I really don’t want to be a hypocrite – especially with regards to my faith and salvation in Jesus Christ. He has changed me! My righteous position before God, the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, my new heart, my eternal destination…; there are many things I am very sure about. Yet sometimes, in some ways, I feel that I am just cleaned up on the outside but a total mess on the inside.
- Matthew 23:28-28 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
But is it truly hypocrisy I am struggling with? The war has been won – I am His! I am not pretending. I am different on the inside. I long for God. I truly desire to be who He has called and empowered me to be and to live my life (inside and out) in ways that bring glory to Him.
- Psalm 42:1 As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God.
- Colossians 1:10 that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;
My life is built on truth – the truth of God’s Word. I am not living a lie and trying to cover it up with something intended to make me look and feel better than I am. But I struggle. My human nature is still fighting against who I am in Christ.
- Romans 7:15 For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do.
- Galatians 5:17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.
Perhaps, rather than focusing on my feelings, rather than trying to figure all this out, rather than beating myself up, I should trust in the work He is doing in me and the promises He has made to me.
- 1 Peter 5:10 But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.
- Philippians 1:6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;
I am not whitewashed!
He made me new on the inside when He saved me!
- 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
I am a work in progress!
In Position – I stand righteous before God in Christ!
In Practice – I am becoming who He called me to be in Christ.
- Hebrews 10:14 For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.
In His love, grace, mercy and strength, I must persevere!
- Philippians 3:12-14 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Holy Father in Heaven: I pray that in the power of Your Spirit and the truth of Your Word, You will help me see beyond the struggles and more fully experience the peace promised by Your Son. Help me experience victory every day of the year in the reality of what Christians celebrate on Easter – the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He rose from the dead to give us eternal life. Help my belief in this truth translate into a daily confidence and joy that can only come from You. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.