In both our current church and secular cultures we tend to focus on outward manifestations and experiences. To what end? Why not give more attention to internal realities? Consider the importance of Peter’s instruction below.
3 Do not let your adornment be merely outward – arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel – 4 rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. 1 Pet. 3:4 (NKJV)
While the focus of Peter’s instruction is to wives in relationship to their husbands, the wise will discern that this instruction applies to all of us. Why? Simply because Peter is highlighting the importance of inward realities. Jesus said the same thing when He told His first century hearers, and by extension us,
33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Matt. 6:33 (NKJV)
So how much time do we spend developing our inner man and what process do we use? Why is it important? I think the answer to the questions I have posed are;
- We need to spend focused time drawing near to His presence, and
- We are called to be changed from ‘glory to glory’ (what we carry from time into eternity is the character of Jesus that has been formed in us in our life on earth).
Paul prayed that the Ephesians would experience inner transformation and the prayer is applicable to all believers today. We have the same need.
16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, Eph. 3:16-17 (NKJV)
How does this happen? Think about seeing a beautiful sunset, a painting or some other piece of art that seems to arrest your heart. Why does it do that? It resonates with something in our hearts, we are drawn to it. Are we drawn to Jesus presence in the same way? If not can we be?
We can. Part of the process is joining in Paul’s prayer above, another part is choosing to just focus on and sit with Him. We will find our hearts regularly drawn to Jesus. After all, in the midst of a very busy life as administrator of a kingdom David expressed it this way.
4 One thing I have desired of the LORD, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD All the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD, And to inquire in His temple. Psalm 27:4 (NKJV)
In the midst of his very demanding life how did he arrive at this point? He answered that question for us. He prized Yahweh’s presence over convenience.
8 When You said, “Seek My face,” My heart said to You, “Your face, LORD, I will seek.” Psalm 27:8 (NKJV)
Let us respond when He calls.
NOTE – a small book (12 pages) that is very helpful in this regard is an old one called The Changed Life by Henry Drummond. If any of you are interested please send me an email and I will email you a Word version.