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Getting the Inside Out

“The author who benefits you most is not the one who tells you something you did not know before, but the one who gives expression to the truth that has been dumbly struggling in you for utterance.”

Oswald Chambers

Stuck in the Wash Cycle


Am I the only person unable to give a voice to what God lays on my heart? I don’t mean to imply that I have received more revelation than you or any other fellow believer in Jesus. What I mean is that the nuggets God has revealed to me continue to slosh about inside me like blue jeans in a washing machine. They always seem to need more time to get past the spin cycle and become ready to come out clean and well-fitting. What’s inside my washing machine takes forever to come out.

I am not implying that I have nothing to write about. I have plenty of words, but when I give them some breathing room, I often find them lacking. It takes time and a delete key to provide a voice for something suitable for spiritual consumption. Do you ever feel this way? 

You may want to communicate a deeper understanding of a passage of Scripture or an insight that you know came from the Holy Spirit, but it seems stuck. No matter how you say it, it doesn’t communicate what you mean.

Spin ‘Till Dry

Whether informal or formal, God sets a high bar when we endeavor to teach. Concerning teachers in local churches, the book of James warns us, “for we who teach will be judged more strictly.” (James 3:1–2 NLT) It is often good for us to let our thoughts age for a while. We should revisit them regularly but not always to edit them. We just need to be sure that what we state as truth is really Truth. Attaching God’s name to our words carries great responsibility. We must teach, we must preach, and we must demonstrate unconstrained love for each other, for this is the command that Jesus gave us.

So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” John 13:34–35

Remove Before Wrinkling

We should not hold back what the Holy Spirit has shown us something that needs to be communicated. But when we do, let’s be sure that we are proclaiming the excellencies of him who called us out of darkness into his marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9).

Image by Pexels from Pixabay


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Entropy

Photo by Kevin Noble on Unsplash

My mother understood entropy better than any physicist or engineer I’ve ever known.  Every spring and every fall Mom did top to bottom, side to side cleaning, clearing, creating, and curating of our house and all the stuff in it, including us kids. Likewise, Dad did repairs, remodeling, and general rummaging about, under Mom’s direction. Twice each year she fought the good fight against entropy, the degradation of the matter and energy in the universe to an ultimate state of inert uniformity per thermodynamics. She won all the battles except for the biological ones. The kids grew up, Mom and Dad grew old, and, eventually, entropy won.

With Christmas 2018 now in our rear view mirror, we are preparing for our national tradition of New Year’s resolutions. This usually is intended as our individual and social battles against this aspect of thermodynamics. Most of us will fail quickly, all will fail eventually. Still, the fight is worth the effort.

For a Christian, we have a kind of spiritual entropy with which we must challenge. It’s not the same as that of the world. We don’t lose our salvation, our spiritual condition does not return to some inert uniformity. No, we are made alive in Christ. This is not by us but by He who lives in us. Jesus imparts to us a vibrant life that is active now and will be fully manifested once the shackles of this world are thrown off.

However, we are not yet fully escaped from thermodynamic entropy. As we walk through this world its “dust” clings to us, attempting to return us back to its process of degradation. We need to get that worldly dust out. Though it reminds me of Mom, it is Jesus who taught us that it is important to clean the world off of us. This was memorialized when Jesus washed the feet of his disciples. You can read the whole account in John, chapter 13. The verse I wanted to close with is verse 10, where Jesus says to Peter, ” Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean…

Already, as a Christian, the laws of this old physical world have no hold on the regenerated you “…because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” (1 John 4:4 NIV)

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