly you could have:  been beaten with the ugly stick;  fallen out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down

You have a face like:  a robber’s dog; a bag of spanners; a smashed pineapple; a dropped pie 

You’d be stuck for a face when the baboon wanted its rear end (slightly modified language) back;  You’d make a train take a dirt road…

(Note:  No members of New Wine Church were hurt in the making of these statements) 🙂

I knew a Pastor who when asked by legalistic church people, “Should a woman be allowed to wear make up?” would answer (with a fixed expression but tongue firmly in cheek), “It depends how ugly she is!

Seriously though, these statements are extremely insulting and offensive, and yet God’s statements through Jeremiah regarding the heart are comparable to them.

Think of David – who the Bible says was a man after God’s heart.  This is the man who stood up for God against Goliath and who acted righteously on so many occasions.  And yet, one day he sees a woman taking a bath and he stays to watch when he could have turned away.  Maybe he thought he could handle it – after all there is no harm in looking, right?  Wrong, actually.  He begins to lust after her, exercises his kingly right to have her brought to him, seduces her, and when he later discovers that she is pregnant he tries to cover his sin by recalling her soldier husband from his military service and trying to get him to sleep with her.  When this strategy fails he devises another plan and has her husband sent to the front lines where he will be killed.  When this succeeds he takes the woman and marries her.

But when Nathan the prophet shows up and gives David an account of how someone who was rich and had many sheep had taken the one and only lamb from a poor person and killed it to feed his visitors, David’s righteous indignation boils over and he demands that the perpetrator be put to death after he has restored four-fold what he had taken because he had shown no pity.  Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man!

David could have blame-shifted, or denied what he had done, or turned his anger on Nathan for daring to expose his sin – but instead he said,  “I have sinned against the LORD!”

He wrote Psalm 51 around this time.  He cries out, “Create in me a clean heart, O God!  Renew a steadfast spirit within me!”  He sees the deceitfulness and wickedness of his own heart and cries out for a new one.  The fact that he is asking for something that will not be possible for hundreds of years until the establishing of the New Covenant is an indicator of just how much his heart is after God – so much so that his belief in the goodness of God allows him to prophetically see beyond the limitations of the Old Covenant and to lay hold by faith upon the glorious provision of the New.

David was king – he sat on the throne – he looked good on the outside, and yet what was lurking on the inside got him into trouble.

God’s word reveals to us that every person is born with a dodgy heart – a heart that is deceitful and desperately wicked, incurably sick, exceedingly perverse and corrupt, and severely and mortally sick.

That is why Jesus said that he was anointed to heal broken hearts.  That is why he said that we must be born again and receive a brand new heart.  It is imperative because the old heart cannot be cured.  The disease is so advanced that only a heart transplant can save us.  The old heart of stone must be replaced with a heart of flesh.

Religion tries to clean up and reform the outside but it can never repair the damage on the inside, and so if you scratch the surface you will discover that there is still ugly on the inside.  For example, “So-and so has an ugly temper when he gets wound up…

But the good news is that when you are born again a work of transformation begins on the inside that will eventually manifest on the outside as something beautiful.  There is a simple song that we used to sing that speaks about this: “Something beautiful, something good, All my confusion he understood, All I had to offer him was brokenness and strife, But he made something beautiful out of my life.

So why is it that, very often, when you try and convince people of who they are in Christ as new creations, and what they are now capable of, most will shy away from manifesting the fullness of new creation life as examples of supernatural transformation?  They will say things like, “Oh no, not me…I could never do that…I’m just a poor sinner saved by grace….blah, blah, blah…”  Even though the word of God clearly states that they are new creations who are righteous and empowered to preach, teach, heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, and cast out demons,  and even though they have been set free to forgive and release others, to love their enemies, bless those who curse them, do good to those who hate them, and pray for those who persecute and spitefully use them, they will many times fail to allow what is already on the inside to reach the outside.

However, if you mention unbelief or disobedience they will get defensive and often get ugly on the outside instead of simply allowing the beauty that is already there on the inside to complete their transformation.  It is a bit like the stem of a plant refusing to allow the flower to bloom.

James 1: 21 – 25 (AMP)

21 So get rid of all uncleanness and the rampant outgrowth of wickedness, and in a humble (gentle, modest) spirit receive and welcome the Word which implanted and rooted [in your hearts] contains the power to save your souls.  22 But be doers of the Word [obey the message], and not merely listeners to it, betraying yourselves [into deception by reasoning contrary to the Truth].  23 For if anyone only listens to the Word without obeying it and being a doer of it, he is like a man who looks carefully at his [own] natural face in a mirror.  24 For he thoughtfully observes himself, and then goes off and promptly forgets what he was like.  25 But he who looks carefully into the faultless law, the [law] of liberty, and is faithful to it and perseveres in looking into it, being not a heedless listener who forgets but an active doer [who obeys], he shall be blessed in his doing (his life of obedience).

We have a mirror that we can look into (the word of the New Covenant) that accurately reveals to us who we are and what we look like according to God – that we are free to be who he says we are, to do what he says we can do, and to have what he says we can have.

How do you see yourself?  As unworthy?  As un-anointed?  As having no special gifts or place in the Body of Christ?  Is that what the mirror tells you?  No!  Is that what you should be hearing right now as the mirror of this message is being held up before you?  No!

You are everything that the mirror of God’s word shows you that you are!  You are clean, you are righteous, you are holy, you are special, you are beautiful, you are anointed, you are chosen, you are blessed…..and on and on it reveals more and more of the truth of who you really are…and it’s all good!

There are probably people around you – in your family, among your friends, or at your workplace – who recognise that you are a godly person and look to you for more than you have been willing to release and to let out because you have forgotten who the mirror revealed you to be.

It is time for the “forgetful hearers” who spend time looking into the mirror of God’s word or who spend a Sunday hearing about who they are and then go into Monday dressed down and disguising who they really are to be turned inside out.

In Thessalonica (Acts 17) the people cried out, “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also!

We are here to turn the world the right way up – to turn people back to God!  We will do that when we are turned inside out!

You are a lot more beautiful on the inside than you know!  Turn the inside out!

Romans 10: 15 (AMP)

15 …..As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of those who bring glad tidings! [How welcome is the coming of those who preach the good news of His good things!]

When the Holy Spirit came upon Jesus what was already present on the inside began to be revealed on the outside, and the rest, as they say, is history.  Well, the truth is that Jesus’ history is our destiny.

Jesus said that when the Holy Spirit comes upon us we receive the power to be his witnesses and what is already on the inside of us begins to manifest on the outside.  The Holy Spirit activates what is on the inside, just like on the Day of Pentecost when the church was turned inside out onto the streets of Jerusalem.

Will you ask the Holy Spirit to come upon you and turn you inside out so that the world can see how beautiful you really are and come to you ask you to share your secret?

1 Peter 3: 3 – 4 (AMP)

3 Let not yours be the [merely] external adorning with [elaborate] interweaving and knotting of the hair, the wearing of jewelry, or changes of clothes; 4 But let it be the inward adorning and beauty of the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible and unfading charm of a gentle and peaceful spirit, which [is not anxious or wrought up, but] is very precious in the sight of God.

Leave a Reply

Panorama Theme by Themocracy