This morning I had a thought and started to play a game with myself. It's called INSIDE / OUTSIDE and I started to think about different objects, places, things and people and ask God to show me things while I think of the inside and outside of them:
A HOUSE (this is my example one)
- Inside a house (people, furniture, a family, a washing machine, an oven, warm... picturing all the rooms, people and things that happen inside and what it looks like... placing myself in that perspective)
- Outside a house (lawn, windows, driveway, a tree, cold... look away from the house knowing it is right there... looking at the house from outside)
A TENNIS BALL
There is a physical inside and outside and then there is a mental or emotional one. A book looks a certain way inside but then there are the ideas on the pages... they transcend the physical to someone who can read the language they are written in. If you can't read the language the book might as well be a paper weight... the inside is art and not ideas...
Can we see the inside and outside of something at the same time? Can we look from each perspective separately?
Now some verses:
"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean." - Matthew 23:25-26 ESV
First off... ouch... those are tough words... but very illuminating about human nature. God clearly sees inside and outside a person but people try to hide the inside... or they are blind to it... or they value the outside and what people see of their outside in a strange way. Knowledge of good and evil has done that to us. It has skewed our perception.
God... grace... works from the inside out. God cleans us inside and then the outside follows.
"And he said to them, 'Is a lamp brought in to be put under a basket, or under a bed, and not on a stand? For nothing is hidden except to be made manifest; nor is anything secret except to come to light. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.'
And he said to them, 'Pay attention to what you hear: with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and still more will be added to you. For to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.' " - Mark 4:21-25 ESV
Both great INSIDE / OUTSIDE verses. Light by it's nature is good for outside use... what we are given is given for outside use... if they don't have an outside expression they are not valuable... they might even be dangerous or lost to us.
The person who is lacking and sees the one who has abundance and gets more and more can be in a place where they are tempted to envy... it doesn't look fair. It's not fair. But it is how it works. Grace must come inside in order for the order to be seen.
Will we allow God to broaden our perception but narrow our focus?
"If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God." - Colossians 3:1-3 ESV
We are in Christ and Christ is in us. God is outside and inside. So are we. We have an inside life and an outside life (working, living, interacting in the world). I want to have more and get more in the spiritual economy.
"Then Jesus told his disciples, 'If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?' " - Matthew 16:24-26 ESV
With the cross as a focus we can live in a broaden perception. We can pour out what we have knowing no one can out give God.
Life needs to be poured out. That is why it was given. The Gospel needs to be shared, not hidden, put out on the table for all to see.
Like a little child I purpose to play a game today. Going with God and asking Him to show me things I have not seen so that I can live in a way that glorifies Him. It is going to be a lot fun. Happiness and brokenness fill me thinking about it.