Change From The Inside Out. 04/29/2014 (Morning thought)

 Psalms 51:1 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. 6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

This psalm of David was written as he was experiencing the bitter fruits of his sin with Bathsheba, and the consequent murder of Uriah, her husband. After the dust settled, David realized that his problem was not external, but internal. Whatever a man or woman sees or hears, does not cause them to sin, it's what is in the heart that causes our downfall. Christ explained the problem when He addressed the issue of where sin originates in the human experience, for sinful thoughts always as a rule, come before sinful actions. Let's read:

Matthew 15:18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. 19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: 20 These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.

The entire experience of David, from his rendezvous with Bathsheba, to his heartfelt confession and repentance, contain critically important lessons for us who are living in the 21st century. First of all, we should not blame external situations and enticements as the reason why we sin. Many men are afflicted with adulterous thoughts, and many more women and men, young adults and teenagers struggle with inordinate sexual desires that are fanned into life when external triggers present themselves.

However, these external enticements, with which we are surrounded daily cannot cause or force a person into sin. A Christian does not fall into sin suddenly. The thoughts and desires that are cherished internally over a period of time are what cause people to go over the cliff spiritually, and therefore, as David finally realized, a change from within must take place. And that's why the following passage of scripture goes to the root cause, the thoughts from which all actions spring. Let's read:

2nd Corinthians 10:4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.

The way in which this is accomplished is not by removing ourselves from every inducement and enticement to sin, even though we are required to avoid evil as far as possible, to cooperate with Christ in the cleansing of our hearts and minds. However, if we tried to remove ourselves entirely from every enticement, we couldn't watch television, we couldn't go to work, we couldn't go to the grocery, and we couldn't even go to church. We would end up buying a one way ticket to "Neverland", and even there our thoughts would still haunt us. The change must therefore take place internally, and when this is done and sustained through the power of the Holy Spirit, temptations will have no power over us, for greater is He that is in us, than he that is in the world.

We therefore end with a passage of scripture which should bring encouragement to every person who receives Christ into their lives daily, for without Him we can do nothing. Let's read:

Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

We hope and pray that today will be the beginning, or continuance of victorious living, for God alone is able to keep us from falling. God bless!