The “in” in “sin“.
Yes, it’s part of the word sin. What we struggle with most seems to be inwardly focused.
- What’s in it for me?
- Adultery starts on the inside, in our hearts and minds.
- Murder also starts on the inside.
- Jealousy, inside
- Pride, inside
- Idolatry inside
- Hate, inside
- Lust, inside
- Prejudice, inside
- Anger, inside
- Greed, inside
- Worrying, inside
- Revenge, inside
In our hearts, in our heads, in our mouths, in our deeds; sin starts in us.
We need help on the inside, we need to let the Holy Spirit work on us from the inside. For us believers, He’s already in there anyway. This is the reason why we pray in church that the Holy Spirit transforms and renews our hearts and our minds. This is such an important prayer because it leads us to repentance.
You can spot people who have an outward focus can’t you? They are kind, compassionate, considerate, generous, caring, loving, forgiving, patient – as a matter of fact they tend to act like Jesus and they use their gifts of the Spirit in so doing. Incredible how this all comes together isn’t it?
Let me share this prayer with you which is a gem of traditional worship:
Lord God, grant us your Holy Spirit that we may hear and believe your Word. Cleanse our minds and renew our hearts that we may live for you here and hereafter; through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen. (Christian Worship, Evening Prayer, page 56)
I have a guardian who watches over my heart and my mind.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:7
Why does our Pastor say this to us every single Sunday?
He will guard your heart and your mind against:
Think about that if you’ve heard Php 4:7 one too many times!
To my fellow string players who might be forbidden to accompany the music in your church, I write,
“This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” – Nehemiah 8:10b
The joy of the Lord is our strength,
We need to ask “what brings God joy?”
Joy is expressed with a smile
The sound of the strings is one thing that brings Him joy
the music of the strings makes you glad – Psalm 45:8b
So you, in particular, have a unique strength from the Lord! I want you to harness this strength. You can’t force your gifts onto the church, if they don’t want them. In this case, stop casting your beautifully translucent pearls to the swine. This strength that you have from the Lord will still manifest itself but through you in some unexpected way. Sometimes we just need to go in a different direction. Give this some prayerful thought, won’t you?